Sixty high school teams enrolled in Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce (iDEW) classes at Arsenal Technical, Pike, and Providence Cristo Rey high schools wowed industry mentors and other visitors with their end-of-semester final projects on Dec. 8, 9, and 13.
A total of 183 students from nine iDEW classrooms presented at the project showcase events. Classes completing the first iDEW semester demonstrated their mobile trivia apps, while second-year students completing the third iDEW class invited guests to play their video games.
Faculty from the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI—and jurors from Angie’s List, Girls Scouts of Central Indiana, IndianaFIRST, Interactive Intelligence, and TechPoint Foundation for Youth—evaluated team posters, projects, and student presentations at the semester-end showcases to determine first- and second-place teams in each class.
A unique initiative that prepares a diverse cross section of Indianapolis high school students for careers in information technology, the iDEW program was recognized with a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award this year at the White House.
Feedback from students and teachers at Arsenal Technical High School are a compelling testimony to the success of the iDEW program in its first two years.
“Thank you for helping us and being here in our class. I learned a lot from your help and this class, and hope to use the knowledge I got from this class in my future career as computer programmer,” said a first-year iDEW student.
“Thank you so much for this great experience that you were a huge part of. This wouldn’t be possible if you weren’t able to provide us with the resources and the content that we need. I really appreciate that you were able to narrow my career path down to something that I would love to do in the future. Hopefully in the near future you will be seeing me on the IUPUI campus doing something that will benefit me and my future,” said a second-year iDEW student.
“I want to thank you guys for all the help you gave us in seeing our imaginations put to life on the screen. I want to thank you for the t-shirts, food, and gift cards that you gave us. I had never been into computers or programming, but I thought I might get into this class because some of my friends are in it. I realized I really like it. I like it so much that I do it outside of school and work on my own projects. So thank you for inspiring me to get out of my comfort zone and to help find a passion I will have for the rest of my years,” said a second-year iDEW student.
“Thank you for the wonderful opportunity for my students. I have taught in multiple school districts and this experience has been the most engaging and life-changing curriculum I have ever witnessed. I have truly enjoyed watching my students grow not only in their coding skills, but in their self-confidence, problem solving, and group collaboration skills. When I think back to when we first started with our groups a few months ago, to what we witnessed last Friday at our showcase, the growth has been incredible. I have received many compliments around campus about Friday’s activity. I look forward to working with everyone next semester with our Internet of Things activity and using the curriculum for years to come,” said Susan Reagin, computer science classroom teacher.
Next semester, iDEW students will embark on the study of Internet of Things (IoT), and Data and Visualization.