August 11, 2016
For Immediate Release
OKLAHOMA CITY – Three organizations were recently awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling nearly $42,000 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC). The funds will be used to expose more school-aged children in the Oklahoma to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation.
“I don’t think there is anything we do as a state aviation agency that is more important than aviation and aerospace education,” Director of Aeronautics Vic Bird said. “It is going to help us provide the workforce we need to keep growing the aerospace industry in Oklahoma, and it will help ensure that we have the safest aviation system in the world.”
Bird noted that aerospace is one of the state’s five industry ecosystems and is responsible for more than 120,000 direct jobs statewide. Aerospace products and services are also the state’s No. 1 export, he said.
STARBASE Oklahoma, a Tulsa based program received a contract for $30,000 that will be used to support their “Above the Earth” Program. STARBASE is a youth educational enrichment program originated by the National Guard Bureau in 1993 and is designed to expose at-risk youth in grades 5-8 to "hands-on, minds-on" STEM with a focus in aviation.
The Aeronautics Commission also awarded $10,000 to the Tulsa Air and Space Museum for their “Flight Simulator Training Lab” program. Museum officials said the funds will be used to provide basket burners for hot air simulators as well as monitors, switches, connectors, and computer software to teach aviation, physics and aerodynamics, and promote STEM careers.
In addition, the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust received $1,890 that they will use to provide transportation for the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust’s Educational Tour program at Tulsa International Airport.
Recognized nationally as having one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies, the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission has provided nearly $1.6 million in education funding within the last 10 years alone, including more than $235,000 this year.
In order for a program to be eligible for an education grant or contract, it must meet certain requirements. Most importantly, the program must demonstrate that its curriculum is geared toward aviation.
Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission
by Sandra Shelton, Director of Communications & Government Affairs
Phone: (405) 604-6900
110 N Robinson, Suite 200, Oklahoma City, OK 73102