Aerospace Grant to Facilitate Drone Use in CV Tech Programs

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CV Tech Pre-Engineering students Muhammad Nayaka (left), of Mustang, and Travis Lloyd, of Piedmont, inspect new drones provided by a recent grant. Students will learn how to fly the drones as part of new program curriculum designed to introduce them to careers tied to the state’s aerospace industry.

A $7,500 Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grant for drone purchases has been awarded to Canadian Valley Technology Center.

Students enrolled in Pre-Engineering at the El Reno Campus will benefit immediately with new curriculum, which includes instructions for flying small indoor drones recently purchased with the grant funds. Drone education is intended to introduce students to potential careers in the aerospace industry.

A first-person view drone will also be purchased, providing students with the feel of being inside a drone’s cockpit.

Additionally, funds will help launch an aerial drone program in which teams of students from various programs will learn to build and fly drones in preparation for local and possibly national competitions.

Fifty organizations statewide received grants totaling over $365,000 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.

“We are so thankful to the Aeronautics Commission for re-investing into aerospace education,” said CV Tech Superintendent Dr. Gayla Lutts. “This grant initiative aims to equip students with the knowledge and education required for them to succeed in aerospace careers.”

Lutts points to Canadian Valley’s 51-year history of providing aerospace technicians to area companies through its Aviation Maintenance program. She said the grant funding enables expansion of aerospace education to a program rooted in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (or STEM) in which many students could potentially choose to specialize in the aerospace industry.

A drone component was added to CV Tech’s Digital Media program last year in El Reno to prepare students for using them in aerial photography and movie making.

The state’s aerospace industry produces nearly $44 billion in annual economic activity, according to a recent report issued by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Aerospace trails only the energy industry in terms of statewide economic impact.


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