INDIANAPOLIS (June 13, 2017) - The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation recently inducted TechPoint Foundation for Youth (TPY) and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) into the STEM Hall of Fame as the 2017 Partner of the Year. The honor was given at the VEX Robotics World Championship, held at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
The REC Foundation defines STEM Hall of Fame Partner of the Year recipients as “well-recognized and respected organizations with vision, products, and services aligned with the fields of science, engineering, and technology, and with personnel that represent a valued spectrum of knowledge and talent across STEM.” TPY and DWD join the ranks of previous inductees including NASA, Texas Instruments, Project Lead The Way, Autodesk and others.
“The explosive growth of VEX Robotics teams in Indiana over the last year is a direct reflection of the progressive vision of STEM leaders in the state, and specifically, the combined efforts of Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development and the staff at TechPoint Foundation for Youth,” said Jason Morrella, President of the REC Foundation.
In Spring 2016, in partnership with the REC Foundation, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and TechPoint Foundation for Youth expanded the successful City of Indianapolis VEX Robotics Competition model started by Former Mayor Greg Ballard statewide, with a focus on providing equal access to high impact STEM learning opportunities for all Indiana students.
“Indiana is always looking forward for ways to bridge the gap of workforce supply and industry demand. We know that robotics engages diverse student populations in comprehensive STEM subject matter that has been proven to spur interest in STEM college and career pathways,” said DWD Commissioner Steve Braun. “This program is going to make a real difference for Indiana students and employers, and we are honored to be recognized for this work alongside our partners at TechPoint Foundation for Youth.”
One year after expansion, the State Robotics Initiative has impacted thousands of students, with the number of competing elementary school teams skyrocketing from just over 70 to more than 500 teams in Indiana. At the recent VEX Robotics World Championship, 29 of Indiana’s elementary VEX IQ Challenge teams - more than any other state - were invited to compete with peers from over 30 countries around the world. Recent feedback and evaluations from Indiana teachers and participants has reinforced the impact the initiative is having on students.
“Our partnership with DWD kicked off the State Robotics Initiative and we are thrilled that we have been able to introduce this innovative platform to so many Indiana students,” said Executive Director Laura Dodds. “We’ve had teachers share that this experience has encouraged their most reserved female students to find a voice, another sharing that their students are already beginning to look at colleges with robotics programs. It’s been rewarding to be a part of such an impactful partnership and we are beyond thrilled to be recognized now as a member of the STEM Hall of Fame alongside so many other great organizations.”
TechPoint Foundation for Youth recently kicked off the second year of the State Robotics Initiative with 400 more robotics grants available for Indiana elementary schools and out-of-school providers who don’t already have a VEX IQ Challenge team. To learn more about the robotics grant, how to apply, how you or your company can get involved, or to support a team in your area, visit www.techpointyouth.org/robots or email George@techpointyouth.org.
About REC Foundation: The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community to achieve this work. More information at: www.RoboticsEducation.org or www.RobotEvents.com.
About Indiana Department of Workforce Development: The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) serves the worker and the employer to ensure workplace success. DWD is committed to innovating and invigorating Indiana’s economic future by providing WorkOne Career Centers, Unemployment Insurance, Labor Market Information, Regional Workforce Strategies and Professional Training. Through these services, DWD is able to develop a premier workforce that enables Indiana employers to flourish and entices businesses from outside our state to relocate to Indiana.
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. www.techpointyouth.org