Rose-Hulman STEM E-Mentoring Program Supported by Ball Venture Fund Grant

Monday, June 14, 2021
Image shows large group of West Vigo female students seated in a gymnasium wearing black EMERGE sweat shirts and COVID-19 masks.

The PRISM program’s EMERGE project had five Rose-Hulman students establishing social networks during the 2020-21 school year to discuss a variety of STEM and academic topics with 36 West Vigo High School ninth-grade girls.

Rose-Hulman students will continue encouraging ninth-grade girls from Vigo County School Corporation’s West Vigo High School to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) interests through an e-mentoring program, supported for the upcoming 2021-22 school year by a $25,000 grant from the Ball Venture Fund.

The fund, sponsored by the Ball Brothers Foundation of Muncie, Indiana, provides seed funding for initiatives to stimulate creativity and innovation and foster competition and collaboration among Indiana’s 30 private, non-profit colleges and universities within the Independent Colleges of Indiana (ICI). There were 46 submissions from 23 ICI member institutions this year, with four grants being awarded.

Rose-Hulman’s grant will support the EMERGE project, organized by the institute’s Portal Resource for Indiana Science and Mathematics (PRISM) program ( ) with support from the VCSC. The e-mentoring initiative features social networking that links junior- and senior-year Rose-Hulman female students to provide West Vigo girls with STEM career awareness and academic achievement advice.

“Rose-Hulman and the PRISM program have had a strong partnership with the Vigo County School Corporation to recruit more women into STEM careers. This Ball Venture Fund grant is another important step forward in those efforts,” said PRISM Director Patricia Carlson. “Repetition is the key to any successful educational endeavor and this grant will allow us to continue to build upon efforts that have been successful in the early stages of the project.”

Five Rose-Hulman students established social networks during the 2020-21 school year to discuss a variety of topics with 36 West Vigo High School ninth-grade girls who had expressed an interest in STEM.

West Vigo EMERGE liaison Alusta Tapy, a science and math teacher, said of the recently concluded academic year’s program, “The best part is to have a connection for my students with girls who are in college now and can give them a first-hand perspective that is not from a teacher or school guidance counselor. It is important to expose the freshmen to opportunities in STEM so that they can make good course selections in the following years to prepare for college.”

PRISM is a nationally recognized learning hub hosted by Rose-Hulman that provides digital resources and professional development opportunities for Indiana STEM teachers.

Joining Rose-Hulman in receiving Ball Venture Fund grants this year were Bethel University, Marian University and Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame.