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We always have fun and exciting things to share with you.  Please check back often for exhibit information and openings, event details, special Air Zoo visitors, educationand  program announcements and soooo much more!

Media contact:
Nikki Statler, Director of Marketing  |  269.350.2811

Air Zoo’s Science Innovation Hall of Fame (SIHOF) Awards Honors Students, Educators, Lifetime Achievements - Saturday, April 13

Portage, MI, April 3, 2019 – The Air Zoo is proudly planning their sixth annual Science Innovation Hall of Fame (SIHOF) Awards event, which will take place at the Air Zoo on Saturday, April 13, 2019.  Presented by Western Michigan University, this festive and interactive event recognizes and encourages West Michigan high school students, K-12 level educators, and local organizations and individuals who have innovated and excelled within, or shown exceptional support of, education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM). Equally, the evening also honors the newest class of enshrinees to the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame (MAHOF).

“I am so impressed with these innovators,” reflects Air Zoo Engagement Director, Nate Melvin. “Their impressive stories are a great reminder of why we work so hard to ensure our Science Inspiration Scholarship Fund grows, creating opportunities for all young minds in our community, to discover their passion for science, technology, engineering, art and math.  We hope to have a record turnout at this year’s gala – proceeds from the evening will support our scholarship fund as we celebrate the accomplishments of these amazing innovators.”

The Air Zoo’s Science Innovation Hall of Fame Awards Gala is a ticked fundraiser, featuring dinner (Millennium Restaurant Group), hands-on science experiments, games, raffles, a silent auction, a sponsored bar and, of course, recognition and celebration of the 2019 SIHOF awardees, and MAHOF award recipients.

The list of award recipients this year include: Photos of recipients available here:


Bridgitt Cornish - 12th-grader from Otsego High School

Rachel Kramer - 12th-grader from Gull Lake High School and the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics & Science Center (KAMSC)

Jake Lane - 12th-grader from Climax-Scotts High School and the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics & Science Center (KAMSC)

Saaketh Medepalli - 12th-grader from Portage Central High School and the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics & Science Center (KAMSC)



Kathleen Heusser - 12th-grader from Allegan High School



Tracy Chappell - 6th- & 7th-grade teacher from Milwood Middle School in Kalamazoo

Cheryl Hach - Honors biology and environmental science teacher at the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics & Science Center (KAMSC)

Angela Totten - Kindergarten through 5th-grade STEAM teacher at Georgetown Elementary in Hudsonville

The Grand Haven Area Public Schools STEAM Team (Alex Harsey, TJ Klumpel, Ian Overway, Andrew Ratke, Tina Scott)



Conrad “Connie” Kalitta from Ypsilanti

Dr. Richard Kik Jr. from Richland

Lt. Col. Charles S. Kettles, USA, Ret. from Ypsilanti

Capt. Jeffrey W. Randall, USN, Ret. from Augusta

Richard I. “Dick” Ward from Three Rivers


Awardees will be recognized at the highly publicized and interactive gala that draws notable Michigan luminaries from all areas of industry, education, government and the arts.  This year’s event will be emceed by FM-106.5 WVFM morning show personality, Kim Carson, with evening entertainment provided by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.  Tickets are on sale now at or by contacting Nate Melvin, Air Zoo director of engagement, at (269) 350-2812 or

About the Air Zoo

Located at 6151 Portage Rd., Portage, MI 49002, the Air Zoo is a Smithsonian-affiliated aerospace & science experience with over 100 rare aircraft and spacecraft, inspiring interactive exhibits, indoor amusement park rides, full-motion flight simulators, a state-of-the-art theater experience, hands-on science-based education programs, and more.  The Air Zoo is a not-for-profit organization and is open 360+ days per year. For hours, tickets and info, visit


Posted by Nikki Statler at 10:00 AM
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