Mark Your Calendar for Bootcamp Orientation on April 13

We’re excited to announce that over 600 schools from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. entered the Challenge. The 6-week CTE Makeover Bootcamp will kick off this Monday, April 11th, during which schools will finalize their makerspace plans and prepare their second-round submissions.

Detailed lesson plans and resources will be posted on April 11th, and please mark your calendar for the Bootcamp Orientation webinar on April 13th at 4:00 PM EDT.

Additionally, we recommend adding to your address book to prevent Challenge communications from being caught in your spam folder. All Bootcamp resources will be posted here as well, so check back for updates.

We’re thrilled about the tremendous participation in the Challenge from schools across the nation, and are looking forward to the start of the Bootcamp!

The Info Session Webinar Archive is Now Available

Thank you to everyone who joined us last Thursday, March 17th for the information session webinar. For those who were unable to tune in or would like watch the webinar again, a video archive is available below with closed captioning.

Webinar topics included an in-depth overview of the Challenge, detailing the criteria and timeline. The webinar concluded with a Q&A session. A complete transcript of the Q&A session is here.

The CTE Makeover Challenge is accepting first round submissions through Friday, April 1, 2016. If you have any further questions, please contact us at

A PDF of the webinar presentation is available here.

Launched Today: The CTE Makeover Challenge

Today, the U.S. Department of Education launched the CTE Makeover Challenge with a cash prize pool of $200,000 and additional prizes from Challenge sponsors, including Autodesk, Dremel, Etsy Manufacturing, Fab Foundation, LEGO Education, littleBits, Maker Ed, MakerBot, ShopBot, and Snap-on Incorporated. The Challenge seeks to inspire high schools across the country to design makerspaces that strengthen next-generation career and technical skills.

The Challenge was first announced last year at the 2015 White House Maker Faire in support of President Barack Obama’s Nation of Makers initiative, an all-hands-on-deck call to give students access to a new class of technologies – such as 3D printers, laser cutters, and desktop machine tools – that are enabling Americans to design, build, and manufacture just about anything.

The Department seeks models of sustainable makerspaces that it can share with educators to encourage the creation of affordable, scalable, and replicable makerspaces. Schools interested in participating in the Challenge should submit their first round submission consisting of school details and makerspace goals by April 1, 2016.

Following close of submissions, all eligible schools will gain access to the CTE Makeover Bootcamp, a 6-week virtual program that provides resources and expertise in makerspace design, lesson planning, sustainability strategies, and community engagement. At the completion of the Bootcamp, schools will submit a second round submission that will include detailed design plans, budgets, and implementation strategies.

A multidisciplinary panel of judges will evaluate second round submissions, and up to 10 schools will be announced as award recipients at the National Week of Making this summer. They will each receive $20,000 in cash, as well as additional sponsor prizes, to create or renovate their makerspace.

Want to learn more? Read about making and makerspaces, and find the selection criteria and the rules, terms, and conditions. Also, save the date for our informational webinar next Thursday, March 17 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM EDT to hear an overview of the Challenge and discuss questions.

We look forward to seeing what schools envision for their makerspaces – spaces that will provide our students the tools and resources to imagine, create, and tinker as they prepare for exciting futures ahead.