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Air Force Association Central Oklahoma Gerrity Chapter’s Lands Aviation Education Grant for “CyberPatriot” Camp

Thursday, August 08, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY –  Thirty-nine organizations were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling over $299,235 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC). The record amount of funds will be used to bring more school-aged children in Oklahoma to STEM careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation.  The funding was approved by the Commission at their August meeting.

The Commission approved an education grant for the Air Force Association (AFA) Central Oklahoma Gerrity Chapter’s “CyberPatriot” program to be held in the summer of 2020. This national Air Force STEM initiative demonstrates the critical and elevated role that cybersecurity holds in the field of aerospace and defense and is designed to build necessary skills in science, technology, engineering and math and to ensure that students are aware that those skills can lead to high demand careers in the field of aviation.

AFA CyberCamps are designed for middle and high school students who are interested in cybersecurity. The camps will be for all types of students that are eager to learn more about cybersecurity. Cybersecurity plays an essential role in keeping our aviation transportation system safe and running smoothly.  This beginners/advanced approach to STEM will encourage young students to pursue careers that are critical to protecting our Nation's future. Many companies and installation across Oklahoma such as Tinker AFB rely heavily upon cyber security professional to keep our airspace safe.

It is estimated that 60 students will participate. The requested amount was $7,200 and the approved amount was $2,000.

Grants are for targeted learning programs that have a direct application to aerospace and aviation for primary through post-secondary education. The grant funds are part of the agency’s initiative to give more Oklahoma young people access to STEM careers in the aerospace and aviation industry.

The aerospace and aviation grant program, which has been awarding aviation education grants for over 30 years. Charged with the mission by state statute, the Commission fosters and encourages students to consider aerospace or aviation as a career. The Commission’s grant program has years of positive results. The initiative supports the Oklahoma Works project that aims to address the skills gap and connect students to programs that will help build the workforce of Oklahoma’s second largest industry.

Director of Aeronautics Victor Bird said aerospace supports 240,000 jobs with an average salary of $73,300 annually; “After a two-year study concluded in 2017, we learned that the Aviation and Aerospace sector in Oklahoma supports $43.7 billion in annual statewide economic activity. A competent workforce, which includes our desperate need for aerospace engineers, will be needed to sustain this industry”.

The nationally recognized program enjoys a positive reputation as one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies.  Since FY2001, it has awarded over $2.8M in aerospace and aviation education grants.

“The Air Force Association Central Oklahoma Gerrity Chapter is a first-time applicant to the Aeronautics Commission aerospace and aviation grant program, but they have already been doing the work in classrooms across the state. We anticipate this funding will assist them to further their reach and strengthen their unique STEM program,” said Adam Fox, Aviation Program Manager and Aviation Education Coordinator for the Commission.

Last Modified on Apr 13, 2023