Category Archives: STEM

Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation, tech centers secure aviation education grants

The Oklahoma CareerTech Foundation and two technology centers were among 38 organizations that received Aerospace and Aviation Education Program grants or contracts totaling over $330,000 from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.

The record amount of funding will be used to encourage more of Oklahoma’s students to enter STEM careers, particularly those in aerospace and aviation.

The CareerTech Foundation’s Oklahoma Education and Industry Partnership program received an education grant, along with Mid-Del Technology Center and Metro Technology Centers.

OEIP is a professional development program for teachers designed by the Oklahoma Career Tech Foundation to connect educators to industry to create a better-educated, trained workforce. At each of four OEIP sites located in technology centers across the state, teachers will have the opportunity to take industry tours and learn from business and industry leaders. Approximately 300 teachers are expected to participate in the program. OEIP was approved for a $10,000 grant.

Mid-Del Tech was approved for a $4,000 grant for its aircraft structures and heavy maintenance course, which is designed to teach students the skills needed for the aerospace workforce. The program will provide students with the resources needed to acquire work-ready skills in electricity, sheet metal and composites. Thirty students are expected to participate.

Metro Tech received grants for two programs: a mobile STEM lab and the ACE Camp program it operates with FAA Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center.

The mobile STEM lab was approved for a $10,000 grant. It will provide students in the Oklahoma City metro area the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities that will introduce them to flight, space and 3D engineering. Approximately 1,000 students are expected to participate.

ACE Camp, a week-long summer camp, will expose students to STEM curriculum and will allow them to participate in hands-on activities that will introduce the history of aviation, aviation safety and airport operations. Fifty students are expected to participate in the camp, which was approved for a $13,250 grant.

Grants are awarded for targeted learning programs 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.

The aerospace and aviation grant program has been awarding aviation education grants for more than 30 years. Charged with the mission by state statute, the commission fosters and encourages students to consider aerospace or aviation as a career. The commission’s grant program has years of positive results. The initiative supports the Oklahoma Works project that aims to address the skills gap and to connect students to programs that will help build the workforce of Oklahoma’s second largest industry.

Director of Aeronautics Victor Bird said aerospace supports 240,000 jobs with an average salary of $73,300 annually.

“After a two-year study concluded in 2017, we learned that the aviation and aerospace sector in Oklahoma supports $43.7 billion in annual statewide economic activity. A competent workforce, which includes the critical need for aerospace engineers, will be needed to sustain this industry,” Bird said.

The nationally recognized program enjoys a positive reputation as one of the most robust aviation education programs among state aviation agencies. Since FY2001, it has awarded more than $2.8 million in aerospace and aviation education grants.

The 53rd Annual Oklahoma Summit

Oklahoma Summit - 53rd Logo

  • Registration is open.
  • Summit dates are Aug. 4-5.

The 53rd Annual Oklahoma Summit will be held virtually this year.

Online Registration

All participants are strongly advised to register in advance to provide a quicker, more efficient log-in experience. Beginning July 8, online registration requires you to fill out your personal information for the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education to enter into its new data storage system. After you complete your information for ODCTE, you will continue on to the OkACTE website to verify your personal information with OkACTE. From there, you will proceed with registration and membership options. The online registration/membership is located on a secured site. When registering, please be sure to print your paid receipt. This will help facilitate your log-in process.

Register Here for Oklahoma Summit 2020

For any questions or assistance with online Summit registration, please contact the OkACTE office at 405-525-8906 or

CareerTech Champions

Skyler Riggle – Gordon Cooper Technology Center

RiggleSmall town graduate has big plans for his future.

THEN: He came from a long line of veterans and dreamed of attending the U.S. Naval Academy. Asher High School sophomore Skyler Riggle enrolled in Gordon Cooper Technology Center’s pre-engineering academy, where he had the opportunity to explore and investigate engineering careers. As well as tackling hands-on college prep activities in mathematics and science, Skyler also

  • Competed with the school’s robotics team.
  • Was chosen as one of only 300 students in the country to receive the prestigious Gates Scholarship.
  • Received a conditional offer to the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School.
  • Received the valedictorian scholarship from the University of Oklahoma.

NOW: Once he’s been officially accepted to the USNA, Skyler will have to choose between OU and USNA Preparatory School, where he would complete a 10-month course to prepare for the Naval Academy.

Skyler’s principal and counselor Shawna Magby said Skyler was not your typical high school student.

“He’s very diligent, responsible and self-motivated,” she said.

Oklahoma CareerTech: Developing a World-Class Workforce

Oklahoma’s Career and Technology Education System is focused on developing a world-class workforce. This comprehensive system delivers educational experiences through 394 PK-12 school districts, 29 technology center districts, 16 Skills Centers sites and 32 adult basic education providers and to more than 6,900 businesses.

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Francis Tuttle Students Receive Lemelson-MIT Program InvenTeam Grant

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Francis Tuttle instructor Brad Sanders.

A team of Francis Tuttle Technology Center engineering, biosciences and medicine students is one of 14 InvenTeams nationwide to receive grants up to $10,000 from the Lemelson-MIT Program. The grants fund original inventions addressing local and worldwide problems.

Francis Tuttle’s InvenTeam of nine high school students led by instructors Brad Sanders and Jared Keester was awarded the $10,000 grant to fund its proposed invention that would disinfect airport bins of harmful bacteria and viruses.

“Our students applied incredible creativity and ingenuity throughout the application process,” said Sanders. “They identified a global threat to public health and proposed a clear and achievable way to solve it. We are honored to have been selected and are excited to get to work.”

Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams are teams of high school students, educators and mentors that receive grants of up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. The national InvenTeam initiative aims to inspire a new generation of inventors and encourage an inventive culture in schools and communities.

Preparing Oklahoma Students for the Workforce

When a CareerTech student brings an idea to life by prototyping it on a 3-D printer, or receives affordable, hands-on training that raises his or her earning potential by tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of months, these experiences are priming them with the skills and sense of purpose needed to work for the companies doing big things in Oklahoma. Employers are taking note, and in some cases even finding ways to support our efforts to prepare the next generation to join the workforce.

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Dr. Marcie Mack

One such company is Midship Pipeline, a project of Cheniere Energy, representing nearly a $1 billion investment in our state. Thanks to Midship’s recent generosity, STEM programs at six Oklahoma CareerTech Technology Centers, in addition to two universities, each received $20,000 donations that will improve the quality of STEM offerings. These funds will be used to buy advanced 3-D printers, create a mobile STEM library, and provide equipment and software upgrades to pre-engineering and aeronautical labs.

Our CareerTech system frequently partners with industries and companies to improve access to STEM education. In fiscal year 2018, CareerTech helped more than 6,900 Oklahoma businesses through our customized training programs and participation in the state’s bid assistance network.

Equally important, CareerTech STEM programs serve private-schooled students, home-schooled students and public school students from more than 390 school districts.

Our goal is to nurture creative students in grades six through 12 to be problem-solvers, innovators, logical thinkers, inventors and strong communicators who excel in science and mathematics.

CareerTech STEM programs play a critical role in expanding a talent pipeline of Oklahoma students who are ready to pursue viable careers in the state’s targeted industry sectors such as aerospace, energy, advanced manufacturing, health care and biotechnology.

A few examples of our STEM offerings are biomedical sciences, pre-engineering and computer science academy programs, which are taught in technology centers as well as high schools. These prepare students for professional health, engineering, computer and science degree programs with rigorous computer, math and science courses, including AP options for students.

More than 80 middle schools and junior highs benefit from our Gateway programs, which introduce students to STEM careers. Gateway courses combine Project Lead The Way math and science concepts with STEM projects to explore STEM fields and help with the transition to high school.

Last, our CareerTech programs provide a pathway for students to enter directly into a career and continue into post-secondary education. A national survey completed by Advance CTE shows that 91 percent of parents of students in CareerTech believe their child is getting a leg up on their career.

One of the greatest challenges facing Oklahoma and the nation is producing skilled workers who are trained on the latest STEM technologies and are ready for work. Without them, Oklahoma businesses cannot compete. CareerTech and our affordable STEM offerings are meeting this challenge.

Thanks again to Midship for recognizing the value of the CareerTech system and for its generous gift that will help prepare our students for a future in STEM-related fields.

Mack is director of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

Student Engineers Solving Real World Problems

October is national Manufacturing Month and Oklahoma CareerTech student engineers are solving real-world problems.

Students at Northeast Technology Center saw an everyday problem at Hopkins Manufacturing and developed a solution that saved money and created a safer workplace.

Oklahoma well-represented at National STEM Summit

2017STEMsummit

From left, Ken Parker, chief executive officer at NextThought; Becki Foster, Oklahoma CareerTech chief of staff; and Nathaniel Harding, chairman of the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development.

Oklahoma CareerTech Chief of Staff Becki Foster attended the Federal Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education Summit hosted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C.

“Representing Oklahoma on a national level is an amazing opportunity and honor,” Foster said. “High-quality STEM education is critical on a national and local level, and Oklahoma looks forward to advancing STEM education and learning experiences for students.”

Also attending from Oklahoma were Nathaniel Harding, chairman of the Governor’s Council on Workforce and Economic Development, and Ken Parker, chief executive officer of NextThought.

The summit convened a diverse group of state STEM leaders, including officials from governors’ offices; elementary, secondary and college and university educators; workforce and industry representatives; state policy experts; and nongovernmental organization executives. They participated in the development of a new federal five-Year STEM education strategic plan in compliance with America Competes Act of 2010.

CAREERTECH CHAMPIONS

Each year, thousands of Oklahomans reap the benefits provided by Career and Technology Education. CareerTech Champions tell the story of how individuals apply learning to become successful employees, entrepreneurs and leaders in business organizations.

Adam Lettkeman – Meridian Technology Center

From homeschool to higher ed, pre-engineering grad is building a future for himself.

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Adam Lettkeman – Meridian Technology Center

THEN: A boy who loved creating crazy buildings and dragons and spaceships from a pile of Legos. Adam Lettkeman grew up with 10 brothers and sisters. His parents homeschooled him until he was old enough to find a formal outlet for his love of building things, along with his passion for graphic design. He enrolled in Meridian Technology Center’s pre-engineering academy and Project Lead The Way in hopes of channeling his interests into a career path.

Adam was a year younger than his classmates when he started the program, but he quickly became very active, competing in robotics competitions, building model airplanes and more. Adam said the engineering program and the instructors at Meridian Tech

  • Helped him choose architecture as his career path.
  • Fueled his love for creating things, from circuit boards to buildings.
  • Helped him adjust to a classroom setting for the first time and prepared him for college classwork.
  • Offered advance math and science classes that he said were more rigorous than some of his college courses.
  • Introduced him to 3D modeling software programs, which are a huge part of his architecture design studios in college.

“My instructor, Debbie Short, helped me not only in the classroom but also in my personal growth,” he said. “I will always remember how much joy she brought to the program and how much she helped me along the way.”

NOW: Adam has completed his first three years of a five-year architecture program at Oklahoma State University. He is interning at Guernsey, an Oklahoma City architecture firm, and will take time out from his internship to study in Europe with the OSU College of Architecture. His goal is to work in New York City next summer, accumulating additional internship hours that will apply to his architecture licensure requirements.

“PLTW really kick-started me into believing that my dreams could be accomplished if I set my mind to it.”

Adam Lettkeman

CTE New Teacher Academies

New teacher academy

New Teacher Academies will take place at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education during the month of July. These educational opportunities are designed to help new teachers navigate the CareerTech system. Participants will gain new resources, learn appropriate procedures, engage in activities and network with teachers from across the state.

For additional information, please contact your division listed below and welcome to CareerTech!

Division Contacts for Enrollment

New Agricultural Education Teachers (July 9-10)

Rose Bonjour, phone: 405.743.5487, email: rose.bonjour@careertech.ok.gov

Guy Shoulders, phone: 405.743.5488, email: guy.shouders@careertech.ok.gov

New Business, Marketing and Information Technology Education Teachers (July 24-26)

Tonja Norwood, phone: 405.743.5426, email: tonja.norwood@careertech.ok.gov

New Family and Consumer Sciences Education Teachers (July 16-19)

Mary Jane Grayson, phone: 405.743.5469, email: maryjane.grayson@careertech.ok.gov

New Health Careers Education Teachers (July 9-11)

Lara Morris, phone: 405.743.5106, email: lara.skaggs@careertech.ok.gov

New Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Teachers

Dawn Frank, phone: 405.743.5438, email: dawn.frank@careertech.ok.gov

New Trade and Industrial Education Teachers (July 17-19)

John Day, phone: 405.743.5146, email: john.day@careertech.ok.gov

H.L. Baird, phone: 405.743.5517, email: h.l.baird@careertech.ok.gov

 

 

 

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