9,000 kites to support Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance
Hideaway Pizza today announced it is donating 9,000 kites in memory of co-founder Richard Dermer to support the mission of Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance and its first Statewide Kite Festival, Powered by Flight Night.
Students from 500 elementary schools in Oklahoma will build their own ‘Dermer Sled’ kites to fly on Friday, May 5 in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Osage County. Participants will gain hands-on knowledge of the math and science behind kite design, the history of kite use, the forces that enable kites to soar and the role kite flying played in inspiring James Banning, an Oklahoma hero who in 1932 became the first African American pilot to fly coast to coast.
Founded in 2014 by Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance, the event uses kites and fun, physical activity to engage elementary students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and foster creativity in history, the arts and aviation.
“The Statewide Kite Festival is a tremendous opportunity for thousands of young Oklahomans to be freshly inspired by the wonder of flight! Thanks to relentless partners like the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, Flight Night, Kites in the Sky, and Hideaway Pizza, students across the state will explore the history, science, mathematics, purposes, art and construction of kites,” said Xan Black, program director for Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance. “These kids are going to have aerospace on a string as their kites take flight on May 5. We are profoundly grateful to school districts across the state for collaboration on this effort to engage and inspire the next generation of innovators.”
The Tulsa event will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, May 5 at The University of Tulsa, 800 S. Tucker Dr. Locations for Oklahoma City and Osage County have not yet been announced.
Dermer, a former president of the American Kitefliers Association, passed away on Pi Day, March 14, 2014. Richard and Marti Dermer co-founded Hideaway Pizza in 1957 near the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater. Teaching adults and children to make their own kites was one of the ways they gave back to their community. They designed their own high-performance version of the sled kite, popular among kite enthusiasts for its simplicity and reliability, and reduced the size to fit on a school desk.
Catherine Gabrel, owner of Stillwater-based Kites in the Sky, began large-scale production of the modified sled kite in 2008 and dubbed it the Dermer Sled. She is currently assembling the thousands of kite kits students will use to build their kites for the event.
About Hideaway Pizza
Founded in 1957, Hideaway Pizza is a regional, privately-owned pizza company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma with 17 restaurant locations in Arkansas and Oklahoma. For more information about Hideaway Pizza, visit www.hideawaypizza.com.
About Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance
Organized in 2013, the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance is dedicated to building broad, deep, innovative pathways for students to access high-impact STEM careers. For more information about TRSA visit www.tulsastem.org.
About Flight Night
Flight Night is a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on STEM education programs and projects that inspire curiosity and learning in tomorrow’s leaders. Learn more at www.tulsaflightnight.org.