FlexFactor is an outreach, recruitment, and STEM education program designed to familiarize K-12 students with advanced manufacturing technology, entrepreneurship, and the education and career pathways that can lead to a STEM career. The program was designed to showcase the promise of these careers and help students to develop the critical thinking, creative reasoning, and problem-solving skills needed for future success.
FlexFactor is layered over an existing K-12 class and challenges small teams of students to identify a real-world problem, conceptualize an advanced hardware product enabled by flexible hybrid electronics (FHE), and build a business model around it. Core program elements include an industry tour, a college tour, and mentored STEM workshops. At the end of the program, teams pitch their product ideas to a panel of representatives from business, technology, and academia. The program can be conducted virtually, in-person, or in a hybrid format. Beginning in Silicon Valley, FlexFactor has successfully expanded nationwide, including key deployments in the Midwest, such as Lorain County, Ohio, or in the South, such as the Huntsville-Decatur area of Alabama.