Dept. of Ed launches makerspace design challenge with $200,000 in prizes

White House competition is giving schools the chance to design and realize the perfect makerspace

A new Department of Education-sponsored challenge is letting high school students design the makerspace of their dreams — with $200,000 going to as many as 10 winning schools to help turn their plans into reality.

The competition, called the Career Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Challenge, was recently announced by Acting Education Secretary John B. King Jr, as he called for the re-authorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides more than $1.1 billion for career and technical education programs in grades 7-12 and in post-secondary institutions.

For the challenge, entrants must sketch out their ideal makerspace and make it work within existing space already available. Successful makerspaces will focus not only on the tools (there are no requirements for specific pieces of technology) but on the process of manufacturing, testing, and demonstrating ideas. Part of the challenge will be turning traditional school spaces, such as libraries or classroom, into modern makerspaces, which can be shared by students and staff alike. Students will also need to consider how their model can be scaled and replicated by other schools.…Read More