OKLAHOMA CITY – Twenty-five organizations were recently awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling over $270,000 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC). The record amount of funds will be used to expose more school-aged children in Oklahoma to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation. The funding was approved by the Commission at their most recent meeting.
The Commission approved an education contract for their Oklahoma Education and Industry Partnership (OEIP) Day program held in July of 2018. OEIP is a partnership among educators, counselors, administrators, industry leaders, government policy makers and members of the economic development community focused on providing relevance and rigor to STEM education/training and workforce development while exposing STEM educators to high value careers in Oklahoma, thereby motivating students to develop and maintain a career pathway, providing professional development for Oklahoma STEM educators. Three hundred Oklahoma 5th through 12th grade STEM teachers, counselors and administrators would be exposed to three of the five wealth-producing industrial sectors in Oklahoma including aerospace and defense. The aerospace and defense day would include tours of regional aerospace companies and related workshops in the afternoon. Teachers would be empowered to link STEM and aerospace together in the classroom for their students. Emphasis would also be placed on aerospace careers. Teachers would tour Tinker Air Force Base and the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center. The requested amount was $10,000 and the agency staff recommendation was $7,500.
“OAC is a proud community partner with OEIP through the aviation education grant program, and we look forward to seeing the progress they achieve with their participants,” said Catherine Taber, aviation program manager and aviation education coordinator for the Commission.