Stafford Museum 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 $20,000 education grant for the Stafford Air & Space Museum “Stafford Flight Simulation Lab.” The commission initially funded the flight simulation lab in 2008 and the requested funds will allow for new computer units and a software update. The lab gives members of the public the ability to fly the simulator and is used as a training tool for student pilots working on their licenses through the Stafford Airport or at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.  

“For years, the Stafford Air and Space Museum has been a crown jewel in our state for educating the public about air and space exploration,” said Sen. Brent Howard, R-Altus. “I’m thrilled the museum will receive a $20,000 grant from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission to continue their mission to train student pilots working on their licenses and serve our area as a premier museum and tourist stop for citizens to learn more about aeronautics and aerospace.”

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.

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.

“Stafford Air and Space Museum is making a real difference in the lives of Oklahoma students.  We know that their programs 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.