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Incorporating Entrepreneurship Education into K-12 STEM Curriculum

JASON Learning & NCSU: Design & Pitch Challenges in STEM

Entrepreneurship is no longer only related to business; it is a mindset and life skill. It involves the application of scientific and technical knowledge to solve problems and create new solutions. It requires an understanding of the STEM principles behind the products and services being developed, as well as the ability to think critically and strategically about how to best use those principles to create value. JASON Learning takes this idea a step further and teaches K-12 students how to grow their entrepreneurial skills and mindset to develop innovative solutions to meet their local community’s needs. We know that students are the entrepreneurs of tomorrow—how can they become the entrepreneurs of today?

JASON Learning (JASON) is a nonprofit organization focused on equitable STEM education and exploration. For over 30 years, JASON has designed and delivered educational programs and resources to provide US students with the knowledge, skills, tools, and motivation to succeed in well-paying STEM careers and thrive as 21st-century citizens. JASON has developed a comprehensive pedagogical framework, an effective curriculum model, a unique Argonaut program, and sound long-term distribution and implementation strategies. This is complemented and supported by the award-winning JASON Digital Platform, which enables scalable delivery of STEM curricula and programs to more than 5 million students annually, representing a wide cross-section of US geographies and demographic groups. 

In the last decade, JASON has found that incorporating entrepreneurship and design thinking into K-12 STEM curricula helps students develop the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful entrepreneurs and global citizens. Entrepreneurship education can help students develop problem-solving, critical thinking, communication skills, and an understanding of the business world. It can also help students develop the confidence and self-motivation needed to take risks and pursue their dreams and help them understand the complexities of the business world and how to navigate it successfully. 

In partnership with North Carolina State University (NCSU), JASON created Design & Pitch Challenges in STEM. These challenges are award-winning, open-source, and available to anyone nationwide! Design & Pitch Challenges in STEM ask students to examine significant problems in real-world circumstances, consider how they can create solutions, and develop an engaging pitch to convince others that it’s worth funding. Through the Challenges, students meet diverse inventors and entrepreneurs who share their insights into the process of creation, from concept to prototype, pitch, production, and distribution.

JASON also has other open-source materials on topics such as recycling, microplastics, advanced manufacturing, and career exploration. Feel free to check them out at JASON’s open-source STEM curricula and resources are freely available to anyone who wants to learn. The materials were created by experts in the field and can be used to create a collaborative learning environment, allowing students to learn from each other, share ideas, and give back to the community. JASON’s open-source STEM materials and entrepreneurship-focused curricula provide students with a wide range of educational opportunities that help them gain the skills and knowledge necessary to become successful in their chosen field. 

Co-written by Eleanor Smalley and Jenna Davis