Our NEW Weekly Digest during COVID-19

There have been many changes due to COVID-19. As the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute and Santa Clara Unified School District have shifted to remote learning, we at SLI are collecting resources for entertainment, encouragement, and education; and compiling them together a little weekly periodical for you to enjoy and to share with others who might benefit.

Check out the current and previous Weekly Digests here!



The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute (49ers SLI) provides multi-year, year-round academic support, STEM enrichment, skills training, and leadership opportunities to students in middle and high school. Students, who are with the program for six years from 7th through 12th grade, commit annually to 300+ hours of program learning time in addition to their typical school hours. By cultivating student mastery in STEM subjects and in key skill areas, the program prepares students for college and empowers them to pursue their passions; so that they may become the well-rounded leaders of the future. The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute is made possible by the strong partnership between Silicon Valley Education Foundation, 49ers Foundation, Chevron, and the Santa Clara Unified School District.

Winner of the prestigious Golden Bell Award!


The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute centers around nine core values, which it aims to instill in all its students: collaborative spirit, communication, creativity, curiosity, determination, initiative, leadership, passion, and risk taking.

During the school day, 49ers SLI students attend program-specific enhanced math and science courses that incorporate project-based, experiential learning with real world context, while integrating across subject areas and with the digital fabrication labs. When students reach the 11th and 12th grade, they are given the flexibility to choose a rigorous math and science class of their choice, as aligned to their interests and passions. However, these older students remain cohorted by taking AP Seminar (11th grade) and AP Research (12th grade), giving them the opportunity to earn the prestigious AP Capstone Diploma. Students are also held accountable for the A-G curriculum required for college entrance.

In addition to in-school classes, our program provides extended learning time, which includes workshops on design thinking, STEM enrichment, involves experiential, hands-on learning in our labs, guest speakers and field trips to broaden student awareness of career and industry, and supported time for students to work in teams for local, regional, and national competitions. Prior to 11th and 12th grades, students also participate in extended learning before or after school every week, two saturdays a month, and for three weeks over the summer. During their 11th and 12th grade year, students engage in 300 hours of self-selected STEM enrichment and volunteer opportunities, in addition to college visits. With the support of our staff, this self-driven work allows students to delve into their interests and passions as they start to more closely consider their future plans.

State-of-the-art digital fabrication lab
As part of the international Fab Foundation network, the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute has two dedicated spaces equipped with the resources needed to carry out extensive science, technology, engineering, and math projects. This includes digital fabrication tools (3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, ShopBots, etc), robotics kits, laptops, tablets, and other cutting edge technologies.

Design Thinking
The program focuses on “design thinking,” a structured problem-solving process that emphasizes empathy and rapid prototyping, and empowers students to tackle real-world problems within their community

Integrated curriculum includes:

  • Common Core State Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards
  • Interdisciplinary lessons and projects

Enhanced learning opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Challenges/competitions: FIRST Lego League (robotics), FIRST Tech Challenge (robotics), ExploraVision, Tech Museum Tech Challenge, science fair(s), Math Olympiad, AMC 8/10
  • Extended learning time in the Cabrillo Middle School Chevron STEMZONE and Fab Lab Santa Clara High School to work on coding/programming, electricity/circuits, and engineering/design challenges
  • One-to-one iPad program for all students and access to additional design tools and software

Industry partnerships and opportunities include:

  • field trips
  • guest speakers
  • Workshops


Students apply during in the Autumn of their 6th grade year. We also accept transfer applications from current 7th, 8th, & 9th graders in the late Winter/early Spring each year. Click one of the buttons below to be taken to the admissions page for more application information.



The program’s administrative team works to facilitate extended learning time, the use of lab technologies, workshops, field trips, competitions, and industry partnerships; as well as other administrative support.


The program’s highly-trained teachers collaborate on a daily basis to generate robust interdisciplinary programming that utilizes project-based, experiential learning with real world context in their classrooms.


The 49ers STEM Leadership Institute is made possible by the strong partnership between Silicon Valley Education Foundation, 49ers Foundation, Chevron, and the Santa Clara Unified School District.


Questions? Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page

"The SLI program is a great opportunity to prepare you for college but for me this program is way more. It helped me be more confident in myself and get over my fears. It also gives you great and intelligent people to be around that will become your family over the years. Because of SLI, I see myself making a really big impact in the world and the community with all the skills I am gaining."

- 49ers STEM Leadership Institute 8th Grade Student.