Thinking and Acting Like an Entrepreneur
Through interviews with entrepreneurial mentors and rich challenges introduced by STEM professionals, you will experience the world of entrepreneurship as you deepen your STEM knowledge and hone your skills. You will participate in authentic entrepreneurial processes (e.g., problem solving, prototyping, and pitching) and develop characteristics (e.g., creativity, courage, and persistence) essential for success as an entrepreneur, STEM professional, or as a student of nearly any subject.
Each challenge has a challenge champion associated with it to introduce your challenge and provide you with some background information that you can use as you build your solution. These champions come from a variety of backgrounds and serve in a variety of roles across the globe. Some are CEOs, some are engineers, some are kids just like you, but all are entrepreneurs. One of our challenge champions, Gitanjali Rao, was named Time’s Kid of the Year in 2020. You can read more about Gitanjali and her accomplishments here.
You will meet the challenge champions throughout each challenge, but you can find a brief overview of them in the Overview of the Challenges document.
When disaster strikes, emergency response is crucial. How will you get essential refrigerated medical supplies to patients and facilities?
Power Me Up
Gas-powered vehicles damage the environment, and more people are buying electric vehicles. However, charging stations are few and far between. Bring (electric) power to the people!
In today’s internet world, data on people’s opinions are highly prized. One way to figure out those opinions is to ask people to complete surveys where they rate or rank their favorites. Researchers create formulas that analyze those answers in an automated process. That process is called an algorithm. Algorithms are everywhere.
Prototype to Profit
Being an entrepreneur is about finding problems and turning them into opportunities. Taking advantage of those opportunities requires understanding the situation and choosing the right approach, or business model. The right business model can be the difference between success and failure for an entrepreneur.
Fit It: Design for Community Impact
In every community, there are problems that need solving or things that need improving. What can you fix in your community?
People are always looking for the newest trends, and wearable technology is the next big thing! What kind of flashy fashion can you design?
Design & Pitch Challenges in STEM
In these Challenges, you will need to think like an entrepreneur as you create real solutions to messy STEM problems. You will need to use your knowledge and expertise in creative ways to invent new products that meet customers’ needs. You will need to be able to recognize when you need to learn something new about STEM, your customers, or the situation, and be willing to work to learn it.
But entrepreneurship is not just about building great solutions. At the end of each Challenge, you will need to convince a panel of judges that your solution is worth funding in a process called “making a pitch.” Be clear and be convincing. The world needs your ideas.
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