The U.S. Department of Education is announcing the Career and Technical Education Makeover Challenge, a prize competition funded by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. The Challenge calls upon eligible high schools to design models of makerspaces that strengthen career and technical skills through making. A “makerspace” is a formalized space for making, an environment and facility that provides resources, materials, and equipment for students to conceive, create, collaborate, and learn through making. “Making” refers to a hands-on learning approach that encourages students to imagine, create, tinker, and learn through the process of manufacturing, testing, and demonstrating their ideas. Through making, CTE educators enable students to immerse themselves in problem-solving and the continuous refinement of their products while learning essential employability skills, such as critical thinking, planning, and communication.
It is encouraging to see the connection between in-school experiences and the skills needed for success in the workplace. JFF endorses this connection and is currently under contract with the Department of Education to encourage education and employment stakeholders to promote the teaching and evaluation of these critical skills.
The Department is seeking models of CTE makerspaces across a wide range of facility types, such as classrooms, libraries, and mobile spaces, that it can share with educators to encourage the creation of affordable, scalable, and replicable makerspaces.
The $200,000 prize pool will be awarded to up to ten winners. The Challenge is open to public and charter high schools, career technical schools, and educational consortia.
Application deadline: April 16, 2016. Complete details, eligibility requirements, and an application can be found here.