Choose Aerospace was on of 56 recipients across Oklahoma to receive funding from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC), intended to help guide young minds toward aerospace and aviation careers. The funding will cover licensing fees for select Oklahoma schools adopting the Choose Aerospace curriculum.
The OAC has become a driving force behind the state’s investment in aerospace educational programs, vectoring students toward becoming aviators, engineers, mechanics, astronauts, and scientists. Fifty-six organizations were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants totaling $451,157. 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 agency’s Aerospace and Aviation Education Grant Program has been awarding aerospace and aviation education grants for over 30 years. Programs that are supported range from a dedicated 4-year high school curriculum such as the AOPA “You Can Fly” effort, to week-long summer camps offered by our major Universities, a build and fly drone racing competition, Tinker AFB Air and Space Show, a 2-year high school curriculum dedicated to teaching aircraft mechanics, activities and tours at various airports across the system, engineering fairs and many others. These programs along with Commission staff will help foster students’ interest in the industry and encourages them to consider aerospace or aviation as a career.
Based on projections, the programs that have been awarded funding will reach nearly 50,000 students across the state. 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.