Dr. Marwa Eltanahy, Lecturer, Higher Colleges of Technology

Dr. Marwa Eltanahy is an assistant professor in the field of science education and currently works in the Higher Colleges of Technology as a faculty in education. She has an extensive experience in the educational field with specific expertise in teaching, coordination, training educators, and accreditation. In addition to her long experience as a researcher, reviewer, and editor in academia. She has 7th years of experience in conducting research studies in the field of entrepreneurial- STEM learning (E-STEM), resulting in developing the first E-STEM model in the international field. The implementation of this model won one of the 10 best research papers in the international conference on Education (ICEDU) in 2022, and all her series of E-STEM research was published in very high-ranked journals. In addition to her research interest and publications in leadership, teaching and learning, professional development programs, assessment, and practices. She works with schools, governors, and senior leaders to enhance research-based practices. She is a writer for different magazines and acts as a coordinator, a judge, and a participant in several national and international conferences and competitions. 


In today’s rapidly evolving world, the demand for entrepreneurial and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills is skyrocketing. As a result, higher education institutions are increasingly recognizing the importance of integrating Entrepreneurial-STEM (E-STEM) learning into their curricula. E-STEM learning combines the principles of entrepreneurship with STEM disciplines and fosters entrepreneurial competencies among students. Apparently, entrepreneurial context and STEM context share some common goals because both aim to develop students’ problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. These competencies are not limited to STEM practitioners, but they are fundamental for entrepreneurs. Infusing E into STEM will encourage students to focus on the need for designs, the functionality of their products, how to provide high-quality designs with less cost, when to take risks, or start a new business.  This article explores the significance of E-STEM learning in higher education, emphasizing the need for collaboration and the critical role E-STEM leaders play in enhancing E-STEM practices in educational organizations.

Importance of Entrepreneurial-STEM Learning in Higher Education

  • E-STEM learning encourages students to think outside the box, explore new ideas, and develop innovative solutions to complex problems. By integrating entrepreneurial skills with STEM disciplines, higher education institutions can nurture a culture of innovation and creativity among their students, and empower them with the knowledge, skills, and attitude needed to act entrepreneurially.
  • While STEM education emphasizes analytical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making, incorporating entrepreneurial practices into existing STEM curricula will create new meaningful E-STEM learning platforms that enhance networkability, product functionality, and financial awareness. This will equip students with the ability to identify and analyze challenges, propose viable solutions, and adapt to evolving situations. These competencies are crucial in preparing students for the demands of the modern workforce.
  • E-STEM learning bridges the gap between academia and industry because it prepares students for real-world challenges by providing them with practical skills and knowledge that align with industry needs. It enhances their employability as well as self-employment. Accordingly, this incorporation enables a seamless transition from education to the workplace. Integrating entrepreneurial elements into STEM disciplines ensures that graduates possess the necessary skills to succeed in today’s competitive job market. 
  • E-STEM learning promotes collaboration among students from different disciplines, fostering interdisciplinary thinking and teamwork. This approach mirrors the dynamic nature of the professional world, where innovation often arises from the intersection of diverse fields. 

Partnerships with Secondary Education 

Higher Education does not limit its relationship to industry but encourages partnership with basic education as well. To ensure that education offers a strong foundation in E-STEM learning, a collaboration between higher education institutions and secondary education is needed to promote the key elements of an effective learning environment:  

Early Exposure to E-STEM Concepts: Partnering with secondary education allows students to be exposed to E-STEM concepts at an earlier stage. By integrating E-STEM learning in secondary schools, students can develop an interest in entrepreneurship and STEM disciplines and encourage them to pursue related fields in higher education.

Smooth Transition to Higher Education: Collaborative efforts between secondary and higher education institutions can ensure a seamless transition for students interested in pursuing E-STEM fields. Sharing best practices, curriculum alignment, and articulation agreements facilitate a more cohesive educational journey for students, promoting continuity and eliminating potential learning gaps.

Teacher Professional Development: These partnerships provide constant support and opportunities for teacher professional development. To facilitate research-based practices, E-STEM professors and researchers from higher education can conduct training sessions and workshops for secondary school teachers, equipping them with the knowledge and skills required to deliver effective E-STEM practices in the early stages. 

The Role of E-STEM Professors in Enhancing Practices and Implementation 

E-STEM Professors play a pivotal role in driving and leading the effective implementation of E-STEM practices in higher education. Their main responsibilities include:

  • Collaborate with all faculty members to design and develop curricula that integrate entrepreneurial principles into STEM courses. They identify learning outcomes, create experiential learning opportunities, and ensure that the curriculum aligns with industry needs and trends. Making learning visible to students is recommended to produce a new generation of students who are assessment-capable learners.
  • Facilitate collaborations between higher education institutions and industry partners. Establishing industry partnerships can create opportunities for students to engage in real-world projects, internships, and mentorship programs by building strong connections with businesses, startups, and research organizations, to provide students with valuable industry exposure. These experiences effectively enhance their entrepreneurial -STEM skills and accelerate their ability to make reasonable career choices. 
  • Encourage student engagement by organizing competitions, hackathons, and entrepreneurship initiatives to share their innovative ideas can foster an entrepreneurial mindset among students, encouraging them to take risks, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and develop an innovative and resilient approach to problem-solving. 
  • Investigate and assess the effectiveness of E-STEM programs through regular evaluation and feedback mechanisms in an ongoing research process. They gather input from students, faculty, and industry partners to identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to enhance the quality of E-STEM learning. They also stay updated on emerging trends and technologies in entrepreneurship and STEM fields to ensure that the curriculum remains relevant and up-to-date. Their research practices aim to provide new pedagogical models, solutions, and practical ideas that contribute to the body of knowledge concerning STEM reform. 

Entrepreneurial STEM learning has a very powerful and dynamic nature. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach that prepares students for opportunities in the modern world by incorporating entrepreneurial principles into STEM disciplines. The core of this incorporation is to enhance students’ entrepreneurial competencies and to facilitate the transformation of students’ designs into values for the community. To ensure the successful implementation of E-STEM practices, partnerships with secondary education are crucial for early exposure and a seamless transition. Additionally, the active involvement of E-STEM leaders is essential in designing curriculum, training faculty, establishing industry partnerships, promoting student engagement, and continually improving E-STEM programs. By embracing Entrepreneurial-STEM learning and nurturing the next generation of innovative thinkers, higher education institutions can contribute significantly to the development of a skilled and entrepreneurial workforce that drives economic growth and societal progress.

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