WEST LAFAYETTE - The Wabash Heartland Innovation Network announced the first recipient of a new grant program intended to get children interested in high-tech industries in its ten-county region. Based in West Lafayette, WHIN awarded the approximately $360,000 grant to Tecumseh Area Partnership Inc.

TAP has partnered with eight groups in the region which are focused on economic development. Each group will receive varying amounts of the grant to develop and offer industry-education activities for K-12 students.

To cultivate the next generation of high-tech thinkers and doers, WHIN says the organizations will launch camps and classes to teach skills like computer coding, manufacturing, and robotics.

The organization also wants to use the program to help establish a regional talent pool for the next generation of workers with technical skills.

WHIN says the activities will be expanded into additional counties in the network over the next couple of years.

The funding will help cover some of the costs for developing curriculum, sourcing materials, and securing the necessary equipment. Grant recipients hope to reach 16,000 students with the programs.