Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission
Media Contact: Sandra Shelton, Communications and Government Affairs Liaison
PO Box 53305, Oklahoma City OK 73152
Web address: oac.ok.gov
Oilton Public Schools Secures Aviation Education Grant
OKLAHOMA CITY – Thirty-eight organizations were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling over $330,000 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC). The record amount of funding will be used to encourage more of Oklahoma’s students to enter STEM careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation. The funding was approved by the Commission at its most recent meeting.
The Commission approved an education grant for Oilton Public Schools’ “OHS Drone Adventures” program. The program is an aerospace education program designed by Oilton public Schools to expose students to the many career opportunities available in aerospace and aviation.
The high school drone program is an elective course for juniors and seniors that will take students from learning to fly drones to preparing them for the FAA Part 107 Drone Certification Examination. It is estimated that 20 students will participate. The requested grant amount was $3,000.00, and the approved amount was $3,000.00.
Grants are awarded 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 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 to connect students to programs that will help build the workforce of Oklahoma’s second largest industry.
Director of Aeronautics Victor Bird said aerospace supports 240,000 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 the critical 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.
“The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission is proud to assist Oilton Public Schools as a recipient of our aviation education grant program. The work being implemented by the school district is extremely important to OAC’s goal of increasing aviation STEM education in Oklahoma,” said Paula Kedy, Aerospace and Aviation Education Coordinator for the Commission.
The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission's mission is to promote aviation, which includes ensuring that the needs of commerce and communities across Oklahoma are met by the state's 108 public airports that comprise the state system, and ensuring the viability of the state’s aerospace industry.