Greater Grand Lake Area Aero Education Summit Held at Bluejacket Schools
The Greater Grand Lake Area is set to soar into aviation and aerospace programs as over 50 educators and economic development professionals attended an Aero Education Summit held this week at Bluejacket High School.
The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission’s Aerospace and Aviation Education Grant Program was highlighted by the program’s coordinator, Paula Kedy, M.A. Ed. Kedy provided an overview of the grant program and discussed ways that the funding can help schools offer aviation and aerospace programs that will contribute to the future workforce of the State’s second largest economic engine.
Kedy also previewed the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association’s (AOPA) new “You Can Fly” curriculum being introduced to schools around the country. Recognizing the need for a skilled workforce in the aerospace and aviation industry, the Aeronautics Commission is working to support Oklahoma high schools interested in offering the curriculum. The four-year, “You Can Fly” curriculum is offered free to schools who are committed to providing high-quality aviation STEM pathways for students.
In 2017, under the leadership of Kedy and District Superintendent Mike Anderson, Ada High School was the first in the state to offer the new curriculum, and since that time, 33 Oklahoma schools have launched aviation programs.
“A priority for the Aeronautics Commission is encouraging Oklahoma’s young people to pursue careers in the aviation and aerospace industry. This is mostly accomplished through the awarding of aerospace and aviation education grants and contracts to various programs and entities across the state,” said State Director of Aeronautics Grayson Ardies.
Since FY2001, OAC has provided $3.8M in education funding throughout the state. Just within the last 5 years, the Commission has awarded $1.4M in education grants and contracts to several programs dedicated to the wonders of flight and STEM education.
“I appreciated having educators and those involved in economic development in our area take the time to listen to presentations from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, Department of Commerce, Department of Career and Technology Education, the Air Force Association, and the ACES Program. It was important to have NEO President Kyle Stafford, Representatives Steve Bashore and, Rusty Cornwell join in. Most important to me was that by the end I heard from many in attendance that they thought the information was important, beneficial and that we can act upon for our citizens, for our students. Thank you to everyone who participated,” said Senator Micheal Bergstrom, Senate District 1.