The term "Greenhouse Initiatives" comes from the idea of placing small plants in a greenhouse until they grow strong enough to be planted outside on their own. Similarly, we "grow" our Greenhouse Initiatives with human and financial support until they reach a point where they become self sufficient.
Current Greenhouse Initiatives
CoderDojo Indiana (CDI) is a regional partnership formed by the TechPoint Foundation for Youth and CoderDojo Foundation in April of 2016 to support the scalability of CoderDojo coding clubs throughout the state. Initial funding for this program was provided through a partnership with Eleven Fifty Academy. CDI focuses both on helping to grow new CoderDojo sites as well as strengthening existing Dojos.
Launched in 2016, the State Robotics Initiative (SRI) was developed to take the successful IndyVRC model statewide, beginning at the elementary school level. The objective of this initiative is to provide a hands-on, STEM learning experience to Indiana students through an economical, entry level robotics platform. The SRI robotics start-up grant provides everything needed to start a successful robotics program.
TechPoint Foundation for Youth has taken the lead on implementing the US2020 initiative in Indianapolis and the pilot year kicked off in August of 2014. With the support of our Guiding Coalition partners, we recruit STEM professionals to work with vetted, high-impact programs in order to significantly increase STEM mentoring opportunities for girls, minorities, and low-income youth.
Past Greenhouse Initiatives
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a multinational, non-profit organization that aspires to transform our culture, making science, math, engineering, and technology as cool for kids as sports are today. Founded in the fall of 2001 as the Indiana-based affiliate of FIRST robotics, IndianaFIRST brings FIRST programming to students in grades K-12, teaching them hands-on, relevant skills in engineering, science and technology.
TechPoint Foundation for Youth began working with IndianaFIRST in 2011, setting the groundwork that helped the organization receive their 501c3 status in April of 2012. Since forming that partnership, IndianaFIRST has grown each robotics level exponentially in the state, nearly doubling the number of high school FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams, expanding from 7 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) teams to 38, and increasing the number of FIRST LEGO League (FLL) and Junior FIRST LEGO League (Jr.FLL) teams from 228 to 424, all by 2014.
Also in 2014, Indiana was approved to host new district events to replace their previous regional event model, allowing for more events in the state that are less expensive to run. IndianaFIRST also hired their first official Executive Director.
“My school makes sense. The projects relate to the real world, so I never have to ask why am I learning this?’” – New Tech High Student
The New Tech Network is a national, nonprofit organization that helps implement innovative high schools that boast a 95% 4-year graduation rate. The design provides a rigorous and engaging high school experience that features project-based learning, the seamless use of technology, and a positive and empowering school culture.
In 2005, the TechPoint Foundation for Youth formed a partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) to bring Indiana’s first urban-youth-serving New Tech High to Indiana.. New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech opened its doors in 2007, with its first graduating class receiving diplomas in 2012, doubling the graduation rate of their IPS peers.
To date, TPF4Y has invested over $400,000 in New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech and has assisted the school with numerous partnerships in the areas of community outreach, volunteer recruitment, and technology support.
Throughout the years, a “digital divide” has grown between those who know how to use computers, and those who do not. In response to this need, Daniel Kent began Net Literacy in 2003 as a sophomore in high school in order to establish a program where students teach senior citizens computer skills on a one-to-one basis. Since that time, Net Literacy has expanded beyond its original program, Senior Connects, to develop an integrated series of digital literacy programs including Community Connects, Safe Connects, Financial Connects, and Computer Connects, all of which focus on different aspects of the ever-evolving digital divide that first inspired their work.
TechPoint Foundation for Youth was a key partner in helping to develop capacity for Net Literacy since their inception. As the organization expanded, the Foundation provided a broad range of support services and resources, including financial support through matching grants and community partnerships.
Net Literacy has continued to be successful, having provided or expanded computer access for over 250,000 individuals in three states (Indiana, Wyoming, and Illinois), donated 32,000 computers, and raised $500,000 in scholarship money from several colleges and universities to award to inner city youth as well as over $10,000,000 in cash and in-kind services.
TPF4Y continues to assist Net Literacy and remains connected to the organization as a strategic partner.