US Education Dept Hosts Makerspace Challenge for High Schools
The U.S. Department of Education is hosting a Career and Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Challenge for eligible high schools to create and partially fund makerspace blueprint designs in the hope of encouraging hands-on, project-based learning spaces at the K-12 level.
Maker culture has been incorporated in schools since the 90’s, though only gaining more mainstream attention for K-12 use in the last decade. Generally known as a space where people get together to solve problems and create physical objects, in an educational setting they focus on building skills like teamwork and creativity that are sought after in the 21st century career market. Unlike more specified art or craft classes, makerspaces usually encourage student-driven work through a variety of subjects from technology to science to crafting.
The prize pool of $200,000 is to be split between up to ten final round winners and also includes a selection of equipment, tools, and mentorship to be donated. A six-week boot camp is available to all those who applied after the first-round deadline. In the boot camp, experts work with schools to help them blueprint the space and provide curriculum suggestions.
The winning makerspaces will be built over the summer and showcased at the World Maker Faire in October.
Makerspaces are even making it to the White House. In June 2014, Obama hosted the first White House Maker Faire.
A full timeline of the challenge deadlines and activities can be found here.
Nate Leese is an Emerson College senior journalism student focusing on long term photography projects and visual media. Growing up a third culture kid he enjoys learning about relationships between cultures during times of change.