Students working in FUSE Studio

How Does FUSE Work?

FUSE is designed for all students, including those who do not show interest in STEM—yet!

Our choice-based, student-led program creates authentic communities of STEAM learners. We’ll walk you through the research-based design principles and student experiences that can make FUSE a transformative experience for your school.

FUSE STEAM Program Design Principles

challenge gallery selection

Students Choose

Students in FUSE have access to a diverse suite of Challenges. They choose who they work with and whether they work alone or collaboratively. This choice and interest-centered environment helps all students find Challenges to inspire learning and engagement.

students around 3d printer

Interest-driven Design

FUSE Challenges are designed around student interests in music, design, and pop culture and are embedded with STEAM practices. These interests serve as a hook, motivating students to progress through Challenges and, in the process, discover new STEAM-related interests.

teacher facilitating FUSE


In FUSE, teachers act as facilitators, helping to guide the process of exploration and discovery by encouraging youth to problem solve, take risks, try and try again, be creative, and learn with and from their peers.

students collaborating on a roller coaster challenge

Peer Learning

Because students work on Challenges in a different order and at different paces, they develop unique expertise that they share with their peers. Students become leaders, peer mentors, and experts in a variety of STEAM-related tools and practices.

students working in FUSE

Failure is OK

Traditional school can be a difficult place to experience failure. FUSE creates a collaborative, student-driven learning community where failure is accepted and persistence is celebrated. Students show willingness to persist in solving difficult problems in FUSE.


How does the FUSE model work within Traditional School?

FUSE is choice-based and assessment-free by design. Schools and districts work it into their curriculum to meet goals for STEAM learning and innovation.

We study what makes a successful school or district-wide adoption, and use what we learn to improve resources for all our schools.

School Building

Research on FUSE

Research shows that FUSE enables youth to discover new interests in STEAM and supports the development of 21st-century skills such as persistence, adaptive problem solving, and collaboration. Girls and boys persist through FUSE at consistently high rates and, as noted by students and teachers, learn important skills that transfer to their work in the classroom.

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Standards Alignment

FUSE aligns with a variety of standards including NGSS, Common Core, and ISTE. We work closely with teachers and administrators during FUSE trainings to help match the FUSE implementation model to any standards you wish to target.

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STEM Career Pathways

While we design Challenges around youth interests, each Challenge is also intentionally connected to engineering, design and technology workplace practices. FUSE lays the groundwork for interest development in STEM, which can lead to further independent exploration, study in high school or college, or career.