STARBASE Oklahoma Inc. Secures Aviation Education Funding from Aeronautics Commission
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 contract for STARBASE Oklahoma Inc.'s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) STEM for the Stars program. The program will provide hands-on, inquiry-based aerospace STEM educational enrichment programs to 5,000 Oklahoma 5th graders through traditional STARBASE curriculum provided on day a week for six consecutive weeks, as well as to 6th-8th grad students via STARBASE 2.0, and after school STEM mentoring program. The requested amount was $30,000.00 and the Commission granted $27,500.00.
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 pleased to assist STARBASE Oklahoma Inc. as a grant recipient 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.