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DREAM STEM-Entrepreneurial Thinking and STEM Learning

Research Discovery & Innovation Design Lab
Research Discovery & Innovation Design Lab

“DREAM STEM—Driving Research, Entrepreneurship, and Academics through Mastering STEM” aims to address the need to increase enrollment, retention, persistence, and graduation in physical and mathematical sciences undergraduate degree programs. The innovative approach addresses development of student’s identity as a scientist and expands their mindset for entrepreneurial thinking, and facilitates enhanced STEM learning by stimulating “Teaching as Research” for STEM faculty. 

The DREAM STEM Project provides scholarships, a Research Discovery Innovation (RDI) Summer Institute, undergraduate research experiences, summer bridge coursework, tuition for summer school catchup, book awards, conference travel, and work stipends. The “teaching-as-research” activity facilitated through mini-grants engaged STEM faculty to pursue, learn, and implement new, effective strategies to improve teaching and student learning. The RDI Summer Institute engages students in guided R&D experiences to innovate, complemented with entrepreneurial thinking training on how to carry out market analysis and identify financing sources to fund their product. RDI students present a business pitch and demonstration of the product they created at a closing ceremony. An entrepreneurial skills assessment administered, showed the RDI Summer Institute produced a significant positive mindset change in entrepreneurial thinking, as indicated by gains in students’ personal traits; technical skills; entrepreneurial skills. 

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