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Sand Springs aviation class earns $2,000 grant

Posted at 9:29 PM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 23:25:16-04

SAND SPRINGS, OK (KJRH) — Aviation is becoming one of Oklahoma's biggest industries, and it's still growing rapidly. Sand Springs is helping students earn their wings from the moment they get to ninth grade.

Sand Springs Central Ninth Grade Center has one of the only high school aviation programs in the state certified by Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association. Sherri McKibbin brought the course to the school last year, teaching students about all the potential jobs in aerospace and aviation.

"This way they have a good start to life, and they're excited about it," McKibbin said. "They want to do it, and they're not going to have any problem with building a career early in life."

This year, the program was awarded a $2,000 grant to purchase drones, to open a whole new avenue of learning and opportunity.

"The drone industry - unmanned systems - is a rapidly expanding opportunity," said Matthew Hawkins, a private pilot instructor at Tulsa Tech. "I feel like there's no better time to be getting involved in aviation. I feel like these students have so much potential in their careers."

With such a growing industry, it's no longer the students only interested in engineering who can find a passion. That's why McKibbin and Hawkins say it's important students learn the technology of today - so they can help develop the technology of tomorrow.

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