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Projects with Promise

Vol. 22 No. 3

Lessons Learned from STEM Entrepreneurship Academy

October 1, 2018


This article describes the STEM Entrepreneurship Academy, a week-long summer camp that exposes students from the Black Belt region of Alabama to a college campus and opportunities in the STEM disciplines. A unique feature of this program is the entrepreneurial focus on STEM. Students interact with university faculty, staff, and students while participating in a variety of hands-on activities. They are also charged with designing a final project that integrates the content they have learned over the course of the week. A descriptive analysis of the students who participated reveals several things. Students who participate exhibit a high interest in STEM careers, with females showing a significantly stronger interest in medical-oriented fields. Lessons learned include the importance of exposing students to college campuses, offering more STEM opportunities, and strengthening partnerships with high school educators in rural communities.