The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) recently announced that it had awarded $300,000 in grants statewide for aerospace education.
Southeastern Oklahoma State University was among the recipients, receiving an award of $6,500 for its Take Flight Aviation Academy in 2020.
“We are very appreciative of this grant,’’ said Lloyd Sauls, director of the Southeastern Aviation Sciences Institute. “It has a direct impact on young people in helping fund a program that offers students a tremendous opportunity to learn
more about aviation.’’
The Southeastern Take Flight Aviation Academy is an all-inclusive, 5-day, 5-night summer camp adventure for teenagers and features imagination-provoking, career inspiring, hands-on exposure to aviation and aerospace offered at the Aviation Sciences Institute. This summer’s academy was the fifth year that the program has been offered and attracted 19 students. It was also partially funded by a grant from the OAC.
The “Take Flight” program objectives are as follows:
• Community Outreach
• Engaging Bryan County youth ages 12-17 to stimulate interest in aviation careers
• Provide opportunity for youth to experience the joys of flight
• Expand upon the overall knowledge of aviation
Southeastern’s program is unique in that fact that it is designed to be an all-inclusive academy and not a day camp. The participants actually stay, live, and eat on the University campus. Southeastern staff stay with the attendees in the residence halls and supervise all activities.
Thirty-nine different entities were awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants totaling more than $299,235 from the OAC. The record amount of funds will be used to bring more school-aged children in Oklahoma to STEM careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation.
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.