Strong Academics - STEM

Excelling in STEM

IU Bloomington will achieve national recognition as a leader in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education that develops a scientifically literate citizenry.

This aligns with IU Bloomington Bicentennial Objective Two.


Goal: IU will ensure that our science faculty are engaged with best evidence-based methods for science teaching and cutting-edge learning analytics in science fields; foster cooperation across schools to produce more K-12 science teachers with deep scientific and technological knowledge; and develop signature educational programs that cross school and disciplinary boundaries.

Update: IU Bloomington is among a dozen universities to receive a "mini-grant" from the Association of American Universities -- $20,000 over two years -- to help improve undergraduate education outcomes in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. IU's project, "Advancing a Data-Informed STEM Culture: The Mitigating Grade Surprise Collaborative," expands upon existing campus efforts to transform teaching and learning cultures in STEM departments using learning analytics and big data. With support from the grant, IU faculty from five different STEM programs will develop, implement, and assess teaching strategies and active learning interventions designed to address the impact of "grade surprise" -- the difference between a student's expected grade and their actual grade in a course.

The Project STEM 8-week summer internship program invites high school students interested in science and engineering to work with faculty mentors doing college-level research. The program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Indianapolis Project STEM.
The Groups Scholars STEM Initiative promotes and enhances the academic and professional experiences of first- generation, underrepresented students in the STEM disciplines through research, structured mentoring, and academic support.

The IU-MSI STEM Initiative, formerly known as the IU-HBCU STEM Initiative, is an academic and research partnership between Indiana University and multiple Minority Serving Institutions that promotes and develops the science, technology, engineering, and math disciplines. Between 2007 and 2018, 269 students participated in the program. The 43 scholars who participated in the STEM SSI during the first six years participated in the follow-up study, and all 43 have successfully completed their undergraduate degrees. Most of these degrees have been in STEM disciplines, including: biology, chemistry, chemistry and biology, human biology, food science and technology, computer science, math education, pharmaceutical sciences, computer engineering, psychology, and civil enginee​ring.

At the time of the survey, over half (51%) of the 43 respondents indicated that they completed a master’s program and 23% are currently enrolled. Two respondents were applying to master’s programs. One of the main objectives of the STEM SSI is to assist students in obtaining their PhDs, and 30% of the respondents have completed a PhD program, while 14% are currently enrolled. Two scholars were applying to PhD programs at the time of the survey. Based on previous trends, it is expected that 10% of STEM SSI participants will have obtained their PhDs within 10 years of beginning the program. If students who were part of the STEM SSI program did complete their PhD degrees within this time frame, it would significantly exceed the national rates of PhD recipients by almost double.

Women in technology

Goal: Build the impact and reach of the Center of Excellence for Women in Technology and partner with employers to collaborate on 21st-century STEM workforce competencies.

Update: The Center of Excellence for Women in Technology has grown its reach and impact by creating new sessions, courses, and positions.

CEWiT started out with six interns in 2014-15 and now employs 40 paid student interns. Its job-shadow program has grown from 22 students in 2014-15 to 38 students in 2017-18. CEWiT has employed 120 student interns in total between 2014-18. CEWiT affiliates have grown in every category, from 2471 total students, staff, faculty, and alums in 2014 to 2804 in January 2019. The annual CEWiT Summit, happening this year March 1-2, 2019, is a two-day conference to share, learn, engage with, and experience technology.

As a way of understanding female recruitment in the technology field, NaLette Brodnax conducted research at IU Bloomington on how CEWiT programs impact students.

Since 2014, CEWiT has offered the Emerging Scholars Research Experiences for Undergraduate Women, which pairs first-year and sophomore women at IU Bloomington with faculty mentors who conduct research that actively engages students with computing and/or technology. Sixty students are taking part in the 2017-18 REU-W projects, on topics ranging from Big Data Analysis of Indiana Nonprofit Organizations to I CAN PERSIST STEM Initiative Among Minority Women.

Advocates & Allies are male faculty who educate themselves about issues of gender [in]equity, participate in train-the-trainer workshops, and lead structured workshops with faculty colleagues, Allies, to raise awareness about what to watch for and how to be a champion for equity and inclusion for all faculty.

Allies for Equity is a team of undergraduate men within CEWiT that promotes and supports efforts toward gender equity at Indiana University.

The Black Women in STEM eMentor Program matches Black female student affiliates virtually with Black IU alumnae who are trained mentors. This program will have more emphasis on support, retention, and the unique needs of Black women in STEM, as well as career development, networking, confidence building, and real-work environment awareness.
The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning and CEWiT partnered with the IUB science libraries to create a new Tech2U series, focusing on the use of instructional technology in STEM courses. In 2018, CITL offered three sessions for 27 participants, with growing numbers already in 2019.
  • CEWiT Accelerator Crash Courses are workshops designed for students, faculty, and staff who identify as women to encourage in-depth and independent learning.
  • e-Mentor Program, currently serving 177 students. The CEWiT Women's eMentor Program is offering two unique electronic mentoring (eMentoring) programs to match female students with trained IU alumnae mentors virtually based on professional aspirations, common interests, and background. eMentors and mentees meet virtually once per month to share, discuss, and connect.
  • The Empowerment Lunch & Learn Series has a focus on knowledge and tools that can help one be successful in both academics and careers. These interactive workshops take place during the lunch hour in the Coronation Room, inside the Tudor Room of the IMU. Lunch is free to the first 40 students who RSVP. Advising Intervention since 2016
  • CEWiT Research Hackathon, new February 2019
  • Expansion of number of programs –125 in 2017/18 alone
  • In the Fall of 2018, CEWiT sponsored four IU students to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the world’s largest gathering of women technologists and sponsored five to attend the Indiana Conference for Women.
  • Three students attended the Combine in April 2018.
  • A new UITS position within CITL, “Instructional Technology Consultant – STEM Specialist” was created and filled in 2018. The position serves as a senior resource in the design and development of instructional technology services to faculty clients, with a specific emphasis on STEM-related disciplines and applied instructional approaches for these disciplines in active learning classrooms.