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

New York State (NYS), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) invites STEM teachers and eligible HS & MS students to apply for

2021’s ARC & ORNL Summer STEM Program. (Applications are due before March 1, 2021.)

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is now accepting applications for two summer opportunities: the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA) and the ARC/Oak Ridge Summer STEM Program in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Both programs are free intensive learning experiences specifically for the Region’s high school and/or middle school students. sponsoring two all-expense paid, mid-summer, residential hands-on learning programs at the nation’s prestigious Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), located 25 miles from Knoxville, Tennessee, for selected STEM teachers and high school and middle school students.

Students and STEM teachers are eligible to apply from NYS’s ARC Region  — Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins counties.

The Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA), developed in partnership with the Institute for Educational Leadership, prepares the next generation of regional entrepreneurial leaders and thinkers. Chosen via a competitive application process, rising high school seniors from across Appalachia are selected to participate in an intensive learning curriculum designed to cultivate creativity, sharpen business acumen, and develop skills essential for entrepreneurial success. As part of matriculation, AEA participants receive tech support, materials, a stipend, and other resources to participate in all aspects of the program. At completion, participants will receive a formal Certificate of Completion. AEA will be held in two phases—one virtually from June 14–25, 2021 and the second in person in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from July 12–30, 2021. Changes to this schedule may be made due to COVID restrictions. More information and application materials are available at

The ARC/Oak Ridge Summer STEM Program 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. This program will be held virtually from June 19–July 2, 2021 for high school students and teachers and June 26–July 2, 2021 for middle school students. If COVID restrictions allow, the program will be held in person in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. More information and application materials are available at

Applicants must use the appropriate ARC/ORNL online portal link shown above and must inform NYS’s ARC Program staff and after applying. Applicants should follow-up by providing their application information to NYS ARC Program staff via email after applying.

In consultation with NYSED’s Curriculum and Instruction Division personnel, NYS’s ARC Program staff will review applications and recommendation letters and will consider various other factors to nominate two applicants to participate in each teacher and student summer session. Additionally, alternate nominees may be designated to fill the program’s quota on space-available basis.

As per the sponsor’s criteria, the following are some of the additional factors that may be considered in ranking applications for nomination to ARC and ORNL: whether a student would potentially be a “first-generation” college-going student; evidence of economic factors that might otherwise hinder participation in summer educational programs; the potential gain such a program as this would provide the student to mitigate other disadvantages; evidence of limited access to broadband or technology resources at home or school. For teachers, additional factors that my be considered are evidence of leadership and the ability to significantly and favorably impact students, especially disadvantaged students, to consider studies or career possibilities in STEM. All applicants must be US citizens. Preference may be shown to applicants from schools in economically distressed communities or schools with high free-or-reduced-lunch eligibility.