Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma Lands Aviation Education Contract from the Aeronautics Commission
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 most recent meeting.
The Commission approved an education contract for “Three Aeronautics Initiatives” for Oklahoma Girl Scouts. The programs will be held December/January 2020, July 27-31, 2020 and October 2019 – September 2020. The goal of their program increases knowledge about the aerospace and aviation industry and nurtures interest in aerospace and aviation careers among a diverse population of Oklahoma Girl Scouts.
The main goal of this program is to increase knowledge about the aerospace and aviation industries and the science that makes flight possible, as well as to nurture an interest in aerospace and aviation careers among a diverse population of Oklahoma Girl Scouts. This program will take place in three different ways; a 6-week program targeting at-risk population of 300 girls, a special Day Camp opportunity for girls with a high interest in aviation and aerospace careers, and a large-scale effort to support adult volunteers statewide in facilitating aviation and aerospace programming for members of their troops. Troops will be introduced to professional women working or who have worked in the aviation industry for mentorship sessions and speaking engagements. Troops will be working to obtain their aviation engineering badges.
It was estimated that the programs would reach approximately 950 girls. The requested amount was $30,008 and the granted amount was $15,000.
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 Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma are first-time applicants and our agency has worked closely with them to ensure their success. We look forward to the development of their aviation merit badges for their members and watching their program grow,” said Adam Fox, Aviation Program Manager and Aviation Education Coordinator for the Commission.