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Thousands Gather at Inaugural Magic of Science Fair and Family Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Natalie Van Buskirk/Nicole Halsey
Polished Nichols PR & Marketing
June 15, 2022
443-956-4765/410-952-2122

THOUSANDS GATHER AT INAUGURAL MAGIC OF SCIENCE FAIR AND FAMILY FESTIVAL TO KICK OFF THE DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR THE DISCOVERY CENTER AT WATER’S EDGE 

Event Offered STEM Family Friendly Activities at TUNE Building at Harford Community College

(Belcamp, MD) – June 15, 2022 – The Discovery Center at Water’s Edge, a forthcoming interactive world-class science center where visitors of all ages can experience hands-on science and technology, see tomorrow’s technology today, and learn the history of scientific discovery in our area, welcomed over 2,000 attendees at its first annual Magic of Science Fair and Family Festival on Saturday, June 11, 2022 at the TUNE Building at Harford Community College. The event was the official kick-off celebration announcing the development and construction phases for the Discovery Center at Water’s Edge. 

Harford County Councilman for District F, Curtis Beulah presented the Board with a proclamation from the Office of the County Executive in recognition of the Magic of Science Fair and Family Festival for unifying the STEM community and bringing outstanding STEM education opportunities to the citizens of Harford County. 

“Of all the projects we have in the works right now in Harford County, I am most excited about the new Discovery Center at Water’s Edge. This science center will benefit the community in multiple ways — a tourist attraction, educational resource, and community center for marshaling our STEM resources,” declared Curtis Beulah, Harford County Councilman, District F. “If Saturday’s Magic of Science Fair and Family Festival was any indication, our community is hungry for the opportunity to learn and play with science that the Discovery Center will provide. We are fortunate to have Aberdeen Proving Ground in our backyard, because the people and resources at APG make events like this possible.”

The free event featured a day of interactive activities and exploration for learners of all ages, from infants to adults. Festivities included a regional science fair for middle school students sponsored by Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union (APGFCU), a Family Festival, a “Discovery Zone” play area, petting zoo, hands-on science experiments, drone races, entertainers, tech talks, large and small robotic challenges, food trucks, and much more. Interactive exhibits included balancing a rocket utilizing sensors, entering the world of virtual reality, extracting DNA, investigating an enigma machine, directing a stream’s flow to prevent flooding, making and taking brick builds, problem solving with items found in a junk drawer, examining insect diversity with microscopes, and planting a sunflower. Additionally, The Discovery Center at Water’s Edge introduced its mascot Rosalind, a kid’s scientist named after the brilliant and trailblazing scientist Rosalind Franklin.

A Harford County resident who brought two children (one ten-year-old and one 14-year-old) with her to the event shared, “The Discovery Center at Water’s Edge outdid themselves today! It was absolutely amazing. There was something fun and fascinating at every turn, and both of the kids remained busy for hours. We can’t wait for the new center to be built as it will be a perfect place for children in the state to come, learn, play, and explore all things STEM.”

The middle school regional science fair showcased 21 projects and were reviewed by 20 judges.  Three students were awarded with top honors, three with honorable mention and 25 with participation recognition. Rob Lieb from The Senior Science Society, along with Dr. Pat Baker, Director of the Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, and Monica Worrell, Business Development Director, APGFCU (main event sponsor), presented the Best in Grade Awards to the following: 

  • -6th Grade: Spencer Tucker-Jones, Patterson Mill Middle School  – Paper Airplane Design
  • -7th Grade: Scott Campbell, Patterson Mill Middle School  – Background Radiation Cloud Chamber 
  • -8th Grade: Lucas Bomhardt, New Covenant Christian School – Factors Affecting Seismic Waves 

Festival sponsors included the Aberdeen Proving Ground Federal Credit Union (APGFCU), allSigns, Beacon Engineering, Bravura Information Technology Systems, Inc., BSC America Bel Air Auto Auction, Char Hope Foundation, Cecil College, Classic Cars of Maryland, Clene Nanomedicine, DSA Inc., Energetics Technology Center, Harford County Chamber of Commerce, Harford Community College, Harford County Office of Disabilities, Harford County Public Library, M&T Bank, Polished Nichols Public Relations & Marketing, Profile Partners, Red Ball Consultants, Senior Science Society, Shaffer, McLauchlin & Stover LLC, Skylight Creative Ideas, Survice Engineering Company, Towson University Northeastern Maryland, Upper Chesapeake Hospital, and WHGM Gold.  

Additionally, Towson University Northeastern Maryland (TUNE) was a sponsor and donated the use of the facility to the effort. Located on the grounds of Harford Community College, TUNE offers students the ability to earn a four-year degree without leaving Harford County.

“Based on the participation of the science fair and the activities at the family festival, this will definitely be an annual event. We’re going to do this every year. Our children need this — they are the key to the future of STEM,” said Charlie Nietubicz, President, Discovery Center at Water’s Edge.  “This is the first successful public initiative on our journey to develop the much-anticipated Discovery Center at Water’s Edge where we can encourage people of all ages to explore, play, innovate, and discover. We couldn’t have done this alone. Special thanks to our partners and sponsors, and for those who believe in our dream. Let’s continue to work together to make it come true.”

About Discovery Center at Water’s Edge

The Discovery Center at Water’s Edge will be a place where students of all ages can experience hands-on science and technology, see tomorrow’s technology today, and learn the history of scientific discovery in our area. A place where new worlds are discovered, and connections are made with exhibits featuring virtual reality among interactive options. In addition to interactive exhibits, the Discovery Center will offer after-school programs, maker spaces, and serve as an anchor for the regions’ STEM activities. Phase 1 will be a 5,000 square foot “Preview” Center at the Water’s Edge complex in Belcamp, MD. Phase 2 will result in the opening of an operational Discovery Center with 10,000 square feet of space, serving over 55,000 visitors each year, and costing approximately $4.5 million. Phase 3 will expand the center to 35,000 square feet serving 100,000 visitors each year. For more information about the Discovery Center at Water’s Edge, visit https://discoverycentermd.org.

 
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Additional quotes:

“As a founding sponsor of the Discovery Center at Water’s Edge, supporting the Magic of Science Festival’s science fair was a natural fit for APGFCU,” said Chief Marketing Officer Brian Wilcox.  “We focus on helping people improve their financial lives and generational wealth building. It all begins with youth and families. We invest many resources into promoting financial literacy through programs in schools and community organizations, as well as through our youth savings programs.” 

“Ecotone LLC was thrilled to be a part of the Magic of Science Fair hosted by the Discovery Center at Waters Edge. It was amazing to see how many children and community members attended and were interested in learning more about ecological restoration,” stated Erin McNally, Special Projects Coordinator, Ecotone LLC. “We had a great time showing the kids how streams affect the landscapes and so many kids expressed a lot of interest in seeing how it all worked. We hope to continue to be involved by engaging children in the science of restoration.”

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