The purpose of the Believe in Ohio program is to create a “Culture of Innovation” in Ohio high schools, promote Ohio as a great place for students to continue their educations and careers, 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 that students will need in the future. Believe in Ohio is accomplishing this through a multi-faceted program, including:

  • High School STEM Commercialization Plan and STEM Business Plan Competition and Awards Program

  • Regional STEM Commercialization Plan and STEM Business Plan Competition and Ohio College and University Scholarship Program

  • Statewide STEM Commercialization Plan and STEM Business Plan Competition and Ohio College and University Scholarship Program

  • STEM Entrepreneurship & Innovation Forum on College Campus Program

Believe in Ohio is a free program collaboratively developed by The Ohio Academy of Science and Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio.  Believe in Ohio’s personalized, student-centered learning experience allows students to explore their own areas of interest and teaches them how to commercialize solutions to problems by developing a STEM Commercialization Plan or STEM Business Plan.

Funded by the State of Ohio through the Ohio Department of Higher Education, the Believe in Ohio program is part of the Ohio High School STEM Innovation and Ohio College Scholarship and Retention Program. 

Believe in Ohio offers high school students 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 participating 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.

Believe in Ohio provides free curriculum and a comprehensive array of teacher and student support materials, instruction booklets, STEM Plan templates and a network of regional STEM Advocates to help teachers implement the program. Teachers can also listen to Believe in Ohio teachers answer their questions about the program.

Regional STEM Commercialization Plan and STEM Business Plan Competition and Ohio College and University Scholarship Program:

Local high school plans that receive certain high scores from judges will be invited to participate in a regional competition. The first annual regional competition will take place in December 2020.

While there will only be local high school competitions during the 2019-2020 school year, freshman, sophomore and junior students who develop their plans during the 2019-2020 school year may also be eligible to compete in the Believe in Ohio Regional Competition in December 2020.

The one hundred highest scoring regionally judged plans, with representation from each region of the state, will each receive a $1,000 scholarship to any Ohio college or university, post-secondary career center or vocational school, and also be entered into the Believe in Ohio State Competition.

Statewide STEM Commercialization Plan and STEM Business Plan Competition and Ohio College and University Scholarship Program:

A third level of competition will be held at the state level 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 and will include both an evaluation of the students’ written plans as well as a short oral presentation. The first annual statewide competition will take place in February 2021 at which hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships to Ohio colleges and universities, post-secondary career centers and vocational schools will be awarded.

Additional information about Believe in Ohio’s local, regional and state competitions is available to teachers in the form of a Competition Standards, Rules and Instructional Booklet on the Believe in Ohio website.

STEM Entrepreneurship & Innovation Forum on College Campus Program

More than 1,600 students and teachers from 80 high schools in 37 Ohio counties attended one of Believe in Ohio’s Fall 2019 STEM Entrepreneurship & Innovation Forums held on ten college and university campuses across Ohio.  Attending students participated in an extraordinary program that opened their eyes to the future and encouraged them to become the innovators and entrepreneurs who will create the new products, services, jobs and prosperity of the future. Thirty-six speakers shared their visions of the future with students at the forums.  Their presentations were videoed and are available for teachers to share with their students. 

Teachers and parents who wish to register their students to attend a future STEM Forum may do so at: www.believeinohio.org/forums