Mustang High School’s robotics program took part in the “AERO Oklahoma,” Aviation & Aerospace Day 2018 at the State Capitol on April 24. As representatives of FIRST Robotics in Oklahoma, the group showed off robots from all levels of the program offered at Mustang Schools.
Mustang’s robotics program has multiple ties to the aviation industry. Boeing sponsors the program with a grant of approximately $4,000. As a direct result of their partnership with Tinker, MHS Robotics received a DoDSTEM grant for $3050 and a National Defense Education Program grant for $2000. Loren Lutz, a 1983 graduate of Mustang High School and the propulsion chief engineer at Tinker, is working directly with the students. Leidos, a government contractor that works with the Federal Aviation Administration, provided a grant of $2,500.
Matt Moore, FIRST Robotics coach, said
the program inspires students.
“These programs motivate students to prepare themselves academically for careers in aerospace industries,” he said. “Aviation is the second largest economic engine in Oklahoma. Preparing students for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers will keep them in Oklahoma as industries like aviation continue to grow.”
Moore said while the students were at
the Capitol they were ambassadors for STEM and education in general.
“The students were the advocates of the program,” Moore said. “They spoke with legislators and representatives from aviation and told them about their experiences in FIRST Robotics and why those experiences are so valuable.”
Mustang’s robotics program started as a club in 2000, with five students working out of their parents’ garages. Their first year to participate in FIRST was in 2011 with one FIRST Robotics Competition team and 12 students. The program at MHS has grown to three FTC teams and one FIRST Robotics Competition team and 40 students.
The purpose of “AERO Oklahoma” Aviation & Aerospace Day is to recognize Oklahoma’s aviation and aerospace industry. It provides an opportunity for all levels of the industry from private pilots to aerospace companies to meet one-on-one with legislators.