Proceeds from Flight Night 2015 to Power Learning Opportunities

Funds from Flight Night 2015 gala to power transformative STEM learning opportunities in year ahead for 70,000 Oklahoma students

Flight Night, the local nonprofit gala focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, has presented $501,000 in event proceeds to its 2015 beneficiaries, Fab Lab Tulsa and the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance.

Educational programs supported by these funds are projected to reach some 70,000 students in northeastern Oklahoma with inspirational and potentially life-changing STEM education content.

"We are committed to a bold and sustained vision of helping Oklahoma students achieve their dreams," Bailey J. Siegfried, who co-chairs Flight Night with three of his siblings, Terrell, Meredith and Hastings, said. "Today’s check presentation makes it possible for every student we reach to dream, to create, and to attain the confidence to pursue a STEM career."

FOR EDUCATORS: SCHOLARSHIPS, GRANTS AND ‘STEM INNOVATOR’ AWARDS

New in 2016, a portion of Flight Night funds are earmarked for professional development scholarships and ‘Science of Flight’ as well as other STEM-based classroom grants for Oklahoma teachers. Also, in recognition of the key role of administration and educators in encouraging students to pursue STEM studies, ‘STEM Innovator’ cash awards will be awarded for outstanding leadership and excellence in STEM at the administrator, high-school, middle-school, and elementary-school levels.

ONGOING SUPPORT OF UNIQUE MOBILE FAB LAB

Other diverse, ongoing STEM education initiatives Flight Night supports include additional equipment for and ongoing operation of a unique mobile ‘fab lab,’ which hit the road at the start of the 2015 school year, featuring multiple experiential learning labs, digital fabrication tools, such as 3D printers, laser cutters and a three-axis mill. The unit moves from school to school in a custom-built, high-tech trailer, with no cost to students or schools.

EXPANSION OF ONE-OF-A-KIND QUADCOPTER CHALLENGE

Likewise, Flight Night 2015 proceeds will finance expansion of Oklahoma’s only quadcopter challenge, with this year’s effort set to involve more students and educators in a competition that rewards student-built flying machines for performance in maneuverability, speed and retrieval courses.

CONTINUED STEM EXPLORATORIUM & ACCESS PROGRAMS

Flight Night proceeds also make possible a hands-on "STEM Exploratorium" led by STEM experts from around the region to help kids see the connection between mastering the STEM sciences and future career success; and roughly 20 "STEM Access" events for grades K-12, focusing on creative thinking, problem-solving and awareness of STEM careers.

Presenting sponsors for the 2015 fundraising gala were NORDAM, Charles & Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and H.A. & Mary K. Chapman Charitable Trust. Other sponsors included ONEOK, D&L Oil Tools, ONE Gas, Chickasaw Nation, Muscogee Creek Nation and George Kaiser Family Foundation, among many others.

The Flight Night 2016 gala is set for Thurs., Sept. 15 at Jones Riverside Airport in Tulsa. For event information, visit tulsaflightnight.org, facebook.com/tulsaflightnight, or follow the nonprofit on Twitter at @flightnightUSA.

ABOUT FLIGHT NIGHT

The Tulsa Flight Night event is operated by Tulsa Charity Fight Night, Inc. a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation supporting STEM education programs and projects that inspire curiosity and learning in tomorrow’s leaders. The charity was founded by the late Ray H. Siegfried II. For more information about Flight Night and the programs it supports, visit TulsaFlightNight.org.

ABOUT TULSA REGIONAL STEM ALLIANCE

The Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (TRSA) connects the dots around Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in northeastern Oklahoma. TRSA is focused on providing broad, deep and innovative pathways for students to pursue high impact STEM careers. As a backbone organization, TRSA serves the STEM ecosystem through their goals of the 4 C’s: Collaboration, Cultivation, Communication and Calculation. TRSA is an initiative of the Oklahoma Innovation Institute, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation committed to building an innovative economy in the Tulsa region.

ABOUT FAB LAB TULSA

The Hardesty Center for Fab Lab Tulsa is an IRS qualified 501 (c) (3) tax exempt, not-for-profit entity located in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood of Tulsa. Fab Lab Tulsa provides community access to advanced manufacturing and digital fabrication tools for learning skills, developing inventions, creating businesses and producing personalized products. Fab Lab Tulsa is one of over 300 MIT-chartered Fab Labs in more than 50 countries, it is one of a very few independent non-profit labs in the U.S., and the first in the southeastern region of the United States. Furthermore, Fab Lab Tulsa is one of the top labs globally in terms of leadership, organization, support, size and capabilities, and an excellent example of the impact a fab lab can make on a community.