Education Secretary King Announces Winners in $200,000 Career and Technical Education Makeover Challenge

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Education Secretary King Announces Winners in $200,000 Career and Technical Education Makeover Challenge

June 17, 2016

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. today announced 10 winners in the $200,000 Career and Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Challenge at the Champions of Change for Making event in Washington, D.C. The Challenge called for high schools to create models for transforming classrooms or available spaces in high schools into places where students have access to the tools to design, build, and innovate, ultimately strengthening next-generation career and technical schools. Today's announcement is part of the kick-off for President Obama's National Week of Making, which runs from June 17-23.

Makerspaces are environments that provide the materials and equipment for students to conceive, collaborate, and learn through building their own innovations. These facilities may be classrooms, libraries, and mobile spaces, all of which provide the resources for students to create and learn through making, and in the process, gain essential 21st-century career skills, such as critical thinking, planning, and communication.

"We are thrilled with the tremendous enthusiasm from high schools across the nation for this challenge," King said. "The makerspaces these schools are building will serve as models for how schools everywhere can create spaces that provide their students the tools to design and make just about anything, and in the process, prepare for exciting futures."

The winners will receive $20,000 in cash and a share of in-kind prizes from the $378,000 sponsor prize pool to help build or renovate their makerspaces. They will produce and submit a video tour of their constructed models for use in the CTE Makerspace Showcase, to be held at the World Maker Faire in New York City in October 2016.

King announced the launch of the Challenge in March at the Digital Harbor Tech Center in Baltimore, Maryland. In April, more than 640 schools from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. entered a first round submission with their school information and preliminary plans. Next, eligible schools were invited to participate in an intensive six-week boot camp exploring resources, readings, webinars, and assignments on a range of makerspace topics, including designing a makerspace, engaging the community, developing a budget, and creating projects that build making skills. At the end of the boot camp, schools submitted a blueprint to be considered for selection and prizes. The winners were recommended by a panel of judges composed of high-profile leaders in making from across industry and academia.

The winners are:

  • Burlington Technical Center, Burlington, VT
  • Capital City Public Charter School, Washington, DC
  • Carl Schurz High School, Chicago, IL
  • Clearwater High School, Piedmont, MO
  • Dominion High School, Sterling, VA
  • John H. Reagan Early College High School, Austin, TX
  • Palisades Charter High School, Pacific Palisades, CA
  • Theodore Roosevelt High School, San Antonio, TX
  • THINC College & Career Academy, Lagrange, GA
  • William B. Travis Early College High School, Austin, TX

The Department's CTE Makeover Challenge is part of a series of prize competitions that aim to spur development of new technology, products, and resources that will prepare students for the high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations of tomorrow. The series is funded by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006.