The Commission approved an education contract for Metro Technology Center’s 2020 Aviation Career Exploration (ACE) Camp program. The goal of the ACE camp is to expose 7th and 8th grade students to careers available within the aerospace industry. Using a STEM curriculum, students will gain an understanding of the history of aviation and aerospace, learn how to identify the various parts of an airplane, and be provided an orientation flight to experience the principles of flight first-hand. Subject areas that will be addressed during the camp are aircraft ground operations, airport operations, traffic patterns, aviation careers, aviation history, intro to the FAA, flight training, intro to UAS, theory of flight, mid-air refueling operations. It was estimated that 50 students would participate. The requested amount was $21,825; staff recommendation was for $13,250.
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 206,000 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.
“OAC is proud to assist Metro Tech ACE Camp in their tenth consecutive year as part of our aviation education grant program, and we look forward to seeing the progress they achieve with their students,” said Adam Fox, aviation program manager and aviation education coordinator for the Commission.