Believe in Ohio Program announces winners of state competition

Staff report



COLUMBUS — The Believe in Ohio program recently announced the list of students who were awarded scholarship and awards at its 2nd Annual STEM Commercialization and Business Plan Competition.

One-hundred and forty-four high school students, from 44 Ohio high schools in 24 counties were selected to receive $500,000 in scholarships and cash awards from participating in the state competition.

Believe in Ohio’s State Competition is the culmination of a process that began with competitions at the local high school level qualifying student for a regional competition. As such the plans that were recognized at the state competition represent the top 2 percent of all student plans prepared at the local high school level during the 2015-2016 school year.

Locally, Anna High School senior Rebecca Berning won a $10,000 scholarship for her project entitled “The Effectiveness of a Bingo Card Holder.” Rebecca will be attending Ohio State University this fall majoring in Pre-Dentistry/Biology.

Scholarship awards may be used at any Ohio college or university, public or private.As one of the goals of the Believe in Ohio program is to help address Ohio’s “brain drain” challenge and to encourage Ohio high school students to make their futures in Ohio, students who choose to go to college outside of Ohio will receive a $1,000 cash award to be applied towards their education in lieu of a larger Ohio scholarship award.

Believe in Ohio is a program of The Ohio Academy of Science and Entrepreneurial Engagement Ohio that was developed and is managed collaboratively between the two non-profit organizations. Together, these two organizations are teaching students about the linkage between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) and entrepreneurship, which traditionally have been viewed as separate disciplines. These disciplines are the key elements to foster innovation and job creation in the 21st Century. The Believe in Ohio program was developed with the support of the Ohio Department of Higher Education and funded by the 130th Ohio General Assembly.

At the State Competition, students presented their innovative Commercialization Plan and Business Plan ideas to four judge panels that consisted of STEM and business professionals.

Brandy Powell, vice president of Variable Speed Technologies at Emerson Climate Technologies in Sidney, Ohio, who was one of the 57 judges.

“Today was my first day witnessing high-schoolers in person presenting their ideas, and I’ll tell you, I was blown away with what I saw,” Powell said. “I encourage the State of Ohio to continue to support this program. It’s vitally important for our youth to know that people believe in them, and supporting them with Ohio scholarships is a great idea. We simply must keep this talent in the State of Ohio because they are our future.”

“Our State Competition marks the culmination of a year of great accomplishment and growth for the Believe in Ohio program,” said John Klipfell, Believe in Ohio Co-Director. “Not only did the number of schools participating in Believe in Ohio’s STEM plan competitions increase from 83 last year to 144, but the number of high school and middle school students who participated in developing STEM plans more than tripled from 2,750 to nearly 10,000 students. Altogether, the 2015-2016 school year was one of great benefit to Ohio’s students and our state’s ongoing prosperity,” Klipfell said.

To find out more about the Believe in Ohio program, visit or call 614-914-5095.


Staff report