Funding, Grants & Awards

5 Indiana STEM Initiatives Share $105,000 in Grants

Five educational institutions in Indiana have been awarded grants of $15,000 to $30,000 each intended to improve student interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, has granted a total of $105,000 to STEM programs at Ball State University Foundation in Muncie, Paul Harding Junior High School in Fort Wayne, Indy Learning Centers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis, and Washington Irving School 14 in Indianapolis.

According to a statement from the Verizon Foundation, the programs were established to "enable students to explore in STEM in new, innovative ways, increase teachers' efficiency in integrating technology into the classroom and create more personalized learning environments to help students succeed."

Ball State University received $15,000 to establish a STEM exploration program for middle school girls in East Central Indiana. The girls will participate in activities based on the theme of planetary investigation. They will visit the university's planetarium and work in small collaborative teams at a summer science camp. The program will introduce the girls to astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, mathematics, technology and engineering.

Paul Harding Junior High School received $20,000 to extend its robotics program to 290 students. Hands-on robotics coursework will be integrated into the students' science classes. Students in grades 3-6 will also participate in robotics demonstrations and scenario-based activities.

Indy Learning Centers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) received $30,000 to partner with school and community-based centers to bring IUPUI students to K-12 schools to provide individual and classroom tutoring sessions.

Indiana School for the Deaf received $20,000 to introduce manufacturing prototyping coursework to teach students how to create objects for virtual environments using tools such as Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor 3D CAD, SketchUp, Blender and LightWave3D.

Washington Irving School 14 received $20,000 to establish sustainable Project Lead the Way curriculum, including STEM programming for grades two through six in this school with a high population of economically disadvantaged students.

According to information from the company, "the goal of many Verizon-funded programs is to find ways to connect with students earlier in their studies so that innovative programs can help create a STEM-literate workforce."

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].