In April of 2014, the Pacers Foundation provided a grant to IPS Thomas D. Gregg Elementary school #15 to fund the Pacers Mission Control Room. The grant will provide students with a rigorous curriculum that provides hands-on higher level learning activities built around the theme Aviation and Aerospace. Students will work on projects utilizing the STEM Methodology of Instruction (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Teachers will learn how to develop and implement curriculum by an expert in the field of Aviation and Aerospace studies specifically designed for younger students. The Pacer Foundation additionally funded new technology to be purchased for student use; computers, software and telescopes. Students will learn about a plethora of career and educational opportunities.
“Children have a natural affinity and high interest level for learning about flight and outer space,” said Dr. Teresa Baker, the principal. “The generous gift from the Pacers Foundation has inspired other community partners to get involved with the school and share their love of Aviation and Aerospace with our students. The students and staff of Thomas D. Gregg Elementary are grateful for all the support they have received from the Pacers Foundation.“
In the summer of 2014, the Pacers Foundation, in partnership with IPS and the School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI , awarded another STEM education grant to Harshman Magnet Middle School.
The program, called CH:IPS (Computer High: Informatics Project for Success), will engage 60 Harshman students throughout the school year in a weekly series of two-hour, after-school learning experiences. The focus will be on informatics and computing and how information technology can be applied to a wide range of real-world challenges and opportunities. This range includes health, security, marketing, logistics, education and entertainment – and almost any field or business that relies on information management.
Students will learn practical and conceptual skills from a team of faculty and advanced students from IUPUI. Guest speakers from local industry will provide a valuable perspective on the wide range of businesses and industries that apply these skills and technologies.
Pacers Foundation chairman Rick Fuson said, “Our Foundation and the entire Pacers organization are committed to the Indianapolis community, and especially to the children and families of our own closest neighbors here in the IPS district. The CH:IPS project will help prepare IPS students to become fully engaged citizens of this digital century.”
IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee stated, “We are extremely grateful to the Pacers Foundation for yet another demonstration of support for IPS and our ongoing efforts to provide our students with the educational experiences that will propel them to college and successful careers. Our schools must not simply teach practical computer skills, but go beyond to help our students learn ‘computational thinking.’ The CH:IPS project will bridge the gap between the traditional curriculum and the realities of 21st century careers, which require this understanding.”