OAC Awards RRTC and DPS Grant for STEM Programs

Written by  //  October 12, 2016  //  News  //  No comments

Pictured: Red River Technology Center Pre-Engineering Academy Instructor Theresa Ensley and Red River Technology Center Superintendent Dennis Loafman. (Photo provided by The Duncan Banner)


By: Charlene Belew – The Duncan Banner

Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC) awarded both Duncan Public Schools and Red River Technology Center grants or contracts totaling $7,500 during their regularly scheduled meeting Thursday to help bring more students into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs.

According to OAC, the money was awarded to the both DPS and RRTC through grants or contracts to help attract Oklahoma’s younger students to STEM programs careers, though in this case the focuses lies with aerospace and aviation.

Duncan High School received an amount of $928 to go toward its current DHS STEM program. According to OAC, this money will “serve 40 students directly and 160 students indirectly” by educating students on the state’s aerospace industry and teaching about the “Bernoulli Effect.”

In RRTC’s case, OAC approved a contract for $6,500 which will give 30 students a chance to “learn about the governance of space” through Project Lead the Way in Aerospace, OAC reports. The students will also take time and “consider applications of aerospace concepts and engineering.”

“I don’t think there is anything we do as a state aviation agency that is more important than aviation and aerospace education,” Director of Aeronautics Vic Bird said. “It is going to help us provide the workforce we need to keep growing the aerospace industry in Oklahoma, and it will help ensure that we have the safest aviation system in the world.”

According to Bird, Oklahoma’s aerospace industry is in the top five for the state, supplies over 120,000 jobs to residents and its products and services are the number one export for Oklahoma.

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