Believe in Ohio...
Creating a Culture of Innovation

Believe in Ohio is a free, comprehensive, curriculum-based, STEM and entrepreneurship program for Ohio students.

The purpose of the Believe in Ohio program is to create a “Culture of Innovation” in Ohio high schools and provide college scholarships to encourage Ohio students to remain in Ohio by focusing on the practical application of STEM and related fields and the development of an entrepreneurial mindset and critical thinking skills.

Teachers, to learn more, visit our Why Participate page. Students, to learn more visit, our Independent Student Page.

Listen to Mike Woytek, Executive Director of The Ohio Academy of Science discuss the Believe in Ohio program.

Believe in Ohio is a multi-faceted program to develop student innovators

Local High School Student STEM Plan Competitions and Awards

High school students have an opportunity to develop a STEM Commercialization Plan or a STEM Business Plan for entry into a local high school competition.

Teachers are granted the flexibility to have their students develop their STEM Plans based on what works for them and their classroom schedule. Teachers may have their students do their plans during their fall semester or spring semester, or over the course of the entire school year. 

Local high school competitions are run by teachers who apply the Believe in Ohio standards, rules, and grading/judging rubrics, with local judges being recruited by the teachers.  Depending on the number of student plans completed within each school, Believe in Ohio will provide from $300 to $2,500 in funding for student competition awards. Also, participating teachers are eligible to receive $300 to $500 in teacher support grants.

Believe in Ohio provides free curriculum and a comprehensive array of teacher professional development and student support materials, instruction booklets, STEM Plan templates and a network of regional STEM Advocates to help teachers implement the program.

Local Middle School Student STEM Plan Competitions and Awards

Middle School students in grades 7 and 8 have an opportunity to develop a Middle School STEM Commercialization Plan or STEM Business Plan for entry into a local middle school competition.

Recognizing that the academic character and maturity of middle school students will vary, middle school teachers are granted the flexibility to have their students develop their STEM Plans based on what works for them and their classroom schedule. Teachers may have their students do their plans during their fall semester or spring semester, or over the course of the entire school year. 

Local middle school competitions are run by teachers who apply the Believe in Ohio standards, rules, and a middle school level grading/judging rubric, with local judges being recruited by the teachers.  Depending on the number of student plans completed within each school, Believe in Ohio will provide from $100 to $500 in  student competition awards. Participating teachers are also eligible to receive $300 to $500 in teacher support grants.

Believe in Ohio provides free curriculum and a comprehensive array of teacher professional development and student support materials, instruction booklets, STEM Plan templates and a network of regional STEM Advocates to help teachers implement the program.

Qualifying High School STEM Plan Competitions and Scholarships

Local high school plans that receive certain judged high scores may be invited to participate in a second level qualifying competition which may qualify them to also compete in a state competition.

Qualifying STEM Plan competitions will be held by The Ohio Academy of Science with Academy judges applying the same rules and grading rubrics as used for the local high school competitions. During the 2021-2022 school year, there will be two Qualifying Competitions, one in February 2022, and one after the end of the school year in early June 2022, in which certain highly rated local high school plans may qualify for entry into the annual Statewide Plan Competition.

Up to one hundred STEM plans will be entered into a State STEM Plan Competition, with each awarded a $1,000 scholarship to any Ohio college, university, post-secondary career center or vocational school.

Teacher Information

Believe in Ohio provides free curriculum and a comprehensive array of teacher professional development and student program support materials, instruction booklets, and STEM Plan templates.

Click here to review teacher resources

State STEM Plan Competition and Scholarship Opportunities

A potential third level of competition for high school students is the State STEM Plan Competition which will award hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to Ohio colleges and universities, post-secondary career centers and vocational schools.

The State Competition will be held by The Ohio Academy of Science with Academy judges applying the same rules and grading rubrics as used at the local high school and regional competitions. Judging will be done by a panel of judges. The annual statewide competition will take place in mid-June 2022 at which students will compete for twenty-five $10,000 scholarships and twenty-five $5,000 scholarships to any Ohio college, university, post-secondary career centers, or vocational school.

Additional information about Believe in Ohio’s local, qualifying, and state competitions is available to teachers elsewhere on this website.

Statewide STEM Innovation and Entrepreneurship Recognition Scholarship Program

In addition to the $475,000 in scholarships that Believe in Ohio plans to award at this school year’s Qualifying and State STEM Plan Competition, all Ohio high school students, who are juniors or seniors during the 2021-2022 school year, and who meet the qualifications, are invited to apply for one of one hundred and thirty-two $1,000 Believe in Ohio STEM Innovation and Entrepreneurship Scholarships.

The purpose of this scholarship program is to recognize students throughout Ohio for their contributions to STEM Innovation and Entrepreneurship. To encourage students from all parts of Ohio to apply for scholarships, our goal is to award at least one $1,000 scholarship in each of Ohio’s ninety-nine State House of Representative districts, and thirty-three Ohio State Senate districts.

College Student Mentoring Programs for High School & Middle School Students

In prior years, thousands of students & teachers attended STEM Forums on Ohio college campuses.  While this program is suspended because of the pandemic, a new college student mentoring program for high school & middle school students is being developed.  Watch for more info to come.

Independent Students

Are you an independent or home school student, or a student who aspires to be innovator, but whose school or teacher is not current participating in the Believe in Ohio.

Click here to see student resources

Advocate Network

There is also a network of regional STEM Advocates to help teachers implement the program, answer questions, and provide support to participating teachers.

Click here to contact your Advocate
"This is the best program to happen in Ohio, ever."
Andrea Harpen
Blanchester High School, 2019 Region 10 ODE Teacher of the Year