Pantheon - Purdue Partnership will Boost Hundreds of Students in STEM

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Pantheon - Purdue Partnership will Boost Hundreds of Students in STEM

Press Release

September 14, 2021

For Immediate Release

(Vincennes, Indiana) High school students across Knox County will have access to a groundbreaking STEM program through a partnership between the Pantheon and Purdue University.

Hardware Store Science will soon be offered to all high schools in the county. The hands-on based physics and chemistry curriculum was developed by Purdue University’s Davidson School of Chemical Engineering. It’s essentially an “on-ramp” for building confidence and competency in STEM, (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), through an applied, hands-on approach.

The Pantheon will implement the program with the purpose of building interest and aptitude for high-wage careers in technical and advanced manufacturing industries. By advancing STEM offerings, all students will benefit, from those who may pursue higher education in engineering and science to those who find passion in a more practical and hands-on approach.

The program was made possible through a generous grant by the Knox County Community Foundation (KCCF). The foundation selected the Pantheon as its recipient of a $100,000 Lilly Gift VII grant. The funding will provide materials, teacher training and stipends, and summer STEM camp for middle school students over a five-year period.

More than 200 students are enrolled in the inaugural program at Vincennes Lincoln High School. The curriculum will be extended to other Knox County High Schools over the next four years. The grant was originally awarded in 2020, but launch was delayed to this fall due to COVID-19.

About Hardware Store Science:

Dr. Jim Caruthers, Gerald and Sarah Skidmore Professor of Engineering at Purdue University’s Davidson School of Chemical Engineering, developed Hardware Store Science ( as a hands-on approach to teaching the fundamentals of physics and chemistry through the making and testing of experimental apparatuses from materials available at a local hardware store. The program is affordable, practical, and aligns with IDOE standards.

About the Pantheon:

The Pantheon ( is a storied 1920s styled theater with 15,000 square feet of renovated workspace. The site sits in downtown historical Vincennes, Indiana and is the heart of co-working and entrepreneurship in Knox County. Its mission is to develop resources, services and a community that fosters innovation and helps businesses prosper in the region. The operations are proudly backed by the Davidson School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University and the Purdue Research Foundation.

Media Contact:

Nichole Like

(812) 887-4834

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