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Indiana Tech receives $1 million Lilly Endowment Inc. Indiana Youth Programs on Campus grant

August 30, 2022

Indiana Tech has received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. through its initiative, Indiana Youth Programs on Campus. Indiana Tech’s proposal, titled Industry 5.0 Talent Pathway through Indiana Tech STEAM Academy, will expand its existing camp offerings for K-12 students, create new summer camps, and develop a variety of after school programs.

Indiana Youth Programs on Campus (IYPC) is a Lilly Endowment initiative designed to help Indiana colleges and universities in their efforts to create new or expand and enhance existing high-quality, on-campus programs for Hoosier youth, ages five through 18. Through this initiative, the Endowment has allocated more than $28 million for planning grants and program implementation grants.

“Indiana Tech has long provided quality summer camp programs for youth interested in STEM fields,” said Indiana Tech President Karl W. Einolf. “This new grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. will allow our university take these offerings to a new level. We’ll be able to reach students year round by growing our existing camps, adding after-school programs, and developing new camps hosted by our College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Talwar College of Engineering and Computer Sciences. Our entire team is grateful for the support of Lilly Endowment Inc. Their support will benefit youth in our region for years to come.”

Indiana Tech programs to be supported through the grant include:

Middle School Build + Learn STEM Camp: This existing week-long summer camp will be expanded to both summer and year-long after-school program that offers hands-on learning experiences for middle school students and is designed to explore science, engineering, math, and technology subjects. This dynamic experience will allow participants to conduct experiments, design, construct, and test structures, use computer-aided drawing software, and explore labs on campus. Campers will learn from and work alongside knowledgeable and experienced professors and current Indiana Tech students who specialize in these areas.

High School STEM Camp: This existing week-long summer residential experience for high school students is designed to introduce them to engineering, computer science, biology, and technology in a fun and memorable way. Campers will learn from and work alongside knowledgeable and experienced professors who specialize in these areas of biomedical engineering, electrical engineering, biology, mechanical engineering, and chemistry. Students will be treated to social activities, including movies, bowling, table tennis, billiards and video games.

Girls Who Code (GWC) is a new year-long after-school youth program that Indiana Tech has created to help close the gender gap in the technology workforce and change the general perception and misconceptions of the STEM fields. Indiana Tech will launch mentor groups formed by college STEM students to support the GWC Club and launch GWC on campus, an after-school program for students to learn computer programming skills that will impact their community and allow them to join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models. Indiana Tech will also partner with Girl Scouts for girls to earn their Brownie/Daisy/Junior Coding Basics Badges through virtual or in-person programming.

Cyber Patriot Summer Camp will remain a week-long summer camp program offered by Indiana Tech’s cybersecurity program in partnership with the Air & Space Forces Association’s Cyber Patriot program for high school students. Through in-depth teaching and hands-on application, campers will be immersed in a cyberspace experience designed to introduce them to exciting career opportunities in cybersecurity. Throughout the week, campers will train on cyber-operations, and the experience will culminate on Friday when they protect and defend their network and systems during a simulated cyber event. The topics campers will experience include virtual machines, cyber threats, windows file protection, command-line security, account management, online safety, cyber ethics, and many other cyber-related topics.

Indiana Tech Explorers Post 2829 will remain a year-long after-school program offered in partnership with Boy Scouts of America and open to both boys and girls from grades 7 through 12. The program includes coding, electronics, robot construction, and the National Robotics Challenge robotics competition. The program will expand beyond software, electronics, and the overall construction of robots, to smart machines, the internet of things (IoT), and human-machine interactions. Indiana Tech will expand its current camp offerings to a series of merit badge classes for Boy Scouts and invite scouts to visit campus to receive an introduction to specific badges from faculty and students and experience college life.

Kids Robotics Academy is a new year-long after-school program for K-12 students to build and design robots. Elementary students will learn LEGO WeDo or the EV3 platform; middle school students will learn Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and 3D printing for robot construction; and high school students will learn to integrate software programming and hardware to achieve more sophisticated tasks and prepare to participate in robotics competitions in the region, such as the annual First Robotics Competition and the Collegiate Robotics Football Conference competition. The Kids Robotics Academy programming is structured with engineering disciplines to challenge students to reach their full potential and improve their critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and programming skills at all grade levels. The Academy will partner with STARBASE Indiana and their existing robotics programs, such as STARBASE 1.0, a five-day camp program with activities in sciences and technology, and STARBASE 2.0 after-school program with advanced robotics, 3D CAD, and other hands-on activities.

Creativity Camp is a new week-long summer program with activities for K-12 students to engage with their creative side. Live broadcasting, multimedia journalism, creative writing, and e-sports are some topics of this camp. Students will learn live broadcasting skills, tips, practices, and journalistic skills through various channels, including writing, video, and social media, and gain an understanding of competitive video gaming, etc. This camp will help students foster their artistic and creative skills as they interact with faculty and students from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business at Indiana Tech.

Sciences Camp is a new week-long summer program with science activities across physical, biological, social, and behavioral sciences, including sessions on environmental biology, multiple facets of psychology, forensic DNA analysis, chemical reactions, brain and human behavior, exercise physiology, criminal sciences, and more. Students will learn from faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences at Indiana Tech and participate in a combination of games, science discovery, and physical activities. The goal of the Sciences Camp is to provide students with the opportunity to become junior scientists and challenge their imaginations in their science adventures.

Career Pathway Program is an integrated supplemental program for each camp participant in the STEAM Academy. The free embedded curriculum for each camp is designed for students to learn about different exciting careers and the educational pathway to get there. They will hear firsthand experience from professors who had long careers in industry before entering academia, attend sessions with our career center staff to learn what they can do now to prepare for future careers, meet with admissions staff to discuss their goals and college choices and learn about college degrees offerings, and attend workshops with our financial aid office to understand better the costs associated with higher education and options to make it affordable.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.