About Us

Keeping Up With a Changing Economy: The Need for New Thinkers.

The Greater South Bend area has been known historically as a manufacturing community. Over the years that traditional manufacturing base has deteriorated and the result has been a loss of jobs as well as a loss of educated youth, described as a “brain drain.” According to the 2000 census, South Bend has more than double the rate of “brain drain” in the State of Indiana and is significantly higher than relatively comparable Midwestern communities with large research institutions. A recent Indiana Business Council Survey notes that 73% of Indiana businesses are concerned about the “brain drain” or the number of top young talent who leave the state.

Revitalization efforts of the economy have been focused on innovation and technology. The University of Notre Dame and the City of South Bend have partnered to establish two state certified technology parks: Innovation Park and Ignition Park. Notre Dame partnering with Purdue has received grant funding to develop research in the field of nanotechnology and Ivy Tech Community College has developed associates degree programs in biotechnology and nanotechnology.

At the community level, there is literature to suggest that programming is required to get African American and Latino children the tools they need outside of the normal K-12 classroom to consider a STEM education and career path.  Loosely based on the book “Innovate Like Edison” by Michael J. Gelb and Sarah Miller Caldicott, our program addresses this interest by looking at the child from a very holistic and organic perspective, by encompassing problem-solving and decision-making skills.