Twenty-eight organizations were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling over $296,697 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. 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 its most recent meeting.
The Commission approved an education grant for Ada City Schools for the program held Aug. 10, 2018 – June 30, 2019. “The Sky is Not the Limit” is an aerospace education program designed by Ada City Schools to build necessary skills in science, technology, engineering and math and to ensure that students are aware that those skills can lead to high demand careers in the field of aviation. It is estimated that 2,614 students will participate. The requested amount was $25,902.73, and the approved amount was $20,000.
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,” Bird said.
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 Ada City Schools in their second year 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.