STEM Education with Ten80, NASCAR(R), SolidWorks and Fun


Many students design cars – all types of cars, but how many teams design the actual sustainable power source?  Student from the RC Lions team at R.L. Turner High (M.E.T.S.A) in Carrollton, TX presented the wind turbine they designed and built to charge their electric RC car at the Ten80 finals.

I first met the Ten80 team of engineers and educators five years ago.  The term “STEM Education” was just working its way into the US education system.   Ten80’s curriculum is truly an exciting integration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) principles and since that first year we met, Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp has been an integral part of the Ten80 project. 

This year, NASCAR(R)endorsed the Ten80 Student Racing Challenge: NASCAR STEM Initiative(R) because it accurately parallels the jobs, especially the engineering, design and manufacturing, that real race teams engage in for months leading into each race.   Through the Student Racing Challenge (, middle and high schools are using SolidWorks and other technologies to optimize their team’s race car which is a 1:10 scale radio controlled (RC) car. 

Student teams also develop sustainable transportation systems in the competition category called P.I.T. Nowä, Petroleum Independent Transportation NowSolidWorks Sustainability is a major tool to help these students understand the global impact of their design decisions and broaden their insight into the real challenges of sustainability. 

My colleague Chris has been involved with NASCAR since she was a kid – so now having this student design competition with Ten80 and NASCAR is terrific!  As we travel the country, Chris continues to provide me facts on NASCAR teams and their high performance parts designed in SolidWorks.


Ten80 SRC Wing Project Analysis 
Earlier this month, middle and high school teams from around the U.S. gathered at Michael Waltrip Racing and Charlotte Motor Speedway to compete in the Ten80 SRC National Finals.  Because communities are struggling financially, several teams participated virtually including Eaglecrest High School students from Aurora, CO.  They presented Creative Engineering projects like devising a steering stabilizer to minimize driver error, building a composite control arm and designing air ducts to reduce the motor temperature and improve efficiency. 

 Ten80 SRC Wing Project

Meet some of these teams at Ten80’s facebook page (  .


Lightning Motorsports from Garinger New Technology in Charlotte, NC

This weekend you can meet Terri Stripling through a through a live interview at 10 AM EST this Friday, May 20th at  She is a chemical engineer, president of Ten80 and a good friend.  The session will also be recorded and posted to Student Racing Challenge after May 21st.  

I believe that Ten80’s vision is the blueprint for fueling student interest in STEM.   Maybe we have gotten together so well because the founders Beverly Simmons is a science teacher and Jeff Thompson is a mechanical engineer and an artist. They have truly defined an integrated STEM curriculum.  SolidWorks is happy to contribute to that effort.  Marie


Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard