Believe in Ohio's Local, Regional, and Statewide STEM Plan Competitions

 

Believe in Ohio invites all 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade students in Ohio to compete for cash awards and college scholarships in local high school and regional/statewide STEM Commercialization Plan and STEM Business Plan competitions during the 2015-2016 school year!  

Students may work in teams with a preferred size of no more than three to compete for cash awards.  A colorful, innovative, full size “Ohio Roadmap to Future Jobs and Prosperity” has been developed to help students develop their plans, and to use as a “Brainstorming Tool” to make the whole Plan development process fun and engaging.

The roadmap will be updated early in the 2015-2016 school year.

 

Get the Roadmap

 

How Do The Believe in Ohio Local, Regional, and Statewide Competition Work?

 

The STEM Plan Competition at the Local High School Level

These competitions will be run by teachers with them applying standard rules and grading rubrics.  Local judges will be locally sourced by the participating teachers.  Believe in Ohio will provide funds for cash awards (depending upon how many STEM Plans are actually completed).  Awards should be given to those students who have the highest scores in their local high school competitions, provided that each winning student must have earned a score of at least 24 points, or else no award shall be given.

Students participating under Believe in Ohio's 2016 Commercialization & Business Plan Competition Option may also be eligible to participate in Believe in Ohio's regional/statewide Competition.  All local Superior-rated plans with 36 points or greater may compete regionally. If this number is less than 25% of all local plans, then additional plans may be submitted up to 25% if all plans have scores of 24 or greater.

 


The STEM Plan Competition at the Regional Level

A second level of competition will take place at the regional level and will be run by The Ohio Academy of Science with OAS judges applying the same rules and grading rubrics as used in the local competitions.  The objective of the regional competition will be to select the top plans for entry into the statewide competition.

Additional Notes:

Superior rated plans (36 and above) at this level will go on to compete at the statewide level.  No awards will be given at the regional level.  

All locally judged plans that qualify for entry into the regional competition must be electronically submitted to The Ohio Academy of Science by March 22, 2016.  Judging at the regional level will take place during late March and early April, 2016.


The STEM Plan Competition at the Statewide Level

A third level of competition will take place as the statewide and will also be run by The Ohio Academy of Science with OAS judges applying the same rules and grading rubrics used at the local high school and regional competition levels.

Additional Notes:

Judging at the statewide level will include both an evaluation of the students written plans as well as a short presentation of each plan to the judges.

Judging at the statewide level is currently expected to take place on May 7, 2016.


What types of scholarships and cash awards will be available at the statewide competition level?

The statewide competition will be open to all Ohio 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade students.  These students will be eligible to receive one of the scholarships or cash awards noted below:

$20,000 scholarships ($5,000 for four years), to any public or private college in Ohio to major in a STEM discipline (or a STEM minor with a business major).

$10,000 scholarships ($2,500 for four years), to any public or private college in Ohio to major in a STEM discipline (or a STEM minor with a business major).

$5,000 scholarships ($2,500 for two years), to any public or private college in Ohio to major STEM discipline (or a STEM minor with a business major).

$1,000 cash awards for education.

 

What are the minimum judging requirements at the statewide competition level to receive a scholarship award

For a plan to receive any award at the statewide level, it must receive a judged score of at least 24 points (out of 40).  For a plan author to be awarded a scholarship to an Ohio college or university, he/she must receive a judged score of at least 32 points. 

 

There will be two competition categories:

  • STEM Commercialization Plan

  • STEM Business Plan

    • Within each Plan category, students will designate what their STEM discipline is so as to aid in obtaining relevant judges.

Stem Plan Categories

Commercialization

Advanced Materials

Aerospace & Aviation

Agriculture, Food Technology & Bio-Products

Computer Science & Information Technology

Energy – Alternative Energy and Energy Storage

Environmental Technology

Medical Devices, Products & Services

Cellular, Molecular, Genomic, Pharmaceutical & Regenerative Medicine

Sensing & Automation Technologies

STEM Plan Categories

Business Plan

Biological/medical

Physical/engineering

Earth/space/environmental

 

What is the difference between a STEM Commercialization and a STEM Business Plan?

STEM Commercialization Plan (Scientific, Technological or Engineering Proof of Concept)

A STEM Commercialization Plan is a written document that describes how a new and/or an existing STEM concept idea or technology (or a combination of multiple new or existing STEM concept idea or technologies) may be applied, or further developed to fill or provide a solution to a marketplace or societal problem, need or opportunity.  In a world of accelerating technological advancement in which literally every current product, service and aspect of life will be continually re-invented in the future, it will likely be the cross fertilization and application of concepts and research from the many new and evolving STEM disciplines where most new product, service and other market opportunities (and jobs) will be developed in the future.

Thus, the objective of a STEM Commercialization Plan is to conceive, research and develop how new or existing STEM concepts and ideas might be applied to develop the new products and services of the future.  As such, a STEM Commercialization Plan includes both a persuasive science and technology assessment and plan, coupled with a discussion of the concept s likely commercial feasibility and viability.

This type of Plan is typically developed by a STEM researcher or practitioner skilled in the various STEM disciplines who conceives and develops the idea, and ideally obtains intellectual property protection for his/her concept idea.  Typically the type of person or team that develops this type of plan is a scientist as opposed to a business person.  A student who develops a STEM Commercialization Plan can expect that his or her plan will be judged by a team of STEM academics, researchers and/or practitioners who will be especially interested in the quality of the student s science and technology assessment and research plan, as well as in the commercial feasibility of their proposal.  


STEM BUSINESS PLAN (BUSINESS & FINANCIAL PROOF OF CONCEPT)

A STEM Business Plan is a written document that describes how a new or existing technology can be applied to create a new product or service or enhance an existing product or service with new features or capabilities that can be successfully developed into a real world business opportunity and  taken to market .  The type of person or team who develops and implements a STEM business plan is typically very different from the type of person or team that might develop a STEM Commercialization Plan.  The type of person developing and implementing a Business Plan is typically a technology savvy  business person  as opposed to a  scientist.  While the person or team developing a STEM Business Plan must of course be knowledgeable of the science behind their business plan idea, they must especially have an in-depth understanding of the market potential, customer value proposition, and how to develop the business opportunity into a successful enterprise.  

A student who develops a STEM Business Plan can expect that his or her plan will be judged by a judging team composed primarily of business people, as opposed to STEM academics, researchers and practitioners.  As such they will be especially interested in the quality of the student s plans for taking their product to market, as well as in the viability of the science and technology supporting their product or service idea.


Why are both types of plans (and the people who develop them) needed and important?

While much basic research has always been done at universities in Ohio and across the nation, proportionately little has been successfully commercialized into new products and services that create jobs for Ohioans.  In fact, it was the conclusion of the Ohio Board of Regents 2012 Commercialization Taskforce that Ohio cannot compete in today's global economy without addressing significant deficiencies, and thus the OBOR's emphasis on commercialization and entrepreneurship.

The process of leveraging technology advancements to create the new products, services and jobs of the future usually takes two different teams of people to accomplish from concept development to successful market launch:  1) the entrepreneurial science researcher or practitioner who conceives and prototypes the idea and assesses its basic commercial viability (i.e. as described in a STEM Commercialization Plan) and, 2) the technology savvy business team that successfully takes the product or service to market (i.e. as described in a STEM Business Plan) and creates the wealth and jobs society needs to prosper. Thus, Believe in Ohio s dual emphasis on both STEM Commercialization Plans and STEM Business Plans.