School’s out for the summer, but TechPoint Foundation for Youth is on the fast-track with programs, funding announcements and recognition for their success in STEM.

STEM Hall of Fame

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation recently inducted TechPoint Foundation for Youth and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) jointly 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 in April. 

“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.” Read the full release here.

TPF4Y Executive Director Laura Dodds and DWD Commissioner Steve Braun

In addition to the recognition given, the TechPoint Foundation for Youth team headed to Louisville at the end of April to volunteer for the VEX IQ World Championship which hosted almost 600 teams from more than 35 countries. They were able to cheer on 29 elementary school teams and 10 middle school teams who qualified from Indiana. Congrats to the MegaComets of Caston Elementary in Fulton, IN, and the HulkBots of Grassy Creek Elementary in Indianapolis, IN, for bringing home the Sportsmanship Award in each of their divisions.

$30,000+ in classroom grants for Indiana teachers

At the 2017 Mira Awards, TechPoint Foundation for Youth asked the audience to pledge their financial support towards classroom grants for Indiana teachers. That fundraising goal of $30,000 was exceeded! Thanks to a generous $10,000 matching donation from Angie’s List Foundation, the organization will be able to support 60 grant applications for K-8th grade STEM classroom projects at schools serving minority and low-income student populations throughout Indiana.

Students from West Newton Elementary School on the south side of Indianapolis show of their classroom projects.

This competitive grant, which is open to all Indiana kindergarten through 8th grade classroom teachers in schools with a free and reduced price lunch percentage of 55% or greater, provides grant dollars to teachers to support the purchase of supplies and equipment that reinforce STEM curriculum in the classroom. Applications are evaluated based on their ability to implement hands-on, project-based STEM programming, while also focusing on the use of resources that could extend beyond the school year, and have an emphasis on student STEM engagement.

Read more about this accomplishment on their blog.

Inaugural CoderDojo Indiana Hackathon

TechPoint Foundation for Youth launched CoderDojo Indiana in June 2016 with the goal of creating free CoderDojo clubs to teach computer programming to Indiana students ages seven through 17. Since then, the program continues to expand across the state reaching more kids with STEM education.

The inaugural CoderDojo Indiana Hackathon will be held July 22, 2017 from 10am-4pm at DeveloperTown in Indianapolis. All CoderDojo ninjas are invited to attend to test their skills and meet some new friends! Want to learn more, see the schedule, and register? Visit the webpage to register.

May the 4th Be With You

The 2nd annual Star Wars-themed fundraiser was a huge success with over 250 people in attendance. The Stormtrooper Shootout, Droid Driving Competition, airbrush tattoos, Lucas Film’s trivia, and games corner were popular attractions, but the highlights were the mock battle by the Indiana Lightsaber Academy and the live chalk art installation by Ben Glenn, The Chalk Guy. A special shout out goes to the presenting sponsor and partner in intergalactic fun, NextGear Capital. Check out the Facebook photo album to experience all of the excitement and mark your calendars for next year on Friday, May 4, 2018.

R2D2 admires the TPF4Y event

Beer + Robots = BeerBots

Is your company looking to get involved with the community in a fun and social way? TechPoint Foundation for Youth is excited to introduce BeerBots, a half-day team building activity for employee groups that use the VEX IQ snap together robotics kit and drive control system to create a fun, fast-paced competition even a rookie Bot Battler will enjoy. For a $5,000 donation supporting TechPoint Foundation for Youth’s STEM programs, they’ll bring BeerBots to you, complete with pre-built robots for 10 teams, competition fields, refs, scoring, training, and trophies.

Don’t have the employee base or budget of $5,000 to spend on team building? Recruit another company or two to battle against! Or be on the look-out for our “BeerBots: Battle of the Start-Ups,” which will have a reduced-cost buy-in for start-ups coming in fall 2017.

Looking to get involved with TechPoint Foundation for Youth? Be a summer volunteer! There are several summer volunteer opportunities available at US2020 locations throughout Indianapolis – topics range from coding and robotics to cool science experiments, and all are “no experience necessary!” Sessions are one-time commitments for one or two hours and scheduling can be flexible depending on your availability. Ready to sign up? Email for more info.