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Duncan Public Schools gets funding to improve program

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 6:20 PM CDT
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DUNCAN, Okla. (KSWO) - The Duncan Public Schools district is working to expand their flight program.

The district was one of 50 schools around the state to receive funding from the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission.

365-thousand dollars was divided amongst the schools and Duncan Public Schools received four thousand of that.

They are wanting to use some of that funding to purchase some additional drones for their eighth grade flight and space class.

“We only have I think five drones currently, and whenever we have a class of 24 or more kids those drones are ran constantly, so they overheat quickly. So, there’s a lot of times where kids don’t get to test what they have been coding or what they needed to test to get the assignment done because we have to wait for the drone to cool down,” STEM Teacher Renea Lawler said.

DPS is also planning to purchase a curriculum for the drones and implement some courses for elementary students as early as this fall.

“We want to start with some of our gifted and talented students to start with. A flight and space course, and so we’re going to be able to do that for some of our third, fourth, and fifth-grade students,” STEM Coordinator Tammy Bennett said.

Lawler said she’s glad elementary students will have a chance to learn about flight and space, so they are more knowledgeable once they make it to her class.

“To begin with we learn about the history of flight. We learn about how flights began. We make miniature hot air balloons in tetrahedron heights. Then learn about aeronautical properties, and about parts of air crafts. My students do an online program where they are able to build blueprints for a glider, then we print out their individual blueprints, and they make their own glider out of wood then we test them outside,” Lawler said.

The list goes on with everything they learn during the course.

Although they are looking to get new drones and add curriculums, the goals don’t stop there.

“We’re hoping to, at one point in the near future, to be able to take this and bring it into the high school program to where they are able to teach flight to the kids there at the high school,” Bennett said.

Duncan Public Schools is also teaming up with the Haliburton Field- Duncan airport to create a camp for students to learn more about the aviation industry.

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