Paoli 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 $10,000 education grant for Paoli Public Schools for the Pugs S.O.A.R. and Lil’ Pugs P.I.L.O.T.S. program. The programs implement the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association curriculum for upper grades and Civil Air Patrol STEM kits for younger students. PreK-12th-graders will learn aviation and engineering practices.

“Showing students how cool and fun science, technology, engineering and math can be is a win-win for them and our entire state,” said Sen. Greg McCortney, R-Ada.  “The aerospace and aviation industry is the second largest in Oklahoma and offers some of the best-paying jobs out there.  This is a great educational opportunity for students in Paoli Public Schools, and I appreciate Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission for this 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 want to thank the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission for their support of STEM education for our Paoli students and students across the state,” said Rep. Cynthia Roe, R-Lindsay.

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.

“Paoli Public Schools is making 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.