As a visiting faculty member, Michael Frontz’s role is to support the Informatics: Diversity-Enhanced Workforce (iDEW) program, which the School of Informatics and Computing launched in the 2015–2016 school year.
The iDEW program is a partnership among the university, high schools, industry, and other community partners which is addressing the diversity gap in technology through an innovative college and career program focused on high school students. Frontz is one of two iDEW faculty members that design, develop, pilot, and support the program’s project-based high school computing courses.
In each semester-long course, high school students collaborate in small teams to design, code, and evaluate their own solutions to authentic challenges involving a particular technology (such as web apps, robotics, Internet of Things, video games, chatbots, data visualizations, etc.). The iDEW courses emphasize design thinking, computational thinking, and 21st century success skills, such as creative thinking, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.
In 2018, the iDEW program was honored as the Tech Educator of the Year at the TechPoint Mira Awards.
Prior to joining the IUPUI faculty, Frontz was a high school science teacher for four years before joining CTB/McGraw-Hill Education, where he spent fourteen years working closely with state education agencies and other partners to design, develop, pilot, and administer standards-based K-12 assessments at the national, state, and district levels. He was recognized by CTB/McGraw Hill as its 2011 Employee of the Year for his leadership on an international assessment program.