Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Improving STEM Outcomes in Indiana

Innovation in Teaching & Learning

IUPUI Faculty have been national leaders in developing new methods of teaching STEM subjects in ways that engage and excite students, while holding them to high standards and stressing critical and analytical thinking.

  • Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) was developed by faculty in the IUPUI Physics Department in the 1990's, and subsequently adapted to many other fields by leaders across the IU system. JiTT has since been adopted by hundreds o faculty members nationwide, and is the subject of two books and numerous papers.
  • Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) is another major reform effort in STEM education pioneered by IUPUI faculty member Pratibha Varma-Nelson (Chemistry and Chemical Biology), in collaboration with scientists at City College of NY and other universities. PLTL has been adopted by by faculty members teaching chemistry at many institutions across the country, and is the subject of several books and scientific papers.
  • Structured Learning Assistance in Biology: Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) is an exciting and unique program that combines the idea of “what to learn” with “how to learn” through weekly sessions led by a fellow student who has already demonstrated the ability to perform well in class.

IUPUI First-Year Learning Programs

  • Summer Bridge: Intensive program for incoming freshmen. 58% of 2010 Summer Bridge participants earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 96% of 2010 Summer Bridge participants indicated that the program provided them with the resources and information to succeed in college.
  • Themed Learning Communities: Themed Learning Communities (TLCs) engage students, faculty, librarians, advisors, and others in a community of learners that explore interdisciplinary connections, both in and out of the classroom, which foster enriching learning experiences.

Academic Support Centers

Learning shouldn't happen in a vacuum. We're here to help and support students through free tutoring and mentoring programs. Learn more.

Expanding Interdisciplinary and Experiential Programs

IUPUI faculty have developed new degree programs that stress interdisciplinary methods and real-world applications.

The Purdue Schools of Science and Engineering & Technology have been leaders in developing cutting-edge interdisciplinary programs that attract students to STEM disciplines: Recent programs include the BS in Neuroscience, the BS in motorsports engineering, the BS in Forensic Science, the MS in Forensic Science, the BS in Energy Engineering, and the BS in Environmental Science.

IUPUI and the School of Science provide unparalleled opportunities for students to participate in research across campus and internships in a variety of fields.

Supporting the Next Generation of STEM Educators

IUPUI faculty have created opportunities for current students and career-changers to train as the next generation of STEM teachers

Over 75 new STEM teachers prepared at IUPUI since 2008. The following programs are coordinated through UCASE, the Urban Center for the Advancement of STEM Education:

Advancing STEM for Future Generations

Programs for K-12 Students

We go beyond the classroom, helping students understand science through real-life problem solving scenarios and inquiry-based instruction. Our science outreach programs give students a robust learning experience, broaden their understanding of science, and encourage young scientists to keep asking questions.

  • K-8 Programs: The Science Apprentice Camp, a summer camp for middle school students, Discovering the Science of the Environment (DSE), an inquiry-based environmental science education program for fourth through ninth grade students and teachers, and the Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair (HSEF).
  • Highschool Programs: Project SEED, a paid summer research program for economically disadvantaged high school students, the DJ Angus Scientech High School Summer Research Experience in Physics, the High School Math Contest, the neuroscience-based Brain Bee, Computer Science Programming Contest, Doctor Camp/Camp MD, and the High School Genetics Conference.

Programs for K-12 Teachers

Science outreach programs at IUPUI provide support for K-12 teachers interested in expanding their classroom resource base in the sciences. These initiatives enhance teachers’ professional development, helping them become subject matter experts and improve their materials and methods. In addition, our students and faculty often provide in-class support through our STEM education and service learning programs. 

Some key programs are:

  • Project Lead the Way  is an innovative project-based Biomedical Science curriculum designed for high school students. The School of Science is a national site for PLTW summer teacher professional development in all four Biomedical Science courses. Over 350 teachers nationwide have participated in PLTW at IUPUI
  • The IUPUI Urban Educators GK-12 Program: Funded by the NSF, this $3 Million program has funded 55 graduate GK-12 fellowships at $30,000 (11 per year for 5 years). Each GK-12 fellow has contributed 600 hours of service each year to hundreds of Indianapolis high school and middle school students, teachers and classrooms.

Increasing STEM Diversity & Success

The Schools of Science and Engineering at IUPUI have created numerous programs aimed at increasing the number and diversity of students pursuing STEM Careers.

Central Indiana Science Talent Expansion Project (NSF CI-STEP)

  • Funded by a $2 million NSF grant, this program targets STEM student success at IUPUI by coordinated efforts involving 17 departments in the School of Science and the School of Engineering & Technology at IUPUI, as well as at Ivy Tech Community College.
  • Yearly goals include a 10% increase in STEM graduation rates, which will result in over 750 additional IUPUI STEM graduates by 2015.
  • The program expands on successful efforts for undergraduate student success at IUPUI such as the Freshman Work Program, the Life-Health Science Internship (LHSI), and the many CRL (Center for Research and Learning) research opportunities for Science undergraduates.
  • Impact: new Women in Science House (WISH) STEM Summer Bridge, new Science Career Development Services (CDS), new Physics Learning Space (PhyLS), expanded efforts in Peer Mentoring, undergraduate research, and on-line student support.

Bridges to Baccalaureate Program: NIH funded program that brings underrepresented minority students from Ivy Tech Community College to IUPUI to engage in research projects with IUPUI faculty in Science, Engineering, Medicine, Informatics, and other units. The grant also provides individual mentoring, specialized programming, and other academic and social support services to these students, in an effort to increase the diversity of students pursuing a career in the biomedical sciences.

Undergraduate Research Mentoring in the Biological Sciences (URM) Program: Designed to broaden participation of African Americans, Hispanic Americans and members of other groups historically underrepresented in science in undergraduate research and will provide them with the experience and expertise needed to succeed in doctoral programs leading to basic research careers in the biological sciences.

Diversity Scholars Research Program (DSRP): Highly competitive, performance-based, annually-renewable fellowship program focusing on active learning through hands-on research and scholarship.

Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP): Funded by the National Science Foundation, is designed to broadening the participation of underrepresented minority students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.