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

Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy and Appalachian STEM Academy applications due February 10, 2023.

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 14, 2022 — Today, 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 8-21, 2023, 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.  

For the first time in the program’s 32-year history, ARC is excited to expand the middle school STEM Academy into two separate, one-week sessions, allowing double the number of students to participate.  

  • Middle School STEM Academy Session 1: July 8-14, 2023 
  • Middle School STEM Academy Session 2: July 15-21, 2023 
  • High School STEM Academy: July 8-21, 2023 

The programs will be held at Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. More information and application materials are available at 

Applications for both opportunities are due February 10, 2023. 

“Our current Appalachian students will one day be the leaders of our Appalachian communities,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “The Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy and Appalachian STEM Academy not only help students grow their existing skills, but also help nurture their leadership capacity and encourage them to use their voices for positive growth across the region.” 

“The Appalachian Regional Commission is proud to support and encourage students from across our region to explore their interests in science, technology, engineering, and math,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. “The Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy provides young students with opportunities to grow their skills, expand their learning potential, and foster the next generation of Appalachian leaders.” 

About the Appalachian Regional Commission  
The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency 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. Learn more at