Step Up to Entrepreneurship!

Ohio STEP is a STEM innovation and entrepreneurship program of the Ohio Academy of Science. This program is designed to promote critical thinking and the development of an entrepreneurial mindset through experiential and project-based learning. Authentic experiential research projects prepare students to meet the demands of a rapidly changing labor market where technology and innovation create new challenges, as well as new and rewarding opportunities.

The Ohio STEP is an iterative process that involves both an understanding of STEM research and how it can be applied to develop a solution (product or service) along with an entrepreneurial evaluation of the business model to analyze the likelihood of entrepreneurial success.

Our Mission: To impact and influence the economic, educational, and entrepreneurial future of the State of Ohio by providing opportunities for our youth to integrate an understanding of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) topics with the development of an entrepreneurial mindset to become the future innovators of our state.

State Competition Information:

Where: Kent State Design Innovation Hub

When: Saturday April 27, 2024

Who: Students in grades 9-12

Cost: $30.00 per student submission fee

The Ohio STEP State Competition will be a hybrid judging event. The written portion of each plan category (Summary or Extended STEM Business/Commercialization) will be decided virtually. The video pitches from each of the categories (Summary or Extended STEM Business/Commercialization ) will be judged virtually to determine the top pitches and students with the highest pitch scores will be invited to participate in the Live State Pitch Competition where they will have the option to show a recorded video presentation and answer questions LIVE OR give a LIVE pitch and answer questions. The Ohio STEP Pitch Competition and Awards Celebration will take place at the Kent State University Design Innovation Hub on April 27th. Students will be permitted to bring a parent/adult chaperone with them. Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of space for teachers to attend the event. All awards will be announced at this event!


This is students’ opportunity to learn about and participate in the PROCESSES of innovation and entrepreneurship!  These processes include thinking creatively and critically about how to better peoples’ lives by:

  • identifying a problem or need in society,
  • generating a well thought out solution, and
  • conducting STEM and market research to assess the likelihood of your idea’s feasibility and viability.

By harnessing our imagination and thinking creatively, we can envision how emerging technologies can be leveraged to identify needs in society and drive meaningful change. It is through the mindset of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking that new ideas can emerge, leading to the development of groundbreaking solutions that improve people’s lives.


Ohio STEP is open to Middle School students in grades 5-8 and High School students in grades 9-12. Students may participate as independent students, as part of a school affiliated classroom or club, or a community club. They can develop projects individually or in teams of up to three (3) members.

Submitting a Ohio STEP Project

Click below to for instructions on how to submit a Ohio STEP project on ProjectBoard (pictured right). Then login to ProjectBoard to submit your 2024 Ohio STEP Project.

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