The University of Oklahoma’s Sooner Flight Academy Education Programs received the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission’s largest education Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grant. The grant will help fund the Aviation Science in the Classroom Program throughout the 2014-2015 school year as well as next summer’s Flight Camp scholarships and intern program.
Sooner Flight Academy was one of nine programs in the Oklahoma City metro awarded Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling nearly $120,000 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission. The funds are to be used to expose more school-aged children in the Oklahoma City area to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, in particular those in aerospace and aviation.
“Each summer, the funding provided to the OU Sooner Flight Academy by the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission allows directly more than a hundred underprivileged children and directly more than 300 children in total, to attend what the University Aviation Association has described as one of the premier Aviation STEM Flight Camps in the nation,” said Matt Esker, director of the flight academy.
“The Sooner Flight Academy will be embarking on its 27th consecutive year of delivering the spark of creativity, imagination and STEM learning to its campers,” Esker said. “We are very excited to continue our efforts building our Aviation Science in the Classroom curriculum which will be available free for teachers to download and enrich their classrooms. The grant allows us to develop, test, and provide professional development for this curriculum.”
The grant also allows teenage campers to gain some real-world job training and experience with the Camp Intern program, he said. Through such programs, children are given the opportunity to explore the airport environment, get up-close-and-personal with OU’s fleet of training aircraft and work with professionals from OU Aviation, OU Engineering, the National Weather Center and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
For more information about Sooner Flight Academy, visit flightcamp.ou.edu.