About

The Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce (iDEW) equips Indiana high school students with the IT and informatics skills they need to succeed.

The IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI collaborates with communities, industry, and high schools to help high schools offer free iDEW classes to students in urban neighborhoods, rural areas, and everywhere in between. Our goal: to provide a successful and diverse workforce that can power the digital economy.

Our workforce development initiative opens opportunities for underrepresented minorities by providing them with skills that meet the needs of tech employers in Indiana and nationwide.

Through community partnerships, iDEW is committed to attracting diverse groups of teens to informatics subjects with:

  • Innovative, relevant, and engaging programs
  • Mentorship support
  • Development of real-world skills and knowledge
  • Curriculum developed with input from tech industries

A student’s story

Beyond computers

The state of Indiana is focusing on the future, requiring computer science to be part of the curriculum in all public high schools by 2021.

Indiana lawmakers passed Senate Enrolled Act SEA 172 in 2018. But IUPUI’s commitment to Hoosier teens goes back to 2015, when the School of Informatics and Computing and many local partners developed the Informatics Diversity-Enhanced Workforce initiative.  Since 2016, more than 1,000 Indiana teens have acquired the skills needed to thrive in our state’s growing digital economy.

The IU connection

Schools can fulfill new state requirements for computer science education by offering the innovative iDEW curriculum developed by the state’s largest university.

High school instructors receive training and support as they help students explore iDEW learning modules created by faculty at IUPUI in consultation with industry leaders.

In the 2018-19 school year, eight Indianapolis-area high schools participated in the iDEW program:

  • Arsenal Technical High School
  • George Washington High School
  • Herron High School
  • McKenzie Center for Innovation & Technology (MSD Lawrence Township)
  • Pike High School
  • Providence Cristo Rey High School
  • Riverside High School
  • Southport High School

How does it work?

The iDEW initiative introduces computing concepts to Indiana students at their high schools, teaching them the skills to solve real-world problems using exciting, hands-on informatics solutions. Participation in iDEW is free for schools and students.

iDEW learning modules are:

  • For Indiana high school students
  • Conducted at Indiana high schools during the school day
  • Taught by high school teachers using a curriculum developed by faculty at the IU School of Informatics and Computing at IUPUI. Teachers receive training from IUPUI, and can consult with iDEW faculty.

Many students earn professional IT certifications that prepare them for the workforce or for going on to two-year or four-year academic paths in informatics, and can become eligible for scholarships, including the LiFT Scholarship.

Each year, a new group of high school students begins the iDEW program.