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.