2008 – 2009

Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide has developed and implemented a large array of programs dedicated to educating students about entrepreneurship, work readiness, and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. The JA Our Nation® program is one of eight JA Worldwide globally distributed programs for elementary schools, which consists of a series of lessons for 9- to 11-year-old students that examine issues related to entrepreneurship, resources needed for business, and globalization. In 2008, JA Our Nation® was revised to include more emphasis on helping young people understand and acquire skills related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines and to re-emphasize the need to think globally. New curricula and materials were developed that focused on providing practical information about business needs to individuals who could meet the needs for the emerging job market, including high-growth, high-demand jobs. RMC Research conducted an evaluation of the JA Our Nation® program during fall 2008. The evaluation used an experimental design with random assignment of students to treatment and control conditions. Results showed that JA Our Nation® participation was associated with a significant positive effect on student acquisition of knowledge about STEM careers and knowledge about the skills necessary to obtain jobs in STEM-related fields. JA Our Nation® students also gained greater content knowledge about entrepreneurship, globalization, and business-related vocabulary.