ARC Accepting Applications for Summer Study Programs in Entrepreneurship and STEM for Region’s Middle and High School Students

  • December 12, 2023

Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy and Appalachian STEM Academy applications due February 2, 2024.

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 12, 2023—The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) opened applications for two summer study opportunities: the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA) and the Appalachian STEM Academy at Oak Ridge. Both programs, planned for summer 2023, are free intensive learning experiences specifically for the Appalachian Region’s high school and/or middle school students and teachers.

The Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA), developed in partnership with Appalachian State University, EntreEd, and STEM West, prepares 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 (STEM) 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 following dates:

  • Middle School STEM Academy Session 1: July 6-12, 2024
  • Middle School STEM Academy Session 2: July 13-19, 2024
  • High School STEM Academy: July 6-19, 2024

Applications for both opportunities are due February 2, 2024.

“Now is the time to grow and support the next generation of Appalachian leaders,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “Through the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy and Appalachian STEM Academy, students will sharpen their critical thinking, leadership, and collaboration skills, and build lasting friendships, which will in turn have a positive impact not only on their futures, but the future of the entire Appalachian region.”

“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, Kentucky Governor 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.”

About the Appalachian Regional Commission
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development entity of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 423 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.