TechPoint Foundation for Youth (TPF4Y) has been a leader in technology education efforts for the State of Indiana since 2001. The organization promotes and connects underserved kindergarten through grade 12 students to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A variety of initiatives are supported to expose students to skills crucial to success in the 21st -century workplace such as communication, problem-solving, project management, and collaboration. TPF4Y brings hands-on STEM activities to a priority population identified as females, minorities, and students from low-income and/or low-education attainment backgrounds.

Two young children sit in front of laptops and are wearing headphones.
TechPoint Foundation for Youth, n.d. Credit: TechPoint Foundation View Source

In 2012, Mayor Greg Ballard invited TPF4Y to serve as the lead partner in the VEX Robotics Championship (Indy VRC) to provide an opportunity for all Indianapolis high school students to participate in a world-class robotics event. The inaugural event served 38 Indianapolis high schools.

An elementary and middle school division was added to the event in 2016 after TPF4Y cultivated a robotics program for this age group. By introducing younger students to technology, TPF4Y aimed to foster interest and address the need for more workers in the growing Indianapolis tech sector. Almost 400 teams competed in the 2017 VEX Robotics Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium. Funding for the robotics the program came from partners such as Guggenheim Life and Annuity, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Indiana Department of Education, and longtime partners and supporters, Roche Diagnostics and Eli Lilly and Company Foundation.

Two children look at robots. A referee stands in the background.
IN VEX Robotics State Championship, 2020 Credit: TechPoint Foundation View Source

By 2020, the VEX Robotics Championships had grown almost 430 percent to include more than 2,100 teams, 200 of which are high school level teams. To confront the shortage of high school level robotics programs and teams, TPF4Y initiated a major fundraising effort to enable replication of the elementary school and middle school model to high schools. TPF4Y has been charged with scaling its model to a larger audience. The organization leads the State Robotics Initiative (SRI) which will spread STEM opportunities to priority populations outside Indianapolis, throughout the entire state.

Revised June 2021

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