Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

It will take more than engineers to put men on Mars.

That was NASA administrator Charles Bolden’s response to Purdue’s “Systems Collaboratory” program during a recent trip to campus. The initiative is designed to broaden the scope of student understanding in areas other than their major.

For example, an engineer or agriculture student taking communication or political science classes to add what Purdue Provost Deba Dutta calls a “human element.”

Dutta says today’s industries want this type of educational diversity.

Purdue University

There’s a storm brewing between Purdue’s faculty and its Board of Trustees over the issue of tenure.

When last year’s Gallup-Purdue Index showed Purdue faculty have historically been poor at mentoring students, Trustees insisted a metric measuring faculty-student engagement be included in the tenure decision-making process.

Indiana Afterschool Network Receives $1 Million Lilly Grant

Dec 16, 2014
Brad Flickinger /

Indiana afterschool programs are receiving a boost with the help of a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, which will be used to create an online training program for Hoosier youth workers and expand Science, Technology, Engineering and Math initiatives.

Purdue University

Some topics addressed on this month's show:

Polling firm Gallup says African-American students are more likely to leave college with debt than their white counterparts. In fact, white students are almost twice as likely not to have any student debt at all. What, if anything, is Purdue doing to combat this?

Vivien Lai / Purdue University

The Purdue Energy Center is trying to address a shortage of students entering STEM disciplines.

Managing Director Dr. Pankaj Sharma says increasing the number and quality of these students is necessary if the United States is to be a world leader in the energy sector.

He says right now we have close to 7-billion people on the planet and that’s expected to increase to roughly 9-billion by 2050.

Sharma says that will dramatically increase the demand for energy, especially from developing countries such as India, Brazil, and many on the African continent.

Purdue partners with LSC to promote STEM education

Feb 27, 2014

Purdue is partnering with the Lafayette School Corporation to help teachers meet the learning needs of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses.

A $246,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Education Math Science Partnership will provide professional development and content learning for teachers and a summer STEM experience for students.

The Indiana Space Grant Consortium is accepting applications for those studying or teaching science, technology, engineering and math. Opportunities include scholarships, internships and funding for outreach projects.

Purdue Professor Barrett Caldwell is the director of the Consortium. He says the goal is to promote STEM disciplines and ultimately NASA, which funds the group’s efforts.

Less than a month after announcing a weekend MBA program for STEM Professionals, Purdue’s Krannert School of Management is announcing another.

Dean Chris Earley says it’s the same offering but in a different format. The MBA for STEM professionals on campus begins next year, while the weekend program kicks off in Chicago a year later.

Purdue is expanding through a new program offered in Chicago.

The weekend MBA for STEM Professionals runs 16 months, beginning with a 10 day orientation in West Lafayette; otherwise, students meet in downtown Chicago.

Krannert Dean Chris Earley says the city has the highest concentration of Purdue alumni anywhere in the world. He thinks a lot of them will be interested in getting another degree from Purdue.

Purdue wants to change STEM teacher education

Oct 7, 2013

Five colleges at Purdue are partnering on an integrated STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teacher education program.

The goal is for educators to learn to combine scientific inquiry, technological design, engineering design and mathematical analysis.

Professor Lynn Bryan is the director of the Center for Advancing the Teaching and Learning of STEM. She says the integration method is a relatively new direction for science and math education.