Indianapolis One of Seven Cities to Win National US2020 STEM Mentoring Competition; School of Science is a Citywide Founding Partner

Release Date: 
May 28 2014

INDIANAPOLIS– Today, Indianapolis education leaders and partners came together to discuss Indy’s winning plan to promote STEM education. Indianapolis was named one of seven winning cities in the US2020 national competition to encourage STEM mentoring at the White House. The competition was in response to President Obama’s call to action to get more girls and boys engaged in STEM subjects. Public and private coalitions from 52 cities across the nation applied, engaging nearly 600 companies and civic organizations.
“Indy is quickly building a strong national reputation for promoting STEM education through our Citywide VEX Robotics Championships and being one of seven cities to win this national grant competition,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. “Indy is proud to answer the White House’s call to get more boys and girls interested in STEM subjects. One of the best ways to lift the economic fortune of our city and its residents is to adequately prepare them for the careers of tomorrow.”
Nationally sponsored by Cisco and launched at the Clinton Global Initiative, the US2020 City Competition challenged cities to develop innovative models for dramatically increasing the number of STEM professionals mentoring students. US2020 is specifically focused on increasing STEM opportunities and excitement for girls, underrepresented minorities, and children from low-income families.
The seven winning city coalitions, representing over 200 companies and organizations, are:

  • Allentown, PA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Research Triangle Park, NC
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Wichita, KS

The winners will share $1 million in financial, consulting and staff support over the next year to launch their plans.
A guiding coalition of 40 founding partners was convened in Indianapolis to help with the proposal and application earlier this year. TechPoint Foundation for Youth, a venture philanthropy organization dedicated to growing STEM programming for underserved students, will serve as the city’s project manager for the Indianapolis plan.
“At Roche Diagnostics, we know that community investment demonstrates good corporate citizenship and benefits not only the communities in which we operate, but our employees as well,” said Tom Adkins, Senior Vice President and Head of Roche Diagnostics Operations. “When you pair that culture of volunteerism with our focus on education, specifically those projects that inspire young people to study STEM subjects, it’s no wonder we are firmly committed to supporting Indianapolis’ US2020 project and look forward to supplying our employees with the opportunity to instill among future generations an interest in STEM careers.”
The pilot for Indianapolis’ six-year plan will launch in August 2014 with a select group of Citywide Founding Partners, including: 

City of Indianapolis, TechPoint Foundation for Youth, Eli Lilly and Company, Roche Diagnostics, First Internet Bank, Dow AgroSciences, Cummins, Rolls-Royce, ExactTarget-a Salesforce Company, 3M, Interactive Intelligence, Raytheon, Corporation for National and Community Service, Women & Hi Tech, Society for Information Management – Indianapolis Chapter, Black Data Processing Association – Indianapolis Chapter, IUPUI School of Science, IUPUI School of Engineering & Technology, Indiana University School of Informatics & Computing, MSD of Pike Township, MSD of Lawrence Township, Indianapolis Public Schools, Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis, IndianaFIRST, Project Lead The Way, REC Foundation, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Girls Inc., Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, Net Literacy, Coder Dojo, NASA Ignite!, Science Olympiad Indiana, I-STEM Resource Network, STEM Education Research Institute of IUPUI, Conexus, Indiana Afterschool Network, Marion County Commission on Youth, Peace Learning Center, and Wisdom Tools.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), in partnership with US2020 and Citizen Schools, has made a total investment of 29 AmeriCorps VISTAs to do the important work of engaging communities in this STEM mentoring initiative. Four VISTAs will be serving in Indianapolis under the direction of the TechPoint Foundation for Youth. These VISTAs will serve as the points of contact to help recruit professional mentors from local STEM-related companies, connect those mentors to previously vetted, hands-on STEM programs, and administer evaluations and collect data for reporting on both a national and local scale.
The following pilot schools and community sites will participate in Indianapolis’ plan:

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis
  • IPS schools 14 (Washington Irving Elementary), school 15 (Thomas D. Gregg Elementary), Harshman Middle School, New Tech High School at Arsenal Tech
  • MSD Lawrence Township schools Fall Creek Valley Middle School, Indian Creek Elementary, McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology
  • MSD Pike Township schools Central Elementary, Lincoln Middle School, Pike High School/Pike Freshman Center

“Our #TeamIndy plan consists simply of connecting dots and removing the obstacles that often prevent cross-sector collaborations of this scale from being successful,” said Laura Dodds, Executive Director of the TechPoint Foundation for Youth. “During the pilot year, the Indy plan will focus on actively increasing the supply of STEM professionals interested in mentoring K-12 students, then connecting those professionals to carefully vetted, hands-on, high-impact STEM programming at select pilot schools and community centers."
Indianapolis, along with local partners, US2020, and other winning cities, is pushing forward a movement. The vision of this movement is an America where every child, especially every girl, every child of color, and every child from a low-income family, has the opportunity to be inspired to pursue a STEM career.
“A commitment to serving those students classified as ‘underserved’ – minorities, women, and those from low income households – should be a priority for our city,” said David Becker, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Internet Bank. “We are excited to support programming and community activities, like those present in Indianapolis’ US2020 plan, to identify and nurture tomorrow’s scientists, technicians, engineers, and mathematicians.”
To learn more about US2020 and Indianapolis’ city plan, please visit
About US2020
US2020 is a new organization formed through a partnership of leading education non-profits and corporate leaders in the STEM field. The long-term goal of the initiative is to mobilize 1 million STEM mentors annually by the year 2020, creating millions of movements of discovery – those life changing events when children launch rockets, build robots, write a computer program, or look into the farthest reaches of the universe. US2020 relies on a committed and growing community of public, private, non-profit, and individual partners. US2020’s founding partners are Cisco, Cognizant, Raytheon, SanDisk, and Tata Consultancy Services, now joined by Chevron, with additional support coming from Discovery Communications, Fidelity Investments, HP, Salesforce, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation.

(via TechPoint Foundation for Youth)