RCSE was fortunate enough to have a speaker drive down from Charleston to talk to club this past Friday.  Mac Burdette presented information about Patriot's Point, a Naval and Maritime Museum that has three ships over 75 years old, many interactive features, and land that spans 400 acres. 
 
The largest ship at Patriot's Point is the USS Yorktown.  An issue that always has to be addressed it how to keep these old ships in shape for visitors.  They need to spend over $50 million over the next 5 years to restore the USS Yorktown.  Patriot's Point is lucky that they have ownership of 400 acres which they lease out to hotels, golf course, and a new development that is in the works.  They are expecting to generate $5 million per year in revenue from the lease of the lands once all development is complete.  
 
Through research, they have realized that kids prefer interactive experiences and therefore, they have been working hard to improve technology throughout the museum.  A few ways they are using technology is at the 50th Anniversary of Vietnam Exhibit (sound effects to enhance experience), the USS Laffey, and the Apollo 8 experience (the #1 attraction at Patriot's Point).  The USS Laffey was a destroyer and saw it's first action off the course of Normandy on June 6, 1944.  It came to be known as "the boat that will not die" after it was attacked for 80 minutes off the coast of Okinawa.  Mel Gibson is producing a movie about this boat.  
 
Patriot's Point goal is to educate, inspire and entertain.  Education is a cornerstone and over 20,000 students visit Patriot's Point each year.  Students are also allowed to spend the night on the USS Yorktown and they also have a flight academy experience for students as well.  There will be a special celebration on June 6th for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and every year July 4th is a big celebration.   
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