Did you know that high-speed photography was invented at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG)? That the first computer, the ENIAC, was created and operated at APG? That every bomb-sniffing dog can trace its roots to APG? How about the world’s first emails being sent via the ARPANet at APG?
Harford County has been home to some of the most brilliant minds in science and technology. Their inventions have changed how people live, work, and play around the globe. The APG Discovery Center leverages this brain trust for the benefit of the public, particularly our students who must be STEM literate to succeed today. The APG Discovery Center will serve as both a regional tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the CSSC/I-95 corridor, and as a nexus for the region’s STEM Education initiatives. This will be a place where students of all ages explore, experience, invent, create, and play with technology, leading them to a greater understanding of the scientific principles at play and the history of that technology’s development. In addition to interactive exhibits, the Discovery Center will offer after-school programs, maker spaces, and serve as an anchor for the region’s STEM activities.
The Board of the APG Discovery Center successfully advocated for and received state funding to launch Phase 1 of the Discovery Center – the "Preview" Center at the Aberdeen MARC Train Station. The Preview Center will serve as a visitor's center, work space, exhibit area, and will provide funders and visitors a small taste of what will be found at the permanent Discovery Center in 2022. Phase 1 will cost $520,000, to be covered by a combination of state and local grants, corporate sponsorships, fundraising campaigns, and donations.
Phase 2 of this project will result in the opening of a permanent Discovery Center with 10,000-SF of exhibit space, serving over 55,000 visitors each year, and costing approximately $2.7 million. In Phase 3, the Center will grow to 20,000 SF serving 100,000 visitors each year. These estimates are supported by a feasibility study commissioned last year.
The APG Discovery Center, a 501c3 founded to help replace the US Army Ordnance Museum that was moved to Fort Lee, VA in 2011, has a very successful track record. Last year the organization helped organize and conduct over 150 centennial programs and events, including establishing the APG Memorial in Aberdeen, and raised over $360,000 in grants and donations to support these programs.