sealPurdue News

September 5, 2002

Partners leap to boost Science Bound program

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Businesses and individual supporters today (Thursday, 9/5) joined Purdue University and Indianapolis Public Schools to celebrate the creation of Science Bound, a program to help underrepresented students realize their dreams of attending college.

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Science Bound, an idea initiated a year ago by Purdue President Martin C. Jischke gives interested IPS students an opportunity to earn a full scholarship to Purdue to study for a career in engineering, science, math, technology or math/science education.

Donors, teachers and students will gather at 6:30 p.m. in the Indianapolis Roof Ballroom to officially launch the program with an announcement of two donations – a gift from the General Electric Fund of $300,000 and a $100,000 gift from the Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis, both to be distributed over three years.

Other donors that have contributed to the program include: Purdue Class of '62 alumnus Robert Bowen, and his wife, Terry, of Indianapolis; Eisenhower Professional Development Program; ACT Awards; American United Life Insurance; Union Planters Bank; and other Purdue alumni. Bowen founded Bowen Engineering Corp., located in Fishers, Ind., which specializes in municipal, utility, industrial and environmental construction.

Science Bound supporters say they are determined to increase diversity and offer new academic opportunities by attracting and exposing IPS students to real careers and applications in their chosen field of study.

"Together, we can work to make math-related careers more accessible to students who have been traditionally underrepresented. More importantly we will be changing the face of Purdue University, and groom our future community leaders," said Robert Bowen, civil engineer.

Purdue's effort to increase diversity in its student population is part of the university's strategic plan.

"We are being very proactive to ensure not only that all academically prepared students have an opportunity to attend Purdue, but also to help prepare and inspire them," Jischke said. "Purdue and other supporters have found an innovative and lasting way to plant the seeds that will make a positive impact today on the lives of students who will lead in the fields of tomorrow."

To be eligible for the full scholarship, selected IPS students must successfully complete the five-year Science Bound program and gain acceptance to Purdue in an approved field, including engineering, math, science, technology or math/science education.

Currently, 63 students from 11 IPS middle schools are participating in the Science Bound program, with expected participation by all IPS middle schools next year. Five IPS high schools also will be involved in the program as the student participants advance in school.

Students selected for the program are identified in the seventh grade based on a variety of criteria, including standardized test scores, teacher recommendations and future potential in math or science. Once selected, students take part in field trips, after-school programs and summer camps. Each student also is assigned a mentor-teacher.

Mentor-teachers are responsible for the implementation of the Science Bound program and conduct regular meetings to ensure that students are provided with the guidance and support necessary for their success.

"This is a unique program that gives special attention to each student who participates. It's a long-term commitment to foster their educational growth and development," said Julia Hains, Purdue professor of chemistry and director of the Science Bound outreach program.

"We care about our Science Bound students, and we are invested in their success from middle school to high school, and all the way through their course of study at Purdue."

Another bonus for Science Bound students is the new partnership with the Purdue University Instrument Van Project, which gives students and teachers an opportunity to work with research-grade scientific equipment in their classrooms and in the after-school programs.

The Instrument Van Project – formerly known as the Chemobile – is a $1.5 million National Science Foundation funded program that is based on the premise that middle and high school students and teachers need to gain experience and familiarity with the use of modern technologies in an activity-based situation. Over the years, the instrument van has provided more than 300 teachers in Indiana with professional development and learning opportunities.

Writer: Jesica Webb, (765) 494-2079,

Sources: Robert Bowen, (317) 842-2616; home: (317) 842-1639

Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708

Julia Hains (765) 494-7861;

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GE supports Purdue, IPS Science Bound program

Science Bound students, from left, Ashia Wilson, Milano Johnson and Jae Senter, explore science in class at Crispus Attucks Middle School in Indianapolis. Science Bound is a new partnership between Purdue University and Indianapolis Public Schools to provide full scholarships to Purdue for underrepresented students pursuing a career in math, science, engineering, technology or math/science education. (Photo/Steven Smith)

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