Aligning the Stars for Students

The Aerospace Center for Excellence Will be “Aligning the Stars for Students” Thanks to GiveWell Community Foundation

(June 22, 2017, Lakeland, FL) The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) will align the stars for students by bringing the only public planetarium to residents in Polk County thanks to GiveWell Community Foundation’s Impact Polk Annual Grant Program.  

Polk County is currently home to more than 160 schools and 97,000 students, making it the 8th largest school district in the State of Florida. The planetarium will be used as a teaching tool during school visits and reside on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus in the interactive learning lab for group tours and general museum guests. Since the planetarium is portable, the Aerospace Center for Excellence plans to visit approximately 25 public schools per school year, reaching close to 625 students in the Polk County area. ACE plans to deliver the experience to approximately 5,000 more individuals throughout the year during their summer camps, group tours, on-site educational activities and the annual SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo.

With this experience, students will be able to immediately apply knowledge learned to core concepts taught in the classroom, as well as, be able to analyze and understand related text, teachings, and problems encountered in the future that reflect lifelong educational benefits.

Richele Floyd, Education Director at the Aerospace Center for Excellence, says this addition to the Education Corridor on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus will be a great tool for educators and students alike.

“We are excited to offer this technology within our existing, year-round, educational programs at ACE,” Floyd said. “The planetarium will be a valuable tool for educators and will provide students with a memorable experience on our campus or in their own classroom.”

The project is funded through a grant from George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation.                     

For more information on this portable planetarium, please contact Richele Floyd at 863-644-2431 or email her at More information about Aerospace Center for Excellence educational programs can be found at




About The Aerospace Center for Excellence

 SUN ‘n FUN and the Florida Air Museum support year round educational programs. These programs happen at the Aerospace Center for Excellence or ACE Educational Facilities. Fourteen (14) buildings and a Boeing 727 Classroom form the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE Educational Facilities). This model is the most unique learning platform in the United States where each building serves a common function of educating and inspiring the next generation of aerospace professionals while honoring the past.

About GiveWell Community Foundation

The GiveWell Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity serving Polk, Hardee, and Highland County, Florida. The Community Foundation holds more than 280 charitable funds established by individuals, families, organizations, and private foundations and serve a wide variety of charitable services. For the past 20 years, the GiveWell Community Foundation and its fundholders have been investing in the future of our communities through impactful, philanthropic giving.

About Impact Polk

Impact Polk is the community grant program of the GiveWell Community Foundation. All submitted applications are reviewed by staff to ensure they meet grant program guidelines. Approved applications that meet publication criteria are included in the Impact Polk publication, which is distributed to all GiveWell Community Foundation fundholders and the community at large for their philanthropic consideration.

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