April 7, 2023

Developing youth data literacy

Indiana University continues to leverage its resources and expertise toward ensuring Indiana’s competitiveness in an increasingly digital-first, data-driven economy.  

Earlier this week, IU announced that a team of researchers will support middle school students' data literacy—commonly defined as the ability to read, work with, analyze and communicate with data—with the help of its software tool Net.Create and a $1.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation.   

The grant will allow the team to develop a new version of Net.Create educational software and materials and conduct research that will help reveal the benefit of network visualizations in the classroom. Networks track individual interactions between people, places and things. Visualizing these interactions helps support a variety of learners and researchers trying to understand how a single interaction fits into a complex network. 

Joshua Danish, a professor in the IU School of Education and coordinator of the school’s Learning Sciences Program, leads a team of students in the Learning Sciences Program dedicated to supporting middle school students in understanding data and media literacy. As middle school students work to understand interactions from their everyday lives and transform those interactions into data, they will use Net.Create to help represent complex data and understand how different representations of data shape the world around them. 

"Middle school is also a key time when students begin exploring social media platforms that build on data about their lives," said Danish. "Net.Create and its collaborative networks are highly relevant to their lives because it offers a safe space to help them be critical about what they tell services like TikTok and Facebook. The data science, computer science and social studies content we would like to explore are also well-aligned with the standards for content to be covered at this age." 

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Statehouse Update

The IU State Relations team has reviewed every bill that has been introduced at the Statehouse, and determined if and how the bill could impact the university. This Statehouse Update provides a summary of bills the team is tracking that have had activity up to this point during the thirteenth week of session.Bills must move out of the opposite chamber’s committees by next week’s deadlines to remain eligible to still become law.

Read the Statehouse Update


Economic Engagement Update

Leveraging IU’s global expertise for Kokomo 

European automaker Stellantis and Samsung SDI of South Korea recently celebrated a construction milestone for the joint venture’s $2.5 billion electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Kokomo, Ind. Late last month, crews raised the first steel beam for the 2.5-million-square-foot facility, which is on schedule to open in the first quarter of 2025 and will bring at least 1,400 jobs to north-central Indiana. State and local business leaders also expect the new facility will position Kokomo as a leader in EV technologies, while spurring additional investment in the region.

To prepare for the arrival of Samsung SDI and Korean families to the community, the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance reached out to Indiana University, which has one of the oldest Korean studies programs in the nation, for help. The Institute for Korean Studies at IU Bloomington, which is housed within the IU Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, is now using its global ties and faculty expertise to play the role of cultural broker, demonstrating the important role IU’s liberal arts education continues to play in the Hoosier state’s economic development.

Read more about how the Institute for Korean Studies is helping Kokomo welcome Korean families and business 

Read what IU experts are saying about the impact of the Stellantis/Samsung SDI joint venture 


Helping small Hoosier communities pursue federal climate and resilience funding 

As new federal legislation begins to make billions of dollars available for community climate and resilience projects, Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute and Center for Rural Engagement are launching a joint program to help Hoosier communities identify and compete for federal grants. 

The Indiana Resilience Funding Hub will help Hoosier communities with fewer than 50,000 residents pursue federal funding for climate, energy and resilience projects. The hub will provide these communities with technical assistance and state-specific environmental expertise in the preparation and submission of competitive grant applications. 

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Upcoming Events

IU Founders & Funders Network Venture Summit • May 18-19

Join the best of IU’s startup community at the annual IU Founders & Funders Network Venture Summit, which will be held May 18-19 at the Indiana Memorial Union on the IU Bloomington campus.  

Summit attendees will be treated to two “Fireside Chats.” The first will feature IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson with Tom Allen, IU head football coach. The second will spotlight IU alumnus and “iconic” Hoosier entrepreneur Scott Dorsey. Dorsey is managing partner at High Alpha of Indianapolis, a leading venture studio that conceives, launches and scales next generation enterprise cloud companies.

Register now


IU in the news

Laying groundwork for Alzheimer’s disease precision medicine 

Researchers at the IU School of Medicine are co-leading a 5-year, $41 million study to better understand the biological pathways underlying Alzheimer’s disease and ultimately create more personalized patient care through the development of a blood test for multiple pathways implicated in the disease—enabling earlier and less-invasive diagnosis. 

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Making IU (networking) history

In a first for Indiana University, one of its own will be leading the fastest and most powerful temporary network in the world later this year.  

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Addressing binge and “high intensity” drinking 

With the support of a five-year, $8.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, a multi-disciplinary team of IU researchers is focusing its efforts on a growing public health concern: binge and “high-intensity” drinking—extreme drinking behaviors that are increasingly prevalent among college-age adults. 

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Preventing and treating common vision loss syndrome in astronauts 

Thanks to a grant in 2019 from NASA’s Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) program, an IU School of Medicine researcher has developed a new test that can be used to better understandvision loss among astronauts who make long trips into space.

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