OSU Speedfest VIX Secures Aviation Education Grant from OAC

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 Oklahoma State University Speedfest VIX program held June 2018 – April 2019 (Competition April 27-29 2019). Speedfest now in its 9th year, is an exciting, high-speed aircraft design / build / fly competition which is intended to foster enthusiasm for aviation and STEM in general. There are two flight competition classes. Alpha Class is the advanced class which is for collegiate-level teams. India Class is the Invitational class which consists of high school teams, and teams of K-12 teachers formed from across the state of Oklahoma. The program will reach an estimated 250 participants. The requested amount was $15,000.00 and the Commission granted $12,500.00.

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 OSU Speedfest VIX 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.