iDEW Program Wins National STEM Mentoring Award

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 10, 2017) – This morning, US2020, in collaboration with Co-Founding Sponsors Chevron and Tata Consultancy Services, announced the winners of the 2017 STEM Mentoring Awards. At the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C., US2020 will recognize the award winners for their exceptional work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentoring.

The STEM Mentoring Awards & Symposium is a national field-building event that will engage leaders from the public, private, and social sectors. Attendees will discuss policies and practices to institutionalize STEM mentoring, explore exemplary program models and common challenges, and learn about the launch of US2020’s new national challenge designed to catalyze cross-sector partnerships that increase the quantity and quality of STEM volunteerism and maker-centered learning across the country.

Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI is a 2017 winner in the category of Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships for their Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce (iDEW) program. Designed and managed by the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI, the iDEW program prepares underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged high school students in Indiana for informatics and computing careers.

“The iDEW program specifically addresses diversity in computing in the STEM fields by implementing innovative curricular and co-curricular activities throughout a four-year high school program. Our early data already shows the huge impact of iDEW, as most of the graduates of the program are pursuing two-year and four-year college degrees in STEM areas,” said iDEW Program Director and School of Informatics and Computing Executive Associate Dean Mathew J. Palakal.

Momentum in the field was evident as over 150 organizations participated in this year’s award series. “We are thrilled to see the variety and quality of organizations and companies submitting applications to the 2017 STEM Mentoring Awards,” said Nick Hutchinson, Executive Director of US2020. “Quality, skills-based mentorship is uniquely positioned to address the barriers to STEM access and achievement and has been shown to provide academic and emotional benefits for students, particularly at-risk youth.”

President Obama issued a call to action, illuminating the need to engage more STEM professionals as mentors at the 2013 White House Science Fair. US2020 answered that call with their City Competition, which challenged communities to develop plans to increase the scale and quality of mentorship between professionals working in STEM and students underrepresented in those fields. Fifty-two cities from across the U.S. applied, with seven selected as winning cities; Indianapolis was one of them.

As the coalition lead for the City of Indianapolis, TechPoint Foundation for Youth (TPF4Y) has been managing the initiative since it launched in August 2014, with the help of more than 50 corporate, community, and program partners. During the past three years of the initiative, TPF4Y has engaged almost 400 volunteers in hands-on STEM programs impacting more than 2,300 Indianapolis students.

“The STEM Mentoring Awards are a wonderful way to further recognize the important work being done by the US2020 City Network and our multitude of partners,” said Laura Dodds, Executive Director of TechPoint Foundation for Youth. “The iDEW program’s targeted focus on engaging diverse student populations is something that resonates both with our Foundation’s mission and with the needs of our state’s talent pipeline. We are so proud that they have been recognized on the national stage for their important work.”

The third annual US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards included five award categories. Applications were evaluated by a cross-sector panel of distinguished judges. This year’s winners are:

About Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI: The Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing is the first school of its kind in the nation, connecting people to information and transforming the way they work, live, and play. Our school’s unique interdisciplinary approach, innovative degree programs, world-class faculty, and inclusive environment prepare students for careers that will shape the future of information technology and computing. We are committed to building a smarter IT workforce through programs in human-centered computing, bio-health informatics, library science, data science, and media arts and science.

About TechPoint Foundation for Youth: TechPoint Foundation for Youth is committed to inspiring our state's underserved K-12 students to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). We believe that our youth should be equipped to address Indiana's growing demand for a skilled workforce.