Fifth grade teacher for Wa-Nee Community Schools in Nappanee, Ind., won the Tech Education Award during TechPoint’s 23rd annual Mira Awards gala honoring the best of tech in Indiana. 

Six years ago, Jake Simons started a robotics team of 10 fifth grade students at Woodview Elementary, a rural Amish community in Nappanee, Ind.. Two years later, his program beat out 6,000 teams from 40 different countries to be crowned World Champions.

Since then, his focus has been on growing the robotics initiative in his community and around the globe. Now, as Director of Robotics for Wa-Nee Community Schools, he oversees 15 teams with more than100 students.

Watch the Gerry Dick, Inside Indiana Business interview with 5th Grade Teacher Jake Simons of Wa-Nee Community Schools in Nappanee, Ind.

The Mira Awards Judges noted the significance of the Woodview Eaglebots’ win at the World Championship. The field began with 6,000 teams. Four hundred advanced to the world stage and 12 advanced to the finals. Of those 12, nine were from China, one was from Hong Kong and two were from Nappanee, Ind.

He mentors dozens of coaches, runs summer camps, hosts competitions, organizes leagues, and leads clinics. He also helped develop a free, 22-week curriculum that is used worldwide by beginner coaches. His personal efforts had an impact on 2,450 students and 463 coaches in 2021 alone.

Browse Photos from the 2022 Mira Awards Gala.
Watch Acceptance Speeches from the Award Winners.
Watch Winner Interviews with Gerry Dick of Inside Indiana Business.
See All Award Winners from the 2022 Mira Awards Gala.

TechPoint, the nonprofit, industry-led growth accelerator for Indiana’s tech ecosystem, honored the successes and innovation of Indiana people, companies and products during the 23rd annual Mira Awards gala with presenting sponsor Salesforce.

A total of 16 award winners and honorees were chosen from the 125 outstanding people, companies and products that were selected as nominees for their achievements during the 2021 calendar year. 

Fifty-two independent, volunteer judges spent more than 850 total hours evaluating applications, interviewing nominees, and selecting this year’s winners. Judges included an impressive roster of company founders, CEOs and presidents, CTOs, CIOs, engineers and other industry professionals. 

TechPoint’s Mira Awards are named after the first of the brilliant variable stars to be discovered—the Mira Star. It is also the Latin root meaning “worthy of admiration, wonderful, marvelous.” The awards represent the best of tech in Indiana each year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: TechPoint and Mira Awards-related logos, badges, images, videos and photos are available for use by awards program participants only. All other uses are upon request.