Greatest Stories Never Told Secures Aviation Education Contract

OKLAHOMA CITY –  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 the Fly with Banning program which will run from September 1, 2018 through September 30, 2018.  The Fly with Banning program focuses on James Herman Banning, the first African American to earn a U.S. Dept. of Commerce pilot's license and fly coast-to-coast from California to New York. The program offers a comprehensive technique including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic activities that will engage children and adults in the historically significant and modern relevancy of STEM today. Approximately 15,000 students and adults will be served. The requested amount was $15,000.00 and the granted amount was $7,000.00.

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 Greatest Stories Never Told for a second consecutive 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.