Southeastern's Take Flight Program Secures Aviation Education Grant

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 Southeastern's Take Flight!  Aviation Science Camp Program. The camp will serve 24 students in grades 7-11 during June 2019 in Durant, OK. Campers’ focus will be on various topics within the broad fields of both aeronautics and aviation.  The camper will learn about career paths in Aeronautics, dealing with the details of manned flight and/or aircraft design.  With aviation, the camper will be able to grasp what it means to be a pilot, navigator and/or airport operator. Students will cover aerodynamics, aircraft design/performance, flight and navigation and weather during the week-long camp. The requested amount was $10,900 and the Commission granted $6,000.

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,” 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 Southeastern's Take Flight 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.