The U.S. Department of Education (ED) invited schools to enter the CTE Makeover Challenge by submitting a design for a CTE makerspace.
A makerspace is an environment or facility that provides resources, materials, and equipment for students to conceive, create, and collaborate through making. Making refers to a hands-on learning approach that encourages students to imagine, create, and tinker through the process of manufacturing, testing, and demonstrating their ideas. Through making, educators enable students to immerse themselves in problem-solving and the continuous refinement of their projects while learning essential 21st-century career skills, such as critical thinking, planning, and communication. ED sought models of CTE makerspaces across a wide range of facility types, such as classrooms, libraries, and mobile spaces, that it could share with educators to encourage the creation of affordable, scalable, and replicable makerspaces.
All eligible schools were invited to participate in the CTE Makeover Bootcamp, a 6-week program that provided resources and expertise in makerspace design and planning. $200,000 in cash and other prizes will be distributed to a maximum of 10 prize winners to turn their vision for a makerspace into a reality. Prize winners will produce and submit a video tour of their constructed makerspaces and compile an online portfolio of materials for use in the CTE Makerspace Showcase, which will take place at the World Maker Faire in New York City in October 2016.
Makerspaces & Making
A makerspace is:
A makerspace is an environment or facility that provides resources, materials, and equipment for students to conceive, create, collaborate, and learn through making. See this Renovated Learning blog post for a collection of makerspace definitions from around the web.
Making is a hands-on learning approach that encourages students to imagine, create, and tinker through the process of manufacturing, testing, and demonstrating their ideas. Through making, educators enable students to immerse themselves in problem solving and iteration, and in the process teach essential 21st-century career skills, such as critical thinking, planning, and communication.
Examples of makerspaces:
To help spark your imagination, visit Maker Ed’s “Spaces & Places” where a variety of makerspaces are showcased through images and videos.
Examples of making that apply to CTE:
Here are a few examples of projects from actual classrooms:
– History: Build medieval chainmail
– STEM: Create a backpacking stove
– Design: 3D print a flexible lamp
– Arts: Make stamps using a soda can and an eraser
How making differs from shop class, art class, or lab projects:
Making includes student-driven activities from a multitude of subject areas. While traditional shop classes may focus assignments on skills such as metalworking and carpentry, makerspaces are not subject or skill specific. Makerspaces encourage students to use tools and materials to tinker, innovate, and collaborate, whether on an art project, a 3D printing project, a laser cutting project, or any other hands-on project.
“[Makerspaces] share some aspects of the shop class, home economics class, the art studio and science labs. In effect, a makerspace is a physical mash-up of different places that allows makers and projects to integrate these different kinds of skills.” – Dale Dougherty, The Maker Mindset
Why the U.S. Department of Education supports making:
Making closely aligns with the objectives of Career and Technical Education, which prepares students with academic, technical and employability skills. CTE is a natural environment to foster making through experimentation with technology, engineering, and science while preparing students to succeed in the modern economy.
“By democratizing the tools and skills necessary to design and make just about anything, Maker-related events and activities can inspire more people to pursue careers in design, advanced manufacturing, and the related fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and possibly take their creations to the next level and become entrepreneurs.” – WhiteHouse.gov, “Announcing a Week of Making this June 12-18”
Who qualifies as a maker:
Making encourages all teachers and students–both within and outside of CTE and STEM–to tap into their creative potential. Makerspaces are not exclusively for use by the STEM community. A history teacher could be a maker by teaching medieval history through the construction of architectural models of castles. An art teacher could be a maker by using the makerspace for craft projects.
“Makers believe that if you can imagine it, you can make it…Everyone is a Maker, and our world is what we make it.” – Maker Ed, “The Makerspace Playbook”
Makerspaces and technology:
A makerspace is where making happens, blending both technology and craft. Whether the space is high tech or not varies depending on the makerspace and the skills needed to participate in activities and projects. Some makerspaces may have manufacturing equipment that is “additive,” such as 3D printers, and “subtractive,” such as CNC routers, and laser cutters. There are no minimum requirements for specific tools, equipment, or technology to be considered a makerspace.
“Makerspaces come in all shapes and sizes, but they all serve as a gathering point for tools, projects, mentors and expertise. A collection of tools does not define a makerspace. Rather, we define it by what it enables: making.” – Maker Ed, “The Makerspace Playbook”
The Challenge and certified Fab Labs:
Your makerspace does not need to be a certified Fab Lab, though feel free to visit the Fab Foundation website for inspiration for makerspace design, tools, and projects.
To learn more about creating a makerspace, visit the Library of Resources here and the CTE Makeover Bootcamp homepage here. Sound appealing? Participate in the CTE Makeover Challenge by entering here. For those not entering the Challenge, you can register for EdPrizes email updates here.
Carl D. Perkins Funding & Challenge Eligibility
Carl D. Perkins funding:
The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) provides funding for Career and Technical Education (CTE). Over $1.1 billion is distributed annually. The funds are provided by the U.S. government and distributed at the state level. To enter this Challenge, entrants do not need to be receiving Perkins IV funding, but must be eligible to receive it. For more information on Perkins IV, please consult the U.S. Department of Education Perkins Collaborative Resource Network.
How to know if I am eligible for Carl D. Perkins funding:
Under section 3(14)(A) of Perkins IV the term ‘eligible recipient’ means— a local educational agency (including a public charter school that operates as a local educational agency), an area career and technical education school, an educational service agency, or a consortium, eligible to receive assistance under section 131 of Perkins IV.
If you are unsure whether your institution is eligible for Carl D. Perkins funding, please check with your school’s administration, visit your state’s Department of Education site or contact your state or local CTE coordinator.
Examples of schools that are eligible to receive Perkins IV funding and enter the Challenge:
This list may not be inclusive of all types schools eligible to receive Perkins IV funding. Please refer to the Rules, Terms & Conditions and check with your school’s administration or your state or local CTE coordinator.
– Public high schools
– Public charter schools serving grades 9-12
– Technical high schools
– Regional technical centers serving grades 9-12
For more information on Challenge eligibility please see the Rules, Terms & Conditions.