ARC opens application for STEM, entrepreneurship learning experiences

Published 2:22 pm Thursday, December 14, 2023


The Appalachian Regional Commission has opened applications for two study opportunities available next summer, the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy and the Appalachian STEM Academy.

Both programs are free intensive learning experiences specifically for the Appalachian Region’s high school and/or middle school students and teachers.

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The AEA program, developed in partnership with Appalachian State University, EntreEd, and STEM West, is designed to prepare the next generation of regional entrepreneurial leaders and thinkers. High school students from across Appalachia will be selected to participate in a comprehensive learning curriculum designed to cultivate creativity, sharpen business acumen and develop skills essential for entrepreneurial success. The students will have the opportunity to develop and implement business ideas, refine and prototype those ideas and eventually deliver a shark-tank-style pitch presentation for an audience of entrepreneurs.

AEA will be held from July 6-19, 2024, at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. More information and application materials are available at

The Appalachian STEM Academy is a hands-on learning experience for Appalachia’s middle and high school students, as well as high school teachers in STEM-related fields. Hosted by Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, this program is a gateway to science, technology, engineering and math in the Appalachian Region.

Working with award-winning scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, high school and middle school students conduct guided group science, math and computer science technology research projects, while high school teachers work with science practitioners to develop STEM-related curriculum. Many students gain their first exposure to applied science and STEM education through this experience.

The academy sessions will take place on the follow dates:

• Middle School STEM Academy Session 1: July 6-12.

• Middle School STEM Academy Session 2: July 13-19.

• High School STEM Academy: July 6-19.

“In Eastern Kentucky, and across the Appalachian region, we have a wealth of talented young people who deserve our support and investment,” said ARC 2023 States’ Co-Chair, Gov. Andy Beshear. “These students are leaders and change-makers who have the talent to bring positive change to their communities and beyond.  When we provide our students with opportunities to learn and grow, we set our region up for success in the future.”