Middle and high school students can enter Wisconsin YES by 5 p.m. March 17

March 10, 2014

MADISON – The statewide Wisconsin YES! youth business plan contest will close to entries 5 p.m. Monday, March 17.

Public, private and home-schooled students across Wisconsin are eligible to turn their science- and tech-related ideas into business plans and compete for cash and prizes. The contest begins with a 250-word summary submitted through the website – www.WisconsinYES.com. Entries that advance to Phase 2 of the competition will expand their idea into a 1,000-word executive summary.

As a tool for educators, Wisconsin YES! fosters interest in science and tech education and encourages students to be independent, creative thinkers capable of problem solving.

Gov. Scott Walker proclaimed the week leading up to the March 17 deadline as the “Celebration of STEM Education Week” statewide. STEM components, which include science, technology, engineering and mathematics, are considered vital to the intellectual and economic future of Wisconsin.

The celebration aims to involve STEM-centered organizations, businesses and educational institutions across the state. The number of skilled individuals needed in STEM industries is enormous, and growing, making it more and more crucial to promote the education of students in these disciplines.

“This announcement recognizing the importance of STEM education reinforces the same spirit of the innovative efforts that students who apply for Wisconsin YES! demonstrate,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

To get started, students need to create a simple account at www.WisconsinYES.com. All entries are submitted through the website. Throughout the process, students get feedback from professionals across Wisconsin who will serve as judges. Templates and sample entries for both phases are available on the website, along with other entrepreneurial resources.

Students are able to work in teams or as individuals and will be judged based upon their grade level, with the oldest team member determining the team category. Students or teams may enter multiple ideas.

Place finishers in each category – 9th grade and under, 10th grade, 11th grade and 12th grade – are eligible for cash and prizes. The grand prize winner has the opportunity to present their winning idea at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison on June 4.

The Tech Council produces the contest, with major sponsorship from WEA Trust and IBM. Contest partners thus far include Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Public Instruction, Make a Difference Wisconsin, Project Lead the Way Wisconsin, STEM Forward, Wisconsin Association of School Boards and Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers.

To enter the contest or for more information on sponsorship and partnership opportunities, visit www.WisconsinYES.com or contact Joy Sawatzki at the Wisconsin Technology Council, jsawatzki@wisconsintechnologycouncil.com or 608-442-7557.