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First Annual “Running for our Future” 5K - September 3, 2014

The First Annual, “Running for our Future” 5K walk/run is scheduled for May 17, 2014 at the WestGate@Crane Technology Park. The race is a perfect opportunity to visit the technology park, see the WestGate Academy Conferencing and Training Center, and network with park tenants and regional partners. All proceeds benefit a newly minted scholarship fund, which will be awarded in the fall, at the Academy’s Second Annual WestGate@Crane College Fair.

“Running for our Future” is sponsored by STIMULUS Engineering Services, Inc., Battery Innovation Center, and the Indiana Running Company. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, with packages providing a range of benefits from giveaways and t-shirt logos to full banners and media coverage at the event.

Registration is open to all age groups. Pre-registration is available through April 25, at a discounted rate of $10 for children age 12 and under and $25 for adults. Regular registration will go up to $15 and $30 respectively, and will be available up to and including race day. All fitness levels are encouraged to participate. Prizes for first place in male and female categories will be awarded by age group.

For more information, contact Melissa Pittman at 812-863-2756.

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STEM More Than Engineering - September 3, 2014

One year ago, when STEM Premier launched, President DonTylinski and COO Casey Welch knew they had something special.

STEM Premier offers a digital platform, similar to LinkedIn, where high school and college students can showcase their talent for prospective schools and employers. Interestingly, it is not just the students with aptitude in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) who can benefit from this tool. It is for everyone, and it is quickly gaining popularity.

“STEM is so much more than people realize,” said Tylinski, speaking to a group of more than 20 leaders from industry, government, and non-profit sectors gathered at the WestGate Academy Conferencing and Training Center on Monday. “Everything we do deals with science, technology, and math. Research shows a strong correlation between musical talent, for example, and all kinds of creative development. STEM is not just engineering. It’s everything.”

The audience, which included representatives from regional economic development, local school corporations, NSWC Crane and the WestGate@Crane Tech Park, and local and federal government, listened as Welch walked them through the features of an individual student profile. The profile acts as a social media-inspired CV, allowing members, age 13 and up, to market themselves and create a positive profile. In the modern age of constant connectivity, when social media can permanently record and amplify moments of poor judgment, it is more important than ever for students to take control of what Welch and Tylinski consider a personal “brand.”

Creating the profile is free for students, while companies and universities pay a “seat” fee. The platform instantly connects students to scholarship opportunities, internship openings, and career prospects. Students can opt to be ranked according to STEM aptitude, or they can create a profile that focuses on other disciplines and activities. Holding down a job while keeping grades up, volunteering and extra-curricular activities, linguistic and artistic talent are important parts of the profiles as well. Employers and educators, Tylinski noted, are looking for all kinds of people with all kinds of talent and skills.

STEM Premier seeks to provide the same kind of services to academics that have been available for athletics for years, and it has already been successful. The company initially rolled out its services in an area of South Carolina that closely mirrors the eight counties covered by Radius Indiana, the region’s official economic development organization. Welch and Tylinski said that the South Central Indiana region would be ideal for STEM Premier, adding that the platform is a perfect fit for businesses big and small and fits perfectly with regional workforce and economic development efforts.

“People want to work,” Tylinski said. “They just don’t even know there are jobs,” referencing the workforce needs in nearby Dubois County, where skilled workers are a hot commodity. STEM Premier is one possible way to deal with the labor gap, helping employers identify and hire workers with the right skill set and values.

Those interested in learning more about STEM Premier are encouraged to contact the company directly, via their website, www.stempremier.com, or by reaching out to Cara Florence, Business Development and Diversity at STEM Premier, atcflorence@stempremier.com.

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30th Annual Crane Science and Engineering Fair - September 3, 2014

It was a big dose of science, technology, engineering, and math fun for students who participated in the 30th annual Team Crane Science and Engineering Fair at WestGate on Wednesday.

Science Fair 2Students from Linton-Stockton, Bloomfield, Shoals, North Daviess, Orleans, and Jasper, among other regional schools, were in attendance at the annual event.

The science and engineering fair offered a junior division for students in grades six through eight and a senior division for students in grades nine through twelve, explained Melissa Pittman, who is the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) Science Fair Lead and an employee at STIMULUS Engineering Services.

“We are giving out more than $4,000 in awards today,” she added, later noting the event was a huge success.

“What we wanted to happen is [to offer] the kids a place to come and display their projects, but also to realize some of the careers that are offered [in science and engineering],” Pittman said, noting this year was the first time that learning centers were featured at the event.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning center booths, such as WonderLab, Boston Scientific, Ivy Tech, Vincennes University, First Robotics, ASNE-SI, E/O Night Vision, and several others offered hands-on learning during the event.

During the fair, students also patiently answered questions about their projects and provided background information on their chosen tasks.

For example, Brianna Laughlin, a North Daviess student, explained that her science project, which compared the intelligence of male and female dogs, concluded that female dogs are smarter than their male counterparts.

“I chose this project because I love dogs,” she added, noting the majority of her test subjects were her beloved canines.

Ella McKinney, an L-S Middle School student, was a bit surprised by the outcome of her project, which tested the reaction times of talking and texting on cell phones.

“When you’re on the phone, reaction time is a bit slower, but when you’re texting it really affects what you are doing,” McKinney explained.

Caleb Frady and Peyton Davis, Bloomfield sixth graders, teamed up with a project that created a magnet with iron wire, a nail, a cover, and a battery.

“We created a magnet without a magnet,” Frady explained.

Categories for the science and engineering fair included the following: Behavioral and social sciences, botany, chemistry and biochemistry, consumer science, Earth space and environmental science, inventions, math and computers, medicine and health, microbiology, physics, and zoology.

Dennis McGinn, assistant secretary of the Navy (Energy, Installations, and Environment), provided opening remarks for the event.

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