OKLAHOMA CITY – Twenty-five organizations were recently awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling over $270,000 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 VIII program held June 2017 – April 2018 (Competition April 27-29 2018). Speedfest, now in its 8th year, hosts an exciting, high-speed aircraft design / build / fly competition 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 would reach an estimated 250 participants. The requested amount was $15,000 and the agency staff recommendation was $12,500.
“OAC is entering into its second year as a community partner with the Oklahoma State University’s Speedfest competition through the 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.