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Former iDEW student Patience Corie sitting at laptop computer

Luddy IUPUI receives $2.6M IDOE Explore, Engage, and Experience (3E) award

March 3, 2023

The Indiana Department of Education grant “Establish Meaningful PK-12 Pathways and Opportunities for All” includes expansion of the innovative Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce (iDEW) computing curriculum and co-curricular activities already implemented in partnership with area high schools, along with additional teacher training and expanding into area middle schools and elementary schools. The 3E award is aimed at helping local schools and communities strengthen, expand and create effective pre-K to career pathways.

The Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering at IUPUI along with TechServ and TechPoint Foundation for Youth (TPF4Y) will continue the work of the iDEW program and expand STEM programming for additional students in Indianapolis.

Mathew J. Palakal, Sr. Exec. Assoc Dean of Luddy IUPUI, the PI of this award and director of iDEW, said, “Employment in informatics and IT is projected to grow 12 percent through 2024, the fastest among all occupations and is expected to add 488,500 new jobs, from about 3.9 million jobs to about 4.4 million jobs by 2024. However, employers have identified a gap between this demand and the supply of young people prepared to enter the IT/STEM workforce, and Indiana is no exception. We and our partners have proven that with funding like this IDOE grant, we can successfully address the gap and will continue to do so.”

Palakal founded and has expanded the iDEW program to eight area high schools since 2015. To date, over 500 STEM teachers in Indiana have been trained on the iDEW curriculum. iDEW has served over 2500 central Indiana high school students to date, many of whom have pursued a college degree, primarily in STEM programs, and/or entered the IT workforce.

This is the third award Palakal and Luddy IUPUI has received from the IDOE. In 2019, he received the Teacher Professional Development in Computer Science award to train Indiana teachers on essential computer science curriculum.

The 3E (Explore, Engage, and Experience) grant period is through September 2024. 3E is a part of the third round of federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funding.

Read more in the IBJ

 About iDEW

Designed and managed by the Indiana University Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering in Indianapolis, the Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce (iDEW) program prepares underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged high school students in Indiana for informatics and computing careers. Students can participate in iDEW for multiple years during high school, diving into new projects and learning modules as they advance through the program. Many will earn professional IT certifications that prepare them for the workforce or for going on to two-year or four-year academic paths in informatics. Working in teams, iDEW students present informatics projects that tackle real-world problems incorporating mobile apps, robotics, video games, internet of things, chatbots, data visualization and other trends in IT.

The iDEW program continues with the addition of the Google Data Analytics Certificate program offering Indiana University dual credit through the IUPUI SPAN program for eligible iDEW high school students. Luddy IUPUI is currently working with 19 students from Arsenal Technical, McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology and Pike High Schools in the pilot year.

The iDEW program received the national US2020 STEM Mentoring Award in 2017; a $4M National Science Foundation S-STEM Grant; the Indiana Award for Excellence in Career and Technical Training and the TechPoint Mira Award for Tech Educator of the Year in 2018; and the 2022 Bridge Builder Award from the TechPoint Foundation for Youth.

About Our Partners

The project also brings a number of entities together with Luddy IUPUI, including the TechPoint Foundation for Youth, Speaking College, Agile Meridian (beLithe), and TechServ. New partners include The ROCK Community Center, Eastern Star Church, and Techucate.

Speaking College, Agile Meridian and Techucate will provide programming for middle school students at the ROCK as part of STEM@ The ROCK. TPF4Y will expand its VEX robotics outreach to reach both elementary and middle schools that are potential ‘feeders’ to the iDEW high school classrooms.

Media Contact

Joanne Lovrinic