Sooner Flight Academy Secures Aviation Education Funding

Sooner Flight Academy Secures Aviation Education Funding

The University of Oklahoma Extended Campus Sooner Flight Academy has received a $46,000 grant from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission to fund their 2020 Summer Camp Partial Scholarship and Intern programs.

Sooner Flight Academy received the largest single Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grant awarded this year.

“The importance of receiving this generous funding from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission cannot be overstated,” said Dawn Machalinski, Sooner Flight Academy program manager. “We are very honored by the financial endorsement of our program by this prestigious commission.”

The funding will provide partial scholarship opportunities for students in grades K-12 to attend summer camp and develop a love for aviation, setting the stage for lifelong contributions to Oklahoma aviation and other STEM career fields. The intern program provides campers 16 and older who have previously attended Sooner Flight Academy’s Eagle 1 summer camp the opportunity to work as staff and help younger campers to experience the fun and excitement of being at a live airport and around actual aircraft.

“The OAC grant enables more children and youth to take part in our summer camps,” Machalinski said, “which for more than 30 years have introduced campers to the physics of flight with hands-on fun—the impact of which sets many on a flight path to careers in aviation and the STEM fields.”

In all, 39 organizations received part of the record $299,235 in funding targeted at learning programs that have a direct application to aerospace and aviation in primary through post-secondary education. Sooner Flight Academy provides a key first step in this goal by offering year-round, hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities for children, families, teachers and students, including summer camps, field trips and school programs.

OAC’s Aerospace and Aviation Grant Program provides aviation education awards with the mission of fostering and encouraging students to consider aerospace or aviation as a career. Grants are for targeted learning programs like Sooner Flight Academy 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.

“Sooner Flight Academy has been a longtime partner with OAC through their program,” said Adam Fox, OAC aviation program manager and aviation education coordinator, “and we look forward to seeing the progress they achieve with their students this year.”

Visit the Sooner Flight Academy website to learn more about the aviation-related educational opportunities it offers. For more information about educational opportunities available for adults, visit the OU Extended Campus website.

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Myk Mahaffey

Michael Mahaffey holds degrees in journalism and psychology. He is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience writing for print and digital publications, including award-winning coverage of the rodeo industry. In his spare time, he writes fiction, in addition to tinkering with graphic design and photography.