On March 1, officials from the non-profit Ohio Air and Space Hall of Fame and Museum (OAS) and The Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies and Air Transportation and Aerospace Campus (Ohio State Aviation) jointly announced a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a partnership supporting aviation-based science, technology, engineering, arts and math (AvSTEAM) education programming. The recently signed agreement includes opportunities to jointly develop and deliver curricula and activities, co-produce public events, support the OAS’s historic preservation efforts, and promote AvSTEAM education throughout the State of Ohio.
The OAS is currently fundraising to transform the original Port Columbus Air Terminal into its home and a civic showpiece. In addition to a $550,000 grant from the State of Ohio and early gifts from donors, the OAS recently received a generous gift from the Wright Brothers Foundation toward the renovation of the historic 13,000 square foot-plus Art Deco style terminal and tower, built in 1929 and on the National Register of Historic Places.
Public exhibits on the first floor will honor a diverse roster of air and space pioneers from Ohio, along with recognizing the state’s companies and organizations significant to the advancement of powered flight and manned space exploration. The OAS second floor will be devoted to youth STEAM education and workforce development programming. The Wright Brothers, John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Charles E. McGee, and Jerrie Mock are just a few of the OAS honorees whose inspirational legacies will be integrated into AvSTEAM curricula and activities in collaboration with Ohio State Aviation.
“A wealth of the world’s innovation and technological advancements were created right here in ‘The Birthplace of Aviation’, thanks to ordinary Ohioans making extraordinary contributions,” said OAS Executive Director Ron Kaplan. “The world-class facilities and programs of Ohio State Aviation have been instrumental to that success for over a hundred years. Thus we are delighted that our very first STEAM education partnership is with the OSU Center for Aviation Center Studies. The timing is ideal to share our state’s remarkable history of flight while fostering the future-looking workforce that will maintain Ohio’s leading role in aerospace and technology.”