Duncan Public Schools takes flight with education grant from the Aeronautics Commission

OKLAHOMA CITY – Fifty organizations were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants totaling over $365,000 at the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission’s (OAC) August meeting. Grants are for targeted learning programs that have a direct application to aerospace and aviation for primary through post-secondary education. The grant funds are part of the agency’s initiative to give more Oklahoma young people access to STEM careers in the aerospace and aviation industry.

The commission approved a $4,000 education grant for Duncan Public Schools for their “Take Flight” program. This program exposes 3rd – 5th-graders and 8th-graders to hands-on activities with UAS with an eventual goal to expand aviation to lower grades and the high school.

“Duncan’s ‘Take Flight’ program is so innovative and provides a unique learning opportunity for our students. I’m so happy that they received this grant to help more students learn about drones and this great industry,” said Sen. Jessica Garvin, R-Duncan. “Aviation and aerospace is becoming a leading industry in our state and programs like these are helping open students’ minds to incredible career possibilities.”

The Aerospace and Aviation Education Grant Program has been awarding aviation education grants for over 30 years. Charged with the mission by state statute, the Commission fosters and encourages students to consider aerospace or aviation as a career. The Commission’s grant program has years of positive results. The initiative supports the Oklahoma Works project that aims to address the skills gap and connect students to programs that will help build the workforce of Oklahoma’s second-largest industry.

“This is exciting news for the students and educators at Duncan Public Schools,” said Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan. “Aerospace and aviation are among the top growing career fields in the state, and giving students this opportunity broadens their career possibilities when they graduate high school. It’s a great win for these young people and a benefit to our state.”

The OAC’s nationally recognized program enjoys a positive reputation as one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies. For the 2021-22 school year, Oklahoma will rank #3 in the country in the number of schools teaching the AOPA curriculum. Since FY2001, the Commission has awarded $4.15 million in aerospace and aviation education grants.

“With this program, Duncan Public Schools has taken steps to make a real difference in the lives of their students.  We know that these educators are providing students with valuable insight into the potential for a future aviation and aerospace career, and we wish them great success with their program,” said Paula Kedy, MA. Ed., Aerospace and Aviation Education Coordinator for the Commission.

Watch the full meeting at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfvqUmcWmrY&t=15s.