BLOOMINGTON – Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington participated in Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division’s STEM summer camp on June 11-15 at WestGate Academy. Ivy Tech staff from the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship helped 30 middle and high school aged campers develop products and business ideas stemming from patented Crane technologies, and also hosted a business pitch competition. Ivy Tech staff helped campers develop their pitches and served with Crane staff as judges for the competition. This is the second year that Ivy Tech has been involved in Crane’s STEM camp.

“This camp is an invaluable experience for the students,” said Tina Closser, NSWC Crane STEM coordinator. “It shows them technologies developed at NSWC Crane and how these technologies can be used to benefit their community. Ivy Tech was able to help the students hone their pitches and direct the students in areas to research about their invention. Their participation was an invaluable asset.”

STEM campers won awards in three categories. The “Painters, Inc.” team won the award for best prototype. The team’s product adapted the Crane technology, “Adjustable Ergonomic Grip for a Weapon,” to be used in a paint brush handle. The “Maxed Out Pro” team won the award for best presentation of their idea to use the Crane hand crank technology, “System and Method for Charging a Weapon,” to power a generator. The “Handle Helpers” team won the award for best idea, which would reduce the amount of effort required for a person to move a wheelchair, using the Crane “Cable Reel” technology.

Camp participants were from the cities of Bloomington, Bedford, Bloomfield, and Washington.

“Pitch events are a fun and easy way to introduce young people to entrepreneurial skills that are valuable beyond a competition,” said Steve Bryant, executive director of the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech. “If other organizations would like to investigate a pitch competition, Ivy Tech has a process and materials we can share, and will partner with you to host one in your community.”

For more information and to contact the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech, visit or call (812) 330-6261.

About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.