Okmulgee Public School Project Flight Secures Aviation Education Grant
Twenty-eight organizations were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling over $296,697 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC). The record amount of funds will be used to expose more school-aged children in Oklahoma to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation. The funding was approved by the Commission at their most recent meeting.
The Commission approved an education grant for the Okmulgee Public School Project Flight which integrates all subject areas in grades 4-8 through an interdisciplinary approach to STEM concepts and career exploration in Aviation and Aerospace. Key features include a kick-off with a Teaching & Learning Academy for teachers, hobby kits for rockets, helicopters, airplanes, and drones, STEM learning activities and research projects, and culminating in an annual Career and Flight Fair. The program will reach an estimated 500 students. The requested amount was $10,750.00 and the Commission granted $7,500.00.
The program, which has been awarding aviation education grants for over 30 years, is part of the OAC mission to encourage and promote aviation throughout the state of Oklahoma. Director of Aeronautics Vic Bird said aerospace supports 240,000 jobs with an average salary of $73,300 annually. “Last year, after a two-year study, 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,” said Bird.
The nationally recognized program enjoys a positive reputation as one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies. OAC has provided nearly $1.9 million in education funding within the last 10 years alone.
“OAC is proud to assist Okmulgee Public School Project Flight as part of our aviation education grant program, and we look forward to seeing the progress they achieve with their students,” said Catherine Taber, aviation program manager and aviation education coordinator for the Commission.