Sooner Flight Academy takes flight with an 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 $45,000 education grant for OU Sooner Flight Academy. Sooner Flight Academy provides on hands-on learning opportunities in aviation, aerospace, and STEM for K-12 via navigator and intern facilitation of activities, demos, and experiments as well as small group projects that incorporate central themes of aviation and STEM. The University of Oklahoma Sooner Flight Academy (SFA) provides opportunities for learners of all ages to develop a love for aviation, to learn about the science and math of flight through hand-on experiences, and to set the stage for life-long contributions to Oklahoma aviation and other STEM career fields.  

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.

“Aerospace and aviation is the second largest industry in our state and offers some of the best-paying jobs out there. Sparking an interest in science, technology, engineering and math helps provide the well-educated workforce needed to support aviation in Oklahoma, helping attract even more jobs to our state,” said Sen. Rob Standridge, R-Norman. “I want to thank the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission and the Sooner Flight Academy for helping open up a future filled with opportunities for young Oklahomans.”

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.

“Sooner Flight Academy continues to make a difference in the lives of Oklahoma students.  We know that the program provides students valuable insight into the potential for a future aviation and aerospace career, and we wish them continued 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.