Grants: Blazing new trails
Duke Energy Foundation Grant
Indiana University Kokomo received a $20,000 Duke Energy Foundation grant, which provided science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming for more than 1,000 children and their families.
Leah Nellis, dean of the School of Education, said the funding will be used for family STEM events at Elwood Haynes and Boulevard elementary schools, both in the Kokomo School Corporation.
“It’s all about encouraging exploration of STEM activities and skills, in a family setting,” said Nellis. “It’s important for the children to see their parents coming to school, and demonstrating how important their education is.”
Jan Halperin, vice chancellor for university advancement, commended Duke Energy for its dedication to the community.
“We are grateful for the continued partnership IU Kokomo has with the Duke Energy Foundation and Kokomo Schools,” said Halperin, adding that they also contributed to the Scripps Spelling Bee the campus hosted.
Future teachers in the School of Education participated in planning and leading activities, gaining valuable real-world teaching experience in the process.
Misinformation Solutions Prize
IU Kokomo received the top award of $50,000 for its Mind Over Chatter training program, as winner of the Misinformation Solution Prize, intended to fuel development of novel ideas that can reduce the spread of misinformation and minimize its influence.
As part of the program, paid peer mentors are teaching new students how to consider information that doesn’t agree with what they already know.
“This will help prepare students to be more mindful of some of the biases we’re all prone to, and be more critical readers as they take in information,” said Mark Canada, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and principal investigatore for the project. “It’s not the standard approach to information literacy.”
The program builds on existing curriculum in digital polarization, which builds student knowledge in civic and web literacy. It includes a three-step process to help students address cognitive biases, or natural tendencies that interfere with people’s abilities to evaluate information.
The Misinformation Solutions Prize was presented by the Rita Allen Foundation and RTI International, in partnership with the Aspen Institute.