The Commission approved an education grant for the Elk City Middle School program to be held in the 2019-2020 school year. The funds will allow them to explore the fundamentals of flight through hands-on activities and is designed to build necessary skills in science, technology, engineering and math and to ensure that students are aware that those skills can lead to high demand careers in the field of aviation.
Elk City Middle School teachers are working to expose children to the aviation/aerospace fields. The Flight and Space program includes the learning of fundamental flight principles and the piloting of drones. This program also alerts children to all of the possible careers in the aviation industry and require each student to study one more in-depth for presentation purposes. Elk City is looking to enrich their two current classes – technology education and project lead the way. Each class currently teaches a unit over the engineering design method, principles of aerodynamics and has students build hot air balloons and gliders.
It is estimated that 200 students will participate. The requested amount was $6,000 and the approved amount was $4,900.
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 aerospace and aviation grant program, which 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.
Director of Aeronautics Victor Bird said aerospace supports 240,000 jobs with an average salary of $73,300 annually; “After a two-year study concluded in 2017, 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”.
The nationally recognized program enjoys a positive reputation as one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies. Since FY2001, it has awarded over $2.8M in aerospace and aviation education grants.
“Elk City Middle School is a first-time applicant and has the potential to really make a difference in the lives of their students. The exploration of the aviation and aerospace industry may spark them to choose a career in these fields. We wish them great success and look forward to assisting them in their program,” said Adam Fox, Aviation Program Manager and Aviation Education Coordinator for the Commission.