Elmore City-Pernell Public Schools takes flight with education grants 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 an education grant in the amount of $8,300 for 500 students at Elmore City-Pernell Public Schools for the “ECP Taking Flight” aviation program designed for PreK-12th-grade students. This program teaches awareness activities at the elementary level along with STEAM experiments and activities for middle school. They will also teach the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Unmanned Aircraft 4-year program at the high school which allows graduates to be ready to enter the workforce with the Federal Aviation Administration Part 107 certification.

“The aerospace and aviation industry is the second largest in the state.  Sparking an interest in STEM, science, technology, engineering and math, can lead students into some of the best career opportunities out there, and help us continue to grow jobs and strengthen our economy,” said Sen. Greg McCortney, R-Ada.  “I’m so glad Elmore-City-Pernell Public Schools will be able to help our students take advantage of this exciting education program.”

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.

“I’m very pleased that Elmore City-Pernell students of all ages will soon have access to an aviation program to inspire careers in the aerospace and aviation industry,” said Rep. Cynthia Roe, R-Lindsay. “Additionally, the four-year program available to high school students will prepare students to find a top-quality job after graduation. I look forward to seeing how our students learn from this exciting experience.”

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.

“Elmore City-Pernell Public Schools has taken steps to make a difference in the lives of their students.  We know these educators are providing 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.