sealPurdue News

February 25, 2003

School principals, Purdue team up to provide academic competitions

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University and the Indiana Association of School Principals (IASP) are partnering to conduct academic competitions for students throughout the state.

"Our new alliance with IASP fits well with Purdue's strategy to strengthen preparatory education through enhanced, ongoing involvement with pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students – particularly in the areas of reading, math and science," said Don Gentry, Purdue's vice provost for engagement.

Through this collaboration, the principals' association plans to grow and expand its competition schedule. The association oversees spelling and math competitions involving teams of elementary, middle school and high school students; a statewide academic decathlon in which teams of high school students compete through tests, essays, speeches and interviews to advance to a national competition; and "Super Bowls" where teams of middle and high school students compete in English, math, science, fine arts and social studies categories.

"Purdue's financial commitment helps fill a void caused last year by the withdrawal of several corporate sponsors due to the economic downturn," said Stephen Heck, IASP's executive director. "We feel very fortunate that our ability to continue to offer competitions is stable and that our ongoing mission of promoting and improving the education of children and youth can endure."

In addition to a contribution of $100,000 per year for the next three years, the university will host competitions and assist with question writing, presenting awards, and offering promotional and technical assistance. Purdue and the association will explore the development and introduction of new competitions as well as the potential for hosting online competitions made possible by Purdue's Web design experts.

Purdue's strategic plan calls for the university to engage in partnerships with the state of Indiana, its businesses, educators and citizens to benefit the state's economic future.

Purdue's Science Bound program is an example of one such educational partnership. Formed last year, Science Bound will help underrepresented students in Indianapolis Public Schools earn a full scholarship to Purdue to study engineering, science, math, technology or math/science education.

The Indiana Association of School Principals is an organization that leads in the advocacy and support of all principals in their commitment to every child. The association provides a full range of services for building-level administrators, designed to help them in their task of providing instructional leadership and effective management to Indiana schools. Through its student programs, the organization reaches out to thousands of Indiana students each year and provides them with curriculum-enhancing activities that enable each child to fully develop their potential.

Writer: Jeanine S. Phipps, (765) 496-3133;

Sources: Don Gentry, (765) 494-9095;

Stephan Heck, (317) 576-5400 ext. 210;

Helen McCarthy, IASP communications and accounting coordinator, (317) 576-5400 Ext. 200,

Related Web site:
Purdue University Office of Engagement

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