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Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Giving

The Discovery Center at Water’s Edge is pleased to be included as a charity in the 2020/2021 Combined Federal Campaign. We created this page to provide more information about the Discovery Center and its planned development.

Q: What is the Discovery Center’s CFC Number?
The CFC number is 11621

Q: What is the Discovery Center?
The Discovery Center will be an interactive and multi-dimensional facility providing a range of exhibitions and programs that enhance STEM educational programs in our public schools and the broader community. When completed, the facility will include interactive exhibits, hands-on technology, a laboratory, classrooms, an auditorium, Maker Space, and multi-purpose spaces where traveling exhibits from other science centers can be hosted. In addition to hosting thousands of visitors and tourists annually, we will host after-school and summer science programming. Active and retired scientists, college students, and teachers will offer tutoring and mentoring to students. The Discovery Center will serve as a regional hub for STEM activity and an important building block in the tourism ecosystem.

Q: Is the Discovery Center built yet?
The Discovery Center will open a “Preview” Center in July 2021. A small-scale (7,000-10,000 SF) fully operational center is planned for 2022. Our vision for the final Discovery Center is a free-standing 35,000-SF facility that serves over 100,000 visitors each year.

Q: Where will the Discovery Center be located?
The Discovery Center will be located at the Water’s Edge complex in Belcamp, MD, in a free-standing one-story building that fronts Route 40 Pulaski Highway.

Q: Why are we building a Discovery Center?
In 2011, Harford County lost its number one tourist attraction – the Army Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG). At its peak prior to 9/11, the center was attracting over 200,000 visitors per year and was a major economic driver for the region. When the Army moved the museum to Fort Lee, Virginia, Harford County lost a major asset and tourist attraction. In 2014, a group of community leaders came together to replace the museum, but quickly realized that the community would be better served by a Science Center that appealed to a broader family-oriented audience.

There are several reasons why a Science Center will serve the community of Harford County better than a museum. First, by providing Harford County’s students exposure to science and technology early on in their intellectual development, the Discovery Center serves a critical role in the learning ecosystem of the county. Studies show that informal science learning that complements curriculum presented in school settings demonstrably increases students’ participation AND performance in science subjects throughout their academic career. This is enormously important to Harford County’s economic competitiveness in attracting and retaining talented knowledge-based workers to support all industrial sectors in Harford County, not just the defense community.

Second, a major regional science center here in Harford County will draw tens of thousands of people from outside of Harford County, creating a “halo effect” that benefits all tourist attractions in our county.

Third, there is a scientific brain trust and concentration of resources already here that support the missions carried out by organizations at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The highly anticipated Discovery Center at Water’s Edge will leverage that brain trust to build a major regional science center for the benefit of the entire community, particularly our students who must be STEM literate to succeed in today’s marketplace.

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