sealPurdue News

September 5, 2002

GE supports Purdue, IPS Science Bound program

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – GE and Indianapolis-area supporters are helping Purdue University bring good things to life, bringing new opportunities to students in the Indianapolis Public Schools district.

The General Electric Fund announced today (Thursday, 9/5) that it will donate $300,000 over the next three years to help support the Science Bound program – a recent partnership between Purdue and Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS).

Science Bound, an idea initiated a year ago by Purdue President Martin C. Jischke, helps underrepresented students earn a full scholarship to Purdue to study for a career in engineering, science, math, technology and math/science education.

"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. "General Electric's investment in Science Bound is one of many initiatives this forward-thinking company has supported."

GE also recently launched its own new program – Math Excellence Initiative, which has committed more than 19 grants to various schools to help them strengthen and expand the diversity in their math, science, engineering, technology and business areas.

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

"Our goal is to make math-related careers not only fun and exciting, but also accessible to students who have been traditionally underrepresented in these areas," said Julia Hains, Purdue professor of chemistry and director of the Science Bound outreach program.

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

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 participate 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 an individual adult mentor-teacher.

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

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.

Other donors that have previously contributed to the program include: Purdue Class of '62 alumnus Robert Bowen, and his wife, Terry, of Indianapolis; Lumina Foundation, 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.

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

Sources: Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708

Julia Hains (765) 494-7861;

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