Monthly Archives: January 2016

Indy VEX Robotics Championship cultivates interest in STEM

Rose Bollerman frowned in concentration at her robot as her teammate handed her a wrench. The 15-year-old carefully screwed in a piece to the silver contraption. “It’s going to work,” she said determinedly. The team of Herron students had to improvise on the day of the robotics championship. They built a robot which would send a foam ball flying through the air into a basket, but a key piece of the machine broke: A wheel that would propel the ball.

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Research in Sustainable Electronics For High School Science Teachers at Purdue

Program Dates: June 6 – July 15, 2016 

Program Overview

The RET Site is a unique professional development opportunity that leverages the expertise of engineering scholars at Purdue University and Tuskegee University. This program will be offered each summer over a three-year period, starting with summer 2016, and host 11 high school STEM teachers from the United States each summer for six weeks. Complementing the research will be a series of other professional development activities, such as field trips, and presentations from members of the Industrial Advisory Board. The teachers will be provided funding and support to implement new, standards-based curricula into their science courses at their respective high schools.

For complete information click here.


Students challenged to use science to solve the ‘Honey Bee Challenge’

Ten thousand young people throughout the Midwest will participate in the “Honey Bee Challenge,” this year’s 2016 4-H Ag Innovators Experience activity, which teaches youth, ages 9-15, about the critical role that honey bees play in growing food and feeding the world. The 4-H Ag Innovators Experience (4-H AIE) is a collaboration between the National 4-H Council and Monsanto Company. The “Honey Bee Challenge” engages youth in connecting honey bees to the foods they eat, as well as learning best management practices and foraging behaviors. The activity, created by The Ohio State University, also connects kids with ways to contribute to honey bee health in their own communities. Youth in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio will have the opportunity to participate in the “Honey Bee Challenge.”

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To learn more about the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience, visit

I-STEM Awarded STEM Teacher Recruitment and Retention Grant

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has announced that I-STEM has been awarded a grant under the 2015-2016 STEM Teacher Recruitment and Retention program. Creating a STEM Community of Practice to Support STEM Teacher Retention in Indiana is a partnership between the I-STEM Resource Network at Purdue University, four institutions of higher education — University of Southern Indiana, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, University of Notre Dame, and Butler University — and eleven school districts. The grant was funded in the amount of $738,228 over the two year period. I-STEM and its partners will develop a system of support and training that will involve STEM mentor teachers in each of the participating districts mentoring STEM mentee teachers that have 0-5 years of teaching experience. The STEM mentor teachers will receive training on mentoring and work alongside the higher education faculty to provide professional development to the new STEM teachers within their own district. The goals for the project are: 1) to increase STEM teacher retention by providing ongoing, just-in-time support to new STEM teachers with grade level and district STEM mentor teachers; 2) to improve new STEM mentee teacher’s abilities to implement science and mathematics instructional practices by increasing their pedagogical and subject matter content knowledge; and 3) to develop a STEM community of practice, utilizing an online platform to support interaction and sharing of resources across Indiana.

A total of $9.6M was awarded to several STEM education institutions in Indiana. “These grants are amplifying efforts to recruit and retain educators in a field that’s rapidly changing the jobs of tomorrow in the Hoosier state,” said Governor Mike Pence. ”When it comes to ensuring our young people are on a pathway to success in the workforce or in post-secondary studies, a STEM curriculum is critical. I applaud and congratulate these grant recipients for their efforts in seeing that Indiana is filling teaching positions in this critical, high-need area.”

“These projects will help Indiana fill STEM teaching positions in high-need areas across the state,” Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers said. “Amid statewide and national conversations about the need for more teachers who are qualified to teach STEM subjects, this fund supports efforts that help Indiana attract, support and keep great educators.”

More about these grants can be found here.

Zionsville Boone Meadow STEM teacher hopes China trip will benefit students

For 10 days in October, Boone Meadow Elementary teacher Kara Benson traveled around China as part of the international STEM Fellowship program. The mission: exchange ideas and expertise with Chinese educators about STEM education. “We wanted to see what successful techniques and methods they use to teach science and math to their students” Benson said. “In the school, we were treated like royalty by our hosts. We observed math and science lessons daily, taught lessons, spoke with journalists and participated in educational round table discussions with fellow educators,” Benson said.

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