The IPFW Outreach Programs offer informal educational opportunities that engage, challenge and build self-confidence through hands-on activities fostering awareness and interest in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
Through competitions, summer exploration camps, and career programs, students are introduced to the world of engineering, technology, and computer science. Awards and recognition are a key component of the competitive events, recognizing excellence and effort as they reinforce the students' self-confidence. All programs encourage participants to use innovative thinking, collaborate on problem solving, apply classroom learning, and explore their future career options.
The Sci-TEC Academy is a career and leadership network for 8th - 12th grade students. Any youth who has participated in an IPFW STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program or has an interest in ETCS (engineering, technology, and computer science) careers is invited to apply during the August-September application time period. The exact time period will be announced on this Outreach home page. The Sci-TEC Academy
Engineers Week Bridge Building Contest
High School students design and build bridges using popsicle sticks. The bridges are then tested to see who has the strongest bridge.
FIRST Lego League
Robotic teams of 9-14 year olds explore a yearly theme and the creative construction of a robot during their participation in this 8-10 week team project. They use LEGO Mindstorms to construct their robot and then test their skills on achieving a variety of robot "missions" using a special competition "field" made of LEGO models. The teams also engage in developing a project idea that involves research, creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving. They also practice the FIRST LEGO League Core Values. Teams are invited to attend qualifying tournaments in November and may advance to one of the two Indiana Championship Tournaments as a result of their competing in an exciting sports-like tournament.
Middle School teams become visionaries as they imagine the perfect futuristic city. They collaborate with peers using SimCity as a tool for city planning and then design, construct, and display a city model displaying their vision. This is a cross-disciplinary STEM project which emphasizes project management and the role of engineers. For the competition, teams will create a computer-designed city and submit their goals/accomplishments on the design. They submit an essay on the annual theme, build a city scale model with a moving part out of recycled materials, and present their designs to judges. Many teams win awards and the Regional Winners advance to Washington, D.C. for the Future City National Finals.
NE Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair
IPFW hosts 4th-12th grade students from an eight county area to showcase their research projects. Students from grades 4-12 may advance to the Hoosier State Science & Engineering Fair (HSEF); grades 9-12 may advance from the HSEF to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Summer Explorations expose students to a variety of different career/interest areas. There are four different exploration areas: Computer Science, Math & Science, Engineering, and Physics.