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President and CEO, John “Lites” Leenhouts Will Retire After 2022 Aerospace Expo

President and CEO John “Lites” Leenhouts has been at the helm of SUN ‘n FUN for over a decade and has worked in the industry for 48 years. During his tenure, the organization has transformed not only the operating state and organizational culture but also the perspective from which it operates. ...

Redbird Flight Simulators arrive on the ACE campus!

We are grateful to Redbird Flight Simulations (Redbird), who makes aviation accessible by using modern technology and careful engineering, for their continued support of the Aerospace Center For Excellence (ACE) and its educational and tourism eco-system! ACE recently installed 20 desktop training devices designed to support a variety of learning ...

Former James C. Ray Scholarship program participant, Skyler Burnam now working at FAA HeadQuarters!

The Aerospace Center for Excellence is a campus focused on not only aerospace and aviation, but also building better citizens with life and leadership skills that extend past classrooms, and workplaces. It is a unique educational campus, offering unique and varied educational programs from designing, building, and maintaining aircraft, to ...

Check out ACE’s SkyLab Innovation Center Internship Programs

We are excited to announce the ACE SkyLab Innovation Center Collegiate Internship and High School Junior Internship Programs. This scaffolded internship initiative offers future aerospace and aviation professionals hands-on training and on-the-job experience in a laboratory setting. Here, interns and junior interns alike can engage, educate, and accelerate a top-down ...

Robin Kirk designated as the Dean of Academic Affairs and Museum Sciences at the Aerospace Center for Excellence.

We are thrilled to announce the addition of Robin Kirk as the Dean of Academic Affairs and Museum Sciences at the Aerospace Center for Excellence. Robin Kirk has been with the Aerospace Center for Excellence since June 2021 and substantiated her role in ACE’s educational programming. With dedication and commitment, ...

Registration Is Open for the Scale Model Aerospace and Aviation Themed Gingerbread Competition.

Attention Florida Residents, The Aerospace Center of Excellence announces the chance to participate in the Scale Model Aerospace and Aviation Themed Gingerbread Competition powered by the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance DUE December 1st! This competition will be a truly delicious sight to be a part of. The theme for this ...
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AEROSPACE CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE PROMOTES MELISSA GOODSON TO MARKETING DIRECTOR

We are thrilled to announce the promotion of Melissa Goodson as the new Marketing Director at the SUN ‘n FUN and ACE campus. Melissa has been with SUN ‘n FUN for 16 years, and at the forefront of visual graphics, creative graphics, brand monitoring/branding, digital marketing, vendor relations, and project management. Frequently ...
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Polk County teachers learning at SkyLab!

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in their study titled Teacher Quality: A Report on The Preparation and Qualifications of Public School Teachers, it is stated that, “in order to meet the changing demands of their jobs, high-quality teachers must be capable and willing to continuously learn and ...
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The SkyLab Innovation Center on the ACE campus partners with Higher Orbits

The SkyLab Innovation Center on the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) campus partnered with Higher Orbits in early September, to provide high school students the opportunity to explore and discover the Aerospace STEM and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields through the Go For Launch! Program. This program used ...

ACE Welcomes Education Director Kimberly Brewer

LAKELAND, FLORIDA: Kimberly Brewer is no shy woman when it comes to inspiring the next generation of aerospace professionals. As a Polk County native, Kimberly has grown up on the SUN ‘n FUN campus, where she has made significant contributions beginning at the young age of eleven. Now twenty years and ...

FREE STEM AVIATION EVENT FOR FEMALE STUDENTS

Lakeland, Florida—The Aerospace Center for Excellence and Air Race Classic will host a girls STEM aviation education event on June 18, 2022 from 1:00PM to 3:00PM. This event is completely free and open to students between the ages of eleven and seventeen who register online. There are only sixty available ...

AOPA Sits Down with Eric Crump, ACE’s NEW Executive Director.

We could not be more excited about Eric joining the ACE team. Find out how Eric helps bring passion for helping youth get into aviation careers and more in the interview below. Click link for interview The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is the largest community of pilots in ...

Aerospace Center For Excellence Is Proud to Announce NEW Executive Director

LAKELAND, FL: The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) is thrilled to announce that Eric Crump has been named the organization’s new Executive Director commencing June 1, 2022. Crump, a lifelong lover of all things aviation and aerospace, opened the Polk State College Aerospace program in 2012. Since its inception, he ...

March 8th is Aerospace Center for Excellence Day

  March 8th was declared as Aerospace Center for Excellence Day by Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs in 2016. That Tuesday marked a new life as an educational facility of a Boeing 727 known as the Piedmont Aerospace Experience on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus. This was just the beginning of the unique ...
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