IU to expand K-12 computing, STEM opportunities
Indiana University is working to bring computing curriculum, co-curricular activities and additional teacher training into more Indianapolis schools thanks to a $2.6 million grant from the Indiana Department of Education. IU says its Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering at IUPUI will use the Explore, Engage and Experience grant to expand the Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce curriculum, known as iDEW, into middle and elementary schools.
The collaboration, which involves TechServ and TechPoint Foundation for Youth, prepares underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged high school students for informatics and computing careers.
“Employment in informatics and IT is projected to grow 12 percent, the fastest among all occupations, and expected to add 488,500 new jobs by 2024,” said Mathew Palakal, senior executive associate dean of Luddy IUPUI and director of iDEW. “However, employers have identified a gap between this demand and the supply of young people prepared to enter the IT/STEM workforce, and Indiana is no exception. We and our partners have proven that with funding like this IDOE grant, we can successfully address the gap and will continue to do so.”
The expansion will also bring on additional partners, including the ROCK Community Center, Eastern Star Church and Techucate. IU says Speaking College, Agile Meridian and Techucate will provide programming for middle school students at the ROCK as part of STEM@ The ROCK. Additionally, TechPoint Foundation for Youth will expand its VEX robotics outreach to elementary and middle schools that feed into iDEW’s high school classrooms.
The Explore, Engage and Experience grant is a part of the third round of federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding.