Entrepreneurial Mindset Teacher Forum
Area teachers can attend this event and receive training on the entrepreneurial mindset and practival advice from entrepreneurship education providers. we will also be introducing our BIG IDEA competition, a local competition for area high school students to solve problems with a new product or service in the energy sector.
For years, Beaver County struggled to recover from the decline of the steel industry in the 1980s. A major result of the loss of the steel industry has been a large population decline in our county and high rates of youth outmigration. However, the region’s rapidly growing energy industry offers many new opportunities for our county, and our region’s young people. The energy renaissance already has become a catalyst for economic growth, bringing affordable energy, jobs, revenues and an accompanying resurgence of manufacturing in our region.
This emerging industry, and others which will follow, will require our County’s youth to display 21st century skills, innovation, creativity, and the ability to think entrepreneurially. Our region’s youth must be presented with programming and opportunities that will make them competitive in the 21st century and will provide greater economic opportunities.
In order to achieve this mission, a wide range of partners have come together and identified STEM and entrepreneurship education as long-term priorities and an essential part of enhancing economic development and revitalizing a community in transition. Entrepreneurship education provides 21st century skills, knowledge of business operations, and an innovative/creative mindset which will be necessary in our County’s new economic landscape. It also inspires and motivates students to achieve while in school and connects their academic learning to relevant, real world settings, and builds a pipeline that creates productive and thoughtful citizens who contribute to local, regional, and national competiveness. A strong foundation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) education grows increasingly important to our efforts to prepare students for the demands of a globally completive workforce. Over the next decade, one million additional STEM graduates will be needed to fill economic demands. In western Pennsylvania alone, industries will require more than 150,000 new STEM employees.
It is with these priorities in mind that we write to introduce you to the BIG IDEA Competition. Begun as a partnership between the Beaver County Youth Entrepreneurship Collaborative, the Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit, the Regional Choice Initiative, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, and PIOGA (?), it will offer our region’s public school students the opportunity to work on real-world problems in the energy sector and supporting industries, develop new products or services which will solve those problems, and provide students with exposure to an industry sector which provides the opportunity for good paying jobs and economic opportunities right here at home.
As part of the BIG IDEA competition, students will research a real-world problem faced by the energy industry and will develop a new product or service which serves as the solution to that problem. Students will then compete in an i-Pitch competition where they will present the problem they were given to solve, their concept overview, their product or service description, and the market opportunity for the new product or service. Semi-finalists from each district will be chosen and will compete against each other at a semi-final round at the Community College of Beaver County in March, with finalists presenting their plans in front of a panel of energy industry professionals at Beaver County’s Energy Day on April 22nd, 2014. Participating students will compete for cash and other prizes.
Students will then have the opportunity to participate in a summer extension program that will immerse them in the process of creating a STEM-based business and will expose them to cutting edge processes such as additive manufacturing and rapid-prototyping.
It is our goal to help strengthen the efforts of our teachers, parents, and administrators as they work diligently in preparing students for the challenges of the 21st Century.
- When: Wednesday at 9am
- Start: 20 November 2013
- End: 20 November 2013