Atoka Elementary School takes flight with education grant from the Aeronautics Commission
OKLAHOMA CITY – Fifty organizations were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants totaling over $365,000 at the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission’s (OAC) August meeting. 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 commission approved an education grant for Atoka Elementary School for “Atoka Takes Flight Part 3.” The program takes PreK through 5th-grade students to various aviation and aerospace careers, vocabulary, principles, and concepts of flight through age-appropriate, hands-on experiences. It was estimated that 450 students would participate and the commission granted the school $2,082.
The Aerospace and Aviation Education Grant Program 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.
“Given how fast the aerospace and aviation industry is growing in our state, it’s important that our students learn as much about it as possible, including all of the different career opportunities available to them,” said Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant. “These grants are helping expand students’ minds and their futures. This is an incredible funding program, and I’m so glad that Atoka Elementary will benefit from it.”
The OAC’s nationally recognized program enjoys a positive reputation as one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies. For the 2021-22 school year, Oklahoma will rank #3 in the country in the number of schools teaching the AOPA curriculum. Since FY2001, the Commission has awarded $4.15 million in aerospace and aviation education grants.
“Atoka Elementary School is a third-time applicant and is making a real difference in the lives of its students. We know that these educators are providing students with valuable insight into the potential for a future aviation and aerospace career, and we wish them great success with their program,” said Paula Kedy, MA. Ed., Aerospace and Aviation Education Coordinator for the Commission.
Watch the full meeting at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfvqUmcWmrY&t=15s.