The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

January 7, 2014

Juniors eyed for collaborative pilot program


MERCER COUNTY AREA — Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV will conduct assemblies Thursday for high school juniors, inviting them to participate in a pilot program.

Sean Zippie, former intern at eCenter@lindenpointe, will present information about a unique pilot program designed to educate high school seniors in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM), plus entrepreneurship and 21st Century skills.

The assemblies are scheduled for 8 a.m. at Hickory High School and 9 a.m. at Farrell High School. The same information will be presented at each location. Students will be presented with application materials for participation in the program.

“The innovative program we are supporting today will help by providing student entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow and thrive in the commonwealth,” said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker.

Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV (MIU IV) in partnership with the eCenter@LindenPointe, the city of Hermitage, the Franklin Center of Beaver County, Community Connections and five local school districts has developed The Entrepreneurship Academy@LindenPointe.

Beginning in September, 25 students from five pilot school districts will receive instruction four days per week in half-day sessions at the eCenter. Students who successfully complete the program will receive credit toward high school graduation.

In addition to Hermitage and Farrel, pilot school districts are Sharpsville, Sharon and West Middlesex.

Students will learn about the program’s unique schedule and innovative hands-on approach to learning skills that will prepare them to enter post -secondary education and today’s workforce.

Funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s “Discovered in PA, Developed in PA” program, the experience will provide hands-on learning experiences that teach students to incorporate critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, adaptability, entrepreneurship, communication, curiosity, and imagination into their work.

D2PA was established by the Corbett administration in 2011 to better support Pennsylvania businesses and to spur creativity and innovation in economic development services. D2PA funds are used to promote entrepreneurship, encourage technology transfer, build capacity for regional economic development, and proactively reach out to and help businesses

In addition to the learning experience at the eCenter, students will engage in an entrepreneurship course through the Franklin Center and the Entrepreneuring Youth curriculum. Students will have the opportunity to develop their own STEAM business plan. These business plans will be presented to an eSTEAM panel of experts to be judged for potential startup. Each member of the winning team will receive a $500 cash award.     

MIU IV Curriculum Director Dr. Cathleen Cubelic is leading the implementation of the project in collaboration with eCenter staff and administrators from the five pilot school districts.

“There has been an outcry from the federal government and private business and industry to produce graduates who possess 21st Century skills and STEAM-related expertise,” said Cubelic. “We are confident that this program will provide students with the critical skills necessary to succeed in the 21st Century workforce.”

Info: Dr. Cubelic, 724-458-6700 x1227; or