Indiana Uplands is home to over 27,000 jobs in the advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and defense and national security sectors. In April 2017, ROI released its first Occupational Needs Assessment to highlight the education and workforce needs within these sectors in the greater Southwest Central Indiana region. The Assessment emphasized the importance of having a STEM-literate talent pool to meet the workforce needs within the region and to provide a basis for continued job growth and attraction.
In September 2017, ROI announced a grant opportunity to advance out-of-school K-12 STEM learning in all of the region’s 11 counties. Facilitated through each of the Indiana Uplands community foundations, Advancing Out-of-School STEM Learning Grants funded programs that engage youth through hands-on activities that add value and extend the school experiences.
Out-of-school STEM learning occurs outside of the traditional school day, including before and after school and summer programs, and are provided by school districts, community organizations, nonprofits, and cultural institutions such as libraries and museums. Examples of out-of-school STEM programs include robotics clubs, coding programs, makerspaces, STEM camps, industry mentorships, and career exploration experiences.
ROI granted $25,000 to each of the Indiana Uplands 11 community foundations. In turn, they made grants available in their counties to extend existing STEM programs or to develop new out-of-school opportunities.
Community Foundations receiving Advancing Out-of-School STEM Learning Grants included:
- Brown County Community Foundation
- Community Foundation of Crawford County
- Daviess County Community Foundation
- Dubois County Community Foundation
- Greene County Foundation
- Lawrence County Community Foundation
- Martin County Community Foundation
- Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County
- Orange County Community Foundation
- Owen County Community Foundation
- Washington County Community Foundation
Recent News on Out-of-School STEM Programs: