Purdue signature
The Future Begins Today | About Us


  1. The need for STEM
  2. Meeting the National Challenge
  3. Program Design
  4. Program Success
  5. Commitment from Purdue
  6. School Administrators, Teachers and counselors Create a Path To Success
  7. Corporate Partners Support A Path to Success
  8. What We've Learned



The United States is losing its competitive edge in math and science while the rest of the world soars ahead.

. By 2018, 92 percent of traditional STEM jobs will be for those with at least some post-secondary education and training.

. By 2020:

. Professional, scientific, and technical services is projected to grow 29%, adding about 2.1 million new jobs,

. Employment in computer systems design and related services is expected to increase 47%

. Management employment, scientific, and technical consulting services is anticipated to expand 58%.

. Sixty percent of the new jobs that will open in the 21st century will require skills possessed by only 20 percent of the current workforce. The U.S. may be short as many as three million high-skills workers by 2018.

. Only 31% of all 2012 high school graduates taking the ACT were academically ready for college coursework in science.

. Only 46% were academically ready for college coursework in mathematics.



A creative solution is required to meet this challenge. Science Bound provides a successful model that addresses this national concern by impacting the local community. Purdue University partnered with local corporations and Indianapolis Public Schools to introduce and better prepare students for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - often referred to as the STEM disciplines. At Purdue, we include Agriculture, too, so we call them STEAM disciplines (which make sense for Boilermakers!). Many students who enroll in Science Bound are the first in their families to go to college. This program can change lives.


Early college preparation is vital to student success. The Science Bound program begins working with students in the 8th grade.


There are 4 major components of this program (descriptions of each component follow):


  1. After School Workshops and Activities
  2. Summer Camps, Internships, and Other Events
  3. Parent Program
  4. College Program

1. After School Workshops and Activities (hosted at schools). The after school workshops and activities are held twice a month and are designed to expose students to the STEAM fields early on. Mentor teachers from various schools serve as key points of contact for Science Bound students. After school activities from past programs have included forensic exercises, chemistry labs, robotics projects, and guest speakers from Purdue and local industries.

A number of the schools from previous programs have teamed up with Science Bound industrial partners for company-led projects. For example, in the Purdue-Indianapolis Science Bound Program, Rolls Royce worked with Arsenal Tech to build solar cars, and Raytheon worked with Harshman Middle School to build catapults and provide company tours. Purdue's School of Veterinary Science has also established a Science Bound Vet Club at Crispus Attucks in Indianapolis.

2. Summer Camps, Internships and Other Events (hosted on the Purdue campus or the corporate sponsor's place of business). Summer camps are offered to Science Bound students who have maintained a 3.1 GPA, and a "B" average in Science and Math courses. Each year, 80 students or more participate in our summer camps, math workshops, internships or research opportunities. These include:

. Science Explorers Camp for rising 8th graders.

. Biology, Vet or other camp opportunities for 9th, 10th and 11th graders in good standing.

. 12th graders have opportunities for Internships with participating industrial partners or might conduct research with Purdue professors.

. Math courses are offered to strengthen student analytical and problem-solving skills.

. Science also hosts many other exciting events each year which include:

. Annual Celebration/Graduation Reception or Dinner

. Purdue Space Day, Bug Bowl, Engineering/Chemistry Day, Shadowing Days.

. Company tours and other special projects.


3. Parent Program. Parents are an important influence on their children's maturity and academic success. Science Bound has designed a program especially for parents.

. Parents will learn about Science Bound program activities, what is expected of their children and how they can be better advocates for their children.

. Parents meet with community leaders, educational and industry professionals to learn about STEM career opportunities.

. A Parent Advisory Council will be formed. Purdue staff will work with the Parent Advisory Council to establish agenda items and assist parent representatives in running meetings. The Council meets the first Tuesday of each month during the school year.

. At the end of each spring semester, a Parent Retreat is held at Purdue University.


4. College Program. Building upon our research, best practices and past experiences, we have designed a program that will result in student success in STEAM areas.



In 2001, Purdue addressed this national crisis by partnering with a local school district and private industry. Indianapolis Public School (IPS) teacher/mentors selected promising 8th graders and introduced them to STEAM (science, technology, agriculture, math) careers. By identifying middle school students early on, preparing them for college and grooming them professionally, many participants were successful in completing their degree and securing a career in a STEAM field.


The Oct. 7, 2010 "The Path to Hope" edition of the Indianapolis STAR focused on Indianapolis children and their families overcoming poverty. It featured a full-page spread on Purdue Science Bound student Tiffany Legge, during her senior year. Tiffany completed her bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2011, and is currently employed at Proctor & Gamble as a process engineer (see her story).


The program has had great success. Below are few of the highlights:


. There are 350 participants within the Indianapolis public school system (grades 6-12) who look forward to coming to Purdue.

. 98% of Science Bound students who began the program went on to college.

. The program has 80 students currently on campus.

. Science Bound's first cohort arrived in the Fall of 2007. On average twenty students matriculate to campus each year.

. Science Bound's first college cohort graduated in May 2011, since that time there have been 37 Purdue graduates from the program.

. Students are actively involved on campus and hosted a university-wide leadership conference in 2012.

. During the August 2012 graduation ceremony, Science Bound graduating senior Brittany Allensworth delivered the student commencement address.



Science Bound provides more than a scholarship. We are fully committed to providing the required ongoing support needed for student success. This includes:

. Purdue provides orientation, hosts summer camps and workshops and provides academic enrichment programming to students and parents.

. Once students have graduated from high school and are accepted to Purdue, they are invited to participate in a summer bridge program and orientation to help them transition into college.

. To ensure the student's success, the Science Bound program offers numerous forms of support including tutors, peer mentors, counseling services and professional development opportunities.

. Purdue Science Bound students will attend scholarship meetings and turn in mid-term grade checks each semester.

Science Bound students at Purdue will discover that people care about them and we will do all we can to ensure a rewarding Purdue experience.



School administrators identify the Mentor/Teacbers. Mentor teachers play an extremely important function in the success of Science Bound, so you'll want to identify members of your staff who will participate as well. Not only are Mentor teachers responsible for identifying participants and facilitating after school sessions, they are strategically positioned as role models, career coaches, who whet the appetite of students for discovery, investigation and research. Once they have been identified, Science Bound leadership team will work with mentor/teachers to launch the program going and to help involve local industrial partners.



Corporate sponsors play a vital role:



Based upon our experiences working with the Indianapolis public schools, corporate partners and research findings, we make the following recommendations:

  1. A holistic model that facilitates partnering of schools, parents, higher education and industry is paramount.
  2. Mentor/Teachers are a necessity and critical to the success of our program. Their development and training is absolutely essential to this process.
  3. College Readiness is an absolute necessity. It is imperative that schools provide Science Bound students with SAT preparation.
  4. Math is a critical component to success in STEAM education. Science Bound participants will be required to attend a math enrichment course offered once a week which includes the program ALEKS 4.
  5. Parents play an integral role in student success; we advocate for the implementation of a parent program.
  6. Corporate community partnering ensures program success by providing essential support for participant scholarships and programmatic expenses.
  7. Corporate partners afford opportunities for high school and college participants to gain valuable practical work experience.
  8. 8We suggest that Northwest Indiana corporations consider establishing mentoring partnerships through individual school adoption.

Now in our eleventh year, we have gained critical insights which serve to inform our notion of expansion into the Northwest Indiana region. We look forward to partnering with you to address this national challenge, by implementing a grassroots solution.


Back to Top ↑

Contact Us

Science Bound Main Office
Materials Science and Electrical Engineering (MSEE), Suite 386
501 Northwestern Avenue
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Main: 765.494.0018
Toll-Free: 1.800.276.1866
Fax: 765.494.3200

Back to Top ↑


Purdue University Staff

Dr. G. Christine Taylor
Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

Wesley Campbell
Director of Science Bound

Derrick Williams
Student Success Coordinator

William VanSchaik

Christopher Wirt

Natasha Harris
Administrative Assistant

IPS Staff

Ben Palick
Secondary Science Facilitator
Indianapolis Public Schools

Back to Top ↑