The Minerva School District and its high school leaders wanted a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) course option available for Fall of 2017. Because the fall schedule was already finalized, they created an option for students to come at 7am before the start of their usual school day. Some thought students wouldn't show up for "an elective course" so early in the morning, but happily, that wasn't the case. Thirty-seven students from honors biology and chemistry classes committed to this new learning opportunity.
In collaboration with Junior Achievement, students meet for seven sessions with local business leaders to create an entrepreneur project. The JA-STEM class explores real world problems though scientific modeling and collaboration. Topics include learning about the nature and structure of scientific models as well as the engineering design process.
"This course requires independent thinking and develops reasoning skills essential to all fields of science, engineering, entrepreneurship, and the world around us," stated Stacey Peters, Science Department Head at Minerva High School. "We are very grateful for the business partners and their willingness to share their expertise with our students," said Becky Miller, Curriculum Director for Minerva Local School. "This opportunity will strengthen student's knowledge of STEM fields, product design, and marketing."
Final projects will be evaluated based on their business and marketing plan for the entrepreneurial product as well as customer and competitive advantage. Presentation of the projects will be held during Science and Engineering Day at Minerva High School on Thursday, February 8th. In addition, students completing the course will receive a half-year credit for a STEM science elective.