Students Race Toward STEM Education

Posted December 6, 2016 by Toni Cerbo


Research shows that youth lose interest in math and science as early as elementary school. Connecting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning to real world applications builds student confidence. Real-world relevance and external validation are important parts of the student’s educational experience and are central to exemplary STEM education as outlined by Change the Equation.

Change the Equation recognizes Ten80 National STEM League with its Student Racing, Rover, Energy and Innovation Challenges as one of the nation’s most effective and immediately scalable STEM learning programs. The programs offer challenging STEM content, incorporate hands-on STEM practices, inspire interest in STEM, and address the needs of youth, such as females and minorities, who are less likely to pursue STEM fields.

More than Meets the Eye

While our remote control cars can’t transform into Optimus Prime…they certainly can transform students’ way of learning why algebra and physics are useful tools for daily life.

The Ten80 Student Racing Challenge allows students in grades 6-12 to master the fundamentals of problem solving, data and mechanical systems, and teamwork using 1:10 scale electric radio-controlled (RC) cars. Students also come to understand how STEM translates into careers. Students acquire skills that are central to the process of innovation. The Ten80 Student Racing Challenge motivates students to manage their time and resources, to market themselves and to develop the “soft-skills” of leadership required to turn ideas into realities.

So, NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon can take a victory lap with that!

“There is a perception that the math and science requirements of ‘engineering’ are too daunting,” said Jimmy Chancey, District Director of Career & Technical Education at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. “One of our most effective tools in dispelling this myth is the Student Racing program. We have been able to attract a broad swath of backgrounds and genders into the program.”

The More They Know…The Faster (and Farther) They Go!

Who didn’t play with their childhood building blocks and tinkering toys to create a new world with their imagination? Ten80 students don’t just follow car assembly instructions. They are motivated to engage their imaginations in real-world innovation.

The Ten80 Student Racing Challenge curriculum is modular. It is designed to help every student cultivate 21st Century Skills through team-oriented challenges. Each module addresses a different set of skills and concepts. Educators can arrange these self-contained modules into a program that works for their unique set of goals, population and resources.

Modules serve students with a very hands-on experience to divide & conquer the various aspects of operating a racing team. Students work as a team to learn how to analyze data, debrief and obtain vital performance information and reverse engineer to make informed decisions to generate optimum car performance. Team roles can include graphic or web design, fabrication, marketing, project management, engineering R&D, community outreach, and much more. Each project presents challenges within students’ reach.

Through differentiated learning, students develop real-world skills and habits. Each achievement peaks their excitement for the next project. Meeting a variety of interests and learning styles, the Ten80 Student Racing Challenge stimulates a love for math and science.

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