What is Believe in Ohio?
Believe in Ohio is a student entrepreneurship program to develop Ohio’s next generation of STEM innovators. High school students compete to earn awards and scholarships to Ohio colleges and universities through participation in STEM Commercialization or STEM Business Plan Competitions. Believe in Ohio is a free program developed by The Ohio Academy of Science and Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio with support from the Ohio General Assembly and Ohio Department of Higher Education.
Believe in Ohio prepares Ohio high school students for the future by: 1) Introducing them to Ohio’s Innovation Economy, 2) Inspiring them to pursue their STEM education and careers in Ohio, and 3) Encouraging them to become one of the innovators and entrepreneurs Ohio needs to help develop the new products, services and jobs of the future.
Believe in Ohio annually conducts STEM Entrepreneurship & Innovation Forums on college campuses across the state that open students’ eyes to the future, and inspires them to “think outside the box”, and develop an entrepreneurial mindset that will help them prepare for their future.
While the Believe in Ohio program includes local high school and regional STEM Plan competitions and other activities, the centerpiece of the program is a Statewide Student STEM Commercialization Plan and STEM Business Plan Competition to compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in awards and scholarships to Ohio’s colleges and universities (click here to learn more about the local, state, and regional competitions).
The success of the Believe in Ohio program is built on preparing students to meet the demands of the labor market in a time of rapid technological change and industry disruption. Today’s students will need to be prepared with strong STEM backgrounds and the opportunity to apply this learning with an entrepreneurial mindset.
Who may participate in Believe in Ohio competitions… individuals and teams?
Believe in Ohio students may work as individuals or in teams of up to three (3) members to compete for awards and scholarships. Each school year students may submit only one plan, unless the student is required to do a plan for two different classes, e.g., one commercialization, one business.
All team members must be present for oral presentations to be eligible for competition at the State level. If, for some compelling reason, a team member cannot participate in person at the State level, then he or she must request in writing in advance an excused absence to explain the reason for the anticipated absence and describe his or her contributions to the team effort. An absent member, except for accidents, illness or death in the family or among close relatives, will forfeit all rights to any awards or scholarships. Teams are eligible for awards or scholarships with the value divided equally among team members.
The Ohio Academy of Science will retain scholarship funds for future distribution for those not needing the money in the year of the award. If the student does not attend an Ohio college or university, and enrolls in an out-of-state institution, any scholarships that they may have earned at the Regional or State competition level will be forfeited. Scholarships will only be paid for attending any public or private Ohio college or university. Scholarships are stackable, i.e. they may be accumulated each year for a maximum of four years.
Generally, students in a STEM class will develop a STEM Commercialization Plan for competition, while students in a business, economics, marketing or entrepreneurship class will develop a STEM Business Plan for competition.
- STEM Plan Instruction Booklet – Download the complete Believe in Ohio Instruction Booklet for your students.
- STEM Commercialization Plan Judging Card – Download PDF version of the Commercialization Plan judging card.
- STEM Business Plan Judging Card – Download PDF version of the Business Plan judging card.
- STEM Plan Competition Memorandum of Understanding – Teachers need to complete and submit an MOU to The Ohio Academy of Science to implement the Believe in Ohio program.
- Are You Ready for the Future – Video
Believe in Ohio STEM Advocates
To assist teachers in conducting the Believe in Ohio program, The Ohio Academy of Science is providing STEM Advocates who will support you during the school year. There will be six Advocates who will each be responsible for a different area of the state. The Advocates and their email addresses are listed below:
Pamela Wilson, PhD
Request Additional Information
If you are a teacher and want to find out more about the Believe in Ohio Program, please complete the form below and you will be contacted by one of our Regional STEM Advocates.
Please use the map above to identify your school’s region, select the region that your school is located in below, then complete the information request form.