Updated: Dec 13, 2019
In October, EntreEd was awarded an Appalachian Regional Commission POWER grant for the Fostering Self ESTEAM in Appalachia’s Emerging Workforce project. The project helps middle and high school programs in a seven-state region infuse Entrepreneurship into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) initiatives. The two-year project will reach 52 counties and a potential 75 rural school districts. ESTEAM is a sustained, collaborative effort between EntreEd, The EdVenture Group, the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), and the National Center for Resource Development (NCRD).
The ESTEAM project kicked off on Monday, December 9th in Hazard, Kentucky. Representatives from seven community college partners across the project region met at Hazard Community and Technical College to participate in team building activities, discuss the scope of the project, and draft plans to launch their regional outreach in the Spring semester. Community college partners for the project are: OH: Hocking College; KY: Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Hazard Community and Technical College, and Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College; NC: Southwestern Community College; TN: Roane State Community College; WV: BridgeValley Community and Technical College, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College; VA: Mountain Empire Community College. EntreEd Executive Director said the following about the ESTEAM project, “Our small but powerful staff and local community college partners are now embarking on a new period of growth and expansion. With the help of Benedum and ARC, we will be working in an additional 47 school systems in our existing partner states and expanding into two additional states over the next two years. We will be focusing on the nexus of entrepreneurship and STEAM education. I am truly excited about this new effort.”
Partnerships with local community colleges are a key component of the ESTEAM project, as they assist in building an entrepreneurship pipeline within rural communities, serve as local liaisons for schools, and help colleges engage and build relationships with middle and high school students. Community colleges involved in the project also open their campus to host a variety of teacher- and student-facing programming, including on-campus entrepreneurship events and professional development.. Colleges will offer an annual professional development workshop for middle and high educators over the two-year project period, focused on the integration of entrepreneurship into their core curriculum and alignment within STEAM subject areas The ESTEAM project will provide two tiers of professional development:
Tier 1: Intro to Entrepreneurship Education
Tier 2: Design-Based Thinking & STEAM-Based Entrepreneurship
On Friday, December 7th, Tier 1 training kicked off at the Intermediate Unit 1 in California, PA. Led by Toi Hershman and Amber Ravenscroft, this training was designed to introduce professional educators to the world of entrepreneurship education and how it connects to design based thinking and student engagement. The focus of the Tier 1 training is to layout Entre-Ed’s definition of entrepreneurship as an opportunity recognition and problem solving process where, through the process, students cultivate entrepreneurial mindsets such as creativity, self-efficacy, innovation, resilience, leadership, and perseverance to name a few. Trainers walk educators through a series of hands-on experiential activities to help them easily incorporate entrepreneurial mindsets into their existing curriculum and schedules. EntreEd never mandates a curriculum. Instead ideas are offered to help educators brainstorm what works best for their classrooms and schools. Educators walk away from the training with a clear set of tools and implementation plan.