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U.S. Department of Education Announces Competition for Schools to Create the Best Makerspaces

U.S. Department of Education Announces Competition for Schools to Create the Best Makerspaces

The Department of Education is weighing in on what makes a great makerspace through its competition, the Career Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Challenge.

"The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Challenge calls upon eligible schools to design models of makerspaces that strengthen career and technical skills through making,” said the DOE on the competition’s website.

$200,000 in prizes are for grabs for the competitions winners.

The Department of Education is encouraging the maker movement because it says "[m]aking 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."

Any school is eligible to enter into the contest’s First Round Submissions, so long as it has a desire to improve its CTE offerings, has early visions for a new or renovated makerspace, and has a team in mind that will help create the CTE makerspace vision.

The application asks a series of questions relating to these three requirements as well asks: the school’s budget for the 2015-16 academic year, the percentage of the school’s students who qualify for school lunch, and the percentage of English Language Learners (ELL) enrolled in the school.

The application encourages schools to upload images of the space to be used for the new or renovated makerspace and asks for any illustrations that would convey the initial intended proposal for the project.

The full application can be found here.

Following the first submission, schools will be selected to participate in CTE Makeover Bootcamp (April 11-May 22).

During this bootcamp, "participants will receive resources to improve and expand upon plans and designs for their makerspaces. Resources and expert guidance will be provided on a variety of topics including educational programming, design, and community engagement,” the website says.

Winners of the competition are to be judged on how much so their makerspaces are:

  • innovative
  • replicable
  • multi-functional
  • feasible
  • sustainable

Winners are to be announced in June this year and will be able to implement their design plans during the summer to showcase the following October.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

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