Students Collaborate, Create & Compete in Student Racing Challenge

CHICAGO, Il. (October 9, 2013) — Chicago Public Schools and local science-education non-profit Project Exploration are partnering with the U.S. Army-sponsored Ten80 Student Racing Challenge to bring the exciting science of race car driving to CPS students and educators over the next school year. On October 17th, close to 400 CPS students and educators will gather for the Student Kick-Off Event at Schurz High School, 3601 N. Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60641.

The Ten80 Student Racing Challenge is an in school and after-school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum and optional competition league adopted by schools in 29 states. Combining Project Exploration’s student-centered approach to youth science and the Ten80 racing kits and curriculum, students at 12 CPS schools will spend the school year gaining hands-on exposure to the connection between motorsports, technology careers and a lifelong commitment to hands-on and brains-on learning. They will join the national initiative that is attracting a broad and diverse audience to STEM learning. The program’s high ratings from Change the Equation, along with sponsorships from the U.S. Army and other leading entities, ensure today’s youth are prepared to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

“The U.S. Army supports high-performance education initiatives that are research-based, compelling for youth and reach a widely underserved audience,” said Mark Davis, deputy assistant Secretary of the Army for Marketing and director of the Army Marketing and Research Group. “The level of engineering and teamwork on display in Ten80’s classrooms and competitions is reflective of the Army’s leading-edge technology and the powerful, realistic training of its Army Strong Soldiers.”
“This is an excellent opportunity for students to dive deep into the science of a sport that has captured their imaginations, learning technical skills and building the tools for a life-changing engagement with science,” adds Natasha Smith-Walker, Executive Director for Project Exploration. “The combination of Ten80’s exciting curriculum and Project Exploration’s expertise in combining science education and meaningful youth development is a win-win for students.”

“Washington, D.C. – Change the Equation announced today four excellent STEM learning programs that are ready to be taken to scale nationwide. The programs selected –Girlstart Summer Camp, Project Lead The Way, ST Math, and Ten80 Student Racing Challenge – were already admitted to CTEq’s rigorous STEMworks [2] database of high quality STEM programs that consistently yield positive outcomes and had to pass an additional round of vetting to be accepted for this initiative.” (Change the Equation, 2013)

Like today’s soldiers and professional motorsports teams, CPS students’ mental, emotional and physical strengths will be put to the test as they work in teams to collaborate, create and compete in project categories that include: robotics, engineering design and fabrication, creative engineering and innovation, and sustainable transportation through renewable energies.
Teams will begin earning points in the 2013-14 academic year, compete in Regional Finals in spring 2014 with the winning team traveling to Charlotte, N.C. to compete with teams from 29 other states in the Ten80 National Finals in May 2014.
The TEN80 program was brought to Chicago with the help of several integral organizations including: Academy for Urban School Leadership, Enlace, Illinois Institute of Technology, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, and Southwest Organizing Project.

A complete list of Army STEM-focused programs, Ten80 events and Project Exploration programming can be found at, and respectively.


Change the Equation. (2013). Change the equation recognizes four exemplary STEM learning programs [Press Release]. Retrieved from
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