Ten80 National STEM League


"U.S. businesses are struggling to recruit and hire skilled individuals who understand how to work in a collaborative, competitive atmosphere of creative innovation and problem solving. I believe that if today’s and tomorrow’s students can succeed in projects like those in the [National STEM League] program, our country will be on the way to solving this problem. As importantly, many of these future professionals will start their own U.S.-based companies and support the growth of domestic industry."

-- Jeremy Losaw, design and test engineer for the NASCAR division of Toyota Racing Development

Program Type

Curriculum/Instructional Materials
Hands on/Project-Based
Informal /Out of School
Work Readiness/Employment

Target Audience

All Students




Grades 6 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 Ready to Scale link

Program Impact

Independent research on the Ten80 programs show that they can boost student test scores in math and science. In addition, Ten80 was one of only four STEM programs CTEq honored as ready to scale widely to new sites across the country.


Program Overview

The Ten80 National STEM League is Project Based Learning that Doesn’t Forget the Learning. In many ways, business, engineering, R&D and politics are team sports. Ten80 Education’s team set out over 15 years ago to help students learn the skills to thrive in a team-oriented atmosphere while also learning why mathematics and physics are "pretty" helpful.

Through the Ten80 National STEM League, middle and high school students who have a variety of interests organize, operate and OWN their own STEM company or team. Young men and women, supported by a community of mentors and educators, collaborate and create in ways that mirror business & marketing executives, engineers, technicians, green transportation designers and professional sports teams.

From a 30,000 ft. view, the National STEM League curriculum is presented in two formats. The first is a linear approach in which one activity follows another. This is the best starting-place for educators and students new to project-based learning and cross-curricular teaching. The second is the "divide & conquer" approach for educators and teams with project experience. Of course, Ten80's goal is to help guide all students and educators into a non-linear approach to setting goals, planning how to meet them and ultimately achieving them.

How To Get Involved

Every Ten80 team, region and the national organization can benefit from financial and in-kind assistance. Ten80 aims to serve its supporters' specific interest in STEM through custom curriculum, events and community outreach. Ten80 also seeks professional STEM volunteers who can coach student teams, run events, and serve as role models.

Funders and Partners

Texas Instruments
Clemson ICAR Graduate Program
SolidWorks 3D CAD
Belk Foundation
River Valley Regional Commission
Speedway Motorsports Inc.
National Society of Black Engineers
Foundation for the Carolinas Project L.I.F.T.


Beverly Simmons, Board Co-Chair

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Design Principles

The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.

  • Accomplished
  • Developing
  • Undeveloped

Overarching Principles

  • Need

    Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.

  • Evaluation

    Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.

  • Sustainability

    Ensure work is sustainable.

  • Replication and Scalability

    Demonstrate replicability and scalability.

  • Partnerships

    Create high impact partnerships

  • Capacity

    Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.

STEM Principles

  • Challenging and Relevant Content

    Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience

  • STEM Practices

    Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.

  • Inspiration

    Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.

  • Under-Represented Groups

    Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.