ESTEAM: 6 Ways to View STEAM through an Entrepreneurial Lens

When youth are exposed to entrepreneurial thinking, a profound change takes place. They become more aware of opportunities around them, develop powerful problem-solving skills, and improve their abilities to think critically and creatively.

The fear and insecurity they may associate with subjects in the STEAM fields often disappear as they discover that these tools can be used to solve problems that fascinate them and may ultimately help society.

ESTEAMWe believe innovation and discovery happen at the intersection of multiple disciplines- we call it ESTEAM (entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, arts, and math).

As youth learn more about imagining and creating business ventures of their own, they discover the ability of science and technology to help make their dreams possible. And the greater their knowledge about entrepreneurship and STEAM, the more imaginative and far-seeing they become.

The ultimate effect is that youth become steadily more confident and fearless about their ability to tackle and conquer challenges of all kinds.

Entrepreneurial mindsets + STEAM

What does thinking like an entrepreneur look like when exploring STEAM concepts? Check out six entrepreneurial mindsets and how they connect to STEAM:

1. Creativity

creativityYouth are entrepreneurial when they use their imagination to communicate their ideas and their learning. You show creativity when you:

  • Create a physical model of a life cycle

  • Illustrate the plot of a story

  • Choreograph a new dance

Practice creativity with a free activity here!

2. Curiosity

Curiosity and Youth Entrepreneurship LessonsYouth are entrepreneurial when they ask questions and seek new ways of learning and doing. You show curiosity when you:

  • Question assumptions, “But why?”

  • Explore an object and make observations, “I notice…” 

  • Take something apart to see how it works

Read more about curiosity here.

3. Growth mindset

growth mindset, youth entrepreneurshipYouth are entrepreneurial when they see that learning is an ongoing process and has no “right” or “wrong” answer.  You show growth mindset when you:

  • See an unexpected outcome as an opportunity to learn something new

  • Practice a skill and improve, even though they fail along the way

  • Read about a topic to learn more about it 

Learn 3 ways to foster a growth mindset!

4. Empathy

Youth are entrepreneurial when they use empathy to understand the feelings, wants, and needs of others. You show empathy when you:

  • Care for a classroom plant or pet
  • Consider the effects humans have on Earth’s natural resources
  •  Organize a clothing drive

Download an empathy coupon activity here!

5. Problem solving

problem solvingYouth are entrepreneurial when they observe problems and use their knowledge to design and test solutions. You problem solve when you:

  • Propose a different way to test a hypothesis or solve an equation

  • Replace a missing material in an experiment with another

  • Revise a technical writing assignment to add missing information

Learn more about the problem solving journey.

6. Embracing failure

Embracing FailureYouth are entrepreneurial when they use trial and error to experiment as they learn what works and what doesn’t work. You embrace failure when you:

  • Draw/sketch an idea and show it to someone else

  • Sound out a new word while you’re reading

  • View mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow

Discover the process of embracing failure!

Bring ESTEAM to youth

You are an entrepreneur, and so are your students. Start using the entrepreneurial mindset vocabulary in your science and math classroom, your STEM club, your maker space, or your drama club.

How can you keep these mindsets top of mind while working with youth?

Give students these words to validate the amazing thinking they demonstrate and watch their confidence sky rocket! Tell them they’re being creative, empathetic, and resourceful. (You can even print out stickers to award mindset moments.)

Print our free Entrepreneurial Mindsets Poster to hang in your learning space or put in student journals. Have them use the mindset terms to describe themselves and others.

Looking for more ways to foster entrepreneurial thinking?

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