Picture of Aircraft at the Air Zoo in Michigan

Science Innovation Hall of Fame Awards (SIHOF)

Join us for our new & innovative 

2020 Science Innovation Hall of Fame Awards!

We've filed a new flight plan in 2020!

As the world threw us all curveballs, we decided to approach them like we do any hurdle - with fearless innovation and a will-do attitude - we call it the "Air Zoo Way."  We are happy to announce we have a pretty awesome night planned for you (everyone, everywhere) from the comfort of your very favorite spot, and in your most comfortable attire.

The Air Zoo is excited to announce that the 7th annual Science Innovation Hall of Fame Awards, presented by Western Michigan University, is taking place on October 15th at 7pm!  Another virtual event is what you are thinking... right?  Well you are in for a treat! We may be going virtual, but we have a jam-packed hour planned for you. We invite you to join us as we fly through the Air Zoo (literally) and honor the aviation and space heroes of the past, celebrate today's inspirational teachers, and ignite our students to become tomorrow's technical workforce.  We know we could all use a little inspiration these days. 

This year's event is FREE, and will be streaming live (links and details to come soon). Please join us and honor the following outstanding individuals. You will have a great time with us, we promise!

Announcing our 2020 Awardees:

Lt. Col. Kelvin W.A. Bailey, USMC, Retired (deceased) - Dearborn
Prof. Harm Buning (deceased) - Ann Arbor
Capt. Ralph A. “Randy” Hotton, USN, Retired - Ypsilanti
Col. James W. Smolka, USAF, Retired - Las Vegas
Col. Robert F. Staake, USA, Retired - Kalamazoo

Grace Boersma - Godwin Heights Senior High School (Wayland)
Mark Mattox - Allegan Alternative High School
Mary Phillips - North Shore Elementary (South Haven)
Thea Vaughn - Lake Center Elementary (Portage)

John Dirkse - Hudsonville High School
Meegan Heerlyn - Vicksburg High School
Hung Huynh - Portage Northern High School & Kalamazoo Area Mathematics & Science Center
Ranya Liu - Portage Central High School & Kalamazoo Area Mathematics & Science Center

Shelby Alexander - Comstock High School & Kalamazoo Area Mathematics & Science Center


We invite YOU to be a part of this amazing event!

Virtual Event Date & Time: October 15, 2020 @ 7pm
Contact Maria Newhouse at 269.350.2813 or  halloffame@airzoo.org with questions. 

What are the Science Innovation Hall of Fame Awards all about?

Air Zoo Science Innovation Hall of Fame Award Trophies

Presented by Western Michigan University and combined with the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame, this festive and interactive event recognizes 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). In order to remain competitive in today’s global economy, it is critical for our youth to excel in these vital disciplines. With over ninety innovative educational programs, including classes, camps, field trips, and off-site outreach, the Air Zoo is spearheading STEAM initiatives in our region and highlighting local careers available in these important fields. Our hope is that the Science Innovation Hall of Fame Awards play a major role in encouraging local students and educators to embrace STEAM education, ultimately helping to ensure a thriving local economy for years to come. 

Award Descriptions:

Science Students Working with DNA Student Excellence Award - $500 Financial Award

The Student Excellence Award honors high school students who excel in the studies of science while also seeking to expand their knowledge and leadership skills outside of the classroom.

 Student Art & Science Award - $500 Financial Award

The Student Art & Science Award recognizes a high school student who exemplifies the special harmony between arts and sciences.

Educator Excellence Award - $750 Financial Award

The Educator Excellence Award recognizes excellence and innovation in the teaching of STEAM subjects, the fostering of deep and meaningful student learning, and generation of exceptional student achievement.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available!

Show your support for our region's best and brightest Educators, Students, and Innovators! Download a sponsorship application HERE.  You or your company can play a major role in supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math education in our area!

To learn more about SIHOF and MAHOF please contact Maria Newhouse,  Air Zoo Donor Relations & Grants Manager via email or at 269.350.2813.

A Special Thanks to our 2020 Event and Award Sponsors:
Aon * Clifford J. Mulder Retirement and Investment Planning of Raymond James * Bowers Aluminum *  CTS Telecom, Inc. * DeMent & Marquardt PLC * DENSO Manufacturing Michigan, Inc. * Esper Electric * First National Bank of Michigan * FM-106.5 WVFM * Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport * Kalamazoo Community Foundation * KSS Enterprises *  Miller Canfield *  Pete and Barbara Parish * Plante Moran * Quality Air * RAI Jets * Schupan & Sons, Inc. * Singh Automation * State Farm - The Rossi Agency * Stryker * The Tyler Little Family Foundation * Donna Ward * Dar Wellington * Western Michigan University * WowToyz, Inc. * WWMT-TV Newschannel 3 * Zoetis

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