HHEC Renovations

Introducing The Discovering Flight Innovation Lab

We are excited to begin the next phase of our Discovering Flight program by securing the outer shell of the entire Heritage Hall and Education Center and installing The Discovering Flight Innovation Lab. This flexible space is designed to host a variety of year-round programming options for individuals and groups, providing space to perform inquiry-based experiments grounded in STEAM concepts from our PBS-created curriculum. 

Details & Features

The 1600 sq. ft. Innovation Lab is designed to support multiple age groups and features glass walls that create a futuristic, exciting space with clean sightlines to the rest of the HHEC. Featuring:

  • A flexible space for younger students to engage with our curriculum.
  • Seven powered, portable worktables foster group work and offer the ideal space for experiments and maker projects. From paper airplanes to model rockets, students are encouraged to design, construct, and test with the help of launching sites and test pads just outside our hanger door.
  • In the Design Studio, older students can access cutting-edge technologies that support individualized learning, research, and design projects with resources including scanners and 3D printers.
  • An Aviation Petting Zoo offers a rotating collection of aviation materials for visitors to touch and discover.
  • A Hackeronics Lab will share old or broken pieces of aviation technology and a few basic tools  to allow students to take apart the tech, explore its functionality, and hypothesize how things work.
  • The Idea Pad is a quiet nook equipped with beanbags and a glass wall for dry-erase sketching.

The HHEC will be closed during the construction. We plan to reopen Spring 2024. Check back often for updates on our progress.


Naming and branding opportunities within the lab are still available. Contact Director of Development and Communications Katie Main, [email protected] (614-273-9966) to learn more!

Innovation Lab – Weekly Updates

Week 15

It’s finally here! The Joe Clark Innovation Lab is just days away from being unveiled to the world. The signs are up, the displays are built, and we are ready to reopen to the public.

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Week 14

This is the crew that is making all of the magic happen with the Innovation Lab. A team dedicated to perfecting the audio, visual, lighting, & construction for everyone who enters to have the best experience possible. They are (L-R) Terry Glispin, Emily Groemmer, Lily Korolkoff, Patrick Denny, & Sean Denny.


Week 13

This week has brought us to the beginning of the detail work within the lab. As you can see there have been new multi-colored lights installed to give the lab a very dynamic feel even when the lab may not be in use with a class or visitors.

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Week 11

The Painting has begun, the new glass has been installed, and the doors are in place. Plus, we had a partial opening for the Bunny Trail event with an incredible 4447 visitors! These are exciting times!

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Week 10

The Hard Hat Day was a smashing success. Thanks to all of those who came out to see the progress of the Innovation Lab. We look forward to seeing those of you who could not make it very soon. We couldn’t make it work without our volunteers.

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Week 9

Week 8 has been another busy week around the NAHF. The drywall has been mudded, sanded, and the dust cleaned up. The glass for the Innovation Lab has been delivered and starting Monday, the installation work begins. The cleaning and preparations for re-opening has begun.

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Week 8

Week 8 has come and gone and I thought I would start this week off with a little laugh. It is hard to fathom that there are actually people in this world that are not fans of aviation. I think this cartoon just pokes a little bit of fun at those individuals that don’t share our love for all things flight.

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Week 6

This has been a very busy and exciting week. The framing is completed, the drywall was delivered, and electrical installation has begun along with the plumbing for the sink.

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Week 5

Week 5 has been an exciting week! The framing arrived and the building of the innovation lab has begun.

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Week 4

This week things got turned upside in the Hall. We said goodbye to the X-Jet/Dr. Sam Williams/Jet Animation kiosk. The X-Jet display hanging from the ceiling will be staying, but as we get closer to a re-open date our young X-Jet pilot is being scheduled for some much needed TLC.

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Week 3

Week three has brought some big changes inside the HALL. Can you see the big change that has taken place since last week? Look closely. If you can’t see it, I’ll go ahead and tell you. The banners that hung far above the Hall have come down. It makes a stark difference when you see it in person.

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Week 2

Week two has been filled with surprises and excitement. The more we proceed into this adventure, the more we reach into the past and discover things that have not seen the light of day in a long time. As we look to touch the past we are also getting very excited about what the future hold for us at the NAHF.

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