Several Indiana Urban Schools Association members have Indiana Department of Education (DOE) STEM certified schools. Earlier this year, the DOE announced a second cohort of STEM certified schools, including the following IUSA Member Districts: Evansville-Vanderburgh’s Southern Indiana Career Technical Center and Evansville-Vanderburgh’s New Tech Institute, Grandview Elementary-Monroe County Community School Corp, Indian Creek Elementary Magnet School of STEM-MSD Lawrence TWP, Lafayette Sunnyside Intermediate Schools-Lafayette, Madison Primary Center-South Bend, Area 31 Career Center-MSD Wayne TWP, Maple Crest Middle School – Kokomo. These schools, along with those identified in the first cohort: Michigan City Area Schools: Lake Hills Elementary, MSD of Lawrence Township: Skiles Test Elementary, Belzer Middle School, and McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology, MSD of Warren Township: Walker Career Center, represent the majority of STEM certified schools across the state.
According to the State website, after identifying the need for more rigorous and engaging STEM education, a statewide STEM education plan with pilot programs implemented in 2014-15 began. New science standards, including new engineering and computer science standards were created and adopted in 2016 as the state continued collaboration and partnerships with universities (Pursue and IUPUI) and organizations (Nextech) to support professional development and classroom instruction in STEM-related areas of the curriculum. STEM certified schools are described by the state as those that exemplify a highly non-traditional approach to education by employing a great deal of inquiry, project based learning, community engagement, entrepreneurship, student centered classrooms, and out-of-school STEM activities.