NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Sentara Healthcare donates $500,000 to Nauticus for a new STEM Discovery Lab.

The new lab is part of a complete transformation of Nauticus’ exhibit spaces and visitor experience areas.

The $21.5 million project will be able to serve local students and families with daily programming, educational demonstrations, visitor engagement opportunities, and school field trips for thousands of students each year.

Sentara Healthcare representatives presented Nauticus’ President and CEO, Stephen Kirkland, with the $500,000 check on Tuesday, April 18.

(Courtesy: Nauticus) L – R; John DeGruttola (Sentara), Rehn West (Nauticus), Stephen Kirkland (Nauticus), Aubrey Layne (Sentara), Andy Stephenson (Sentara), Amanda Simpson (Sentara)

The lab will feature five large-scale interactive exhibit galleries that span the entire third floor of the maritime discovery center according to officials.

There will also be a newly designed “Wonder Hall” that will greet students and visitors as they enter the facility.

The lab is slated to open sometime in 2024, along with three new gallery spaces, all of which are a part of the second phase of Nauticus’ transformation.

Work on the first phase began in November 2022 and the first new interactive galleries Norfolk in Time and Aquaticus will open this summer.

For more information on Nauticus’ redesign project, including detailed descriptions of each gallery space, as well as information on how to donate to the Reimagine Nauticus Campaign, please visit Nauticus’ official website.

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