Career and Technical Education Makeover Challenge

U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary John King today announced the launch of the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Makeover Challenge, a competition administered by ED to support innovative practices in CTE lab spaces. The competition will award $200,000 in funds to up to 10 recipient high schools to create “makerspaces,” dedicated, formalized facilities for making things, which can range from classrooms to libraries. 

The CTE Makeover Challenge presents an opportunity for CTE programs to upgrade their labs and equipment.  You can review the Federal Register notice to determine your program's interest and eligibility.  The deadline for initial submissions is April 1, 2016.

The initial submission period will be followed by a “CTE Makeover Bootcamp” - until May 22, 2016 -  during which time verified, eligible applicants will have the opportunity to access master classes, online learning resource, and experts on makerspaces to revise their applications. 

Applications will ultimately be judged on five criteria, including whether the space is innovative, replicable, multi-functional, feasible and sustainable. Bonus points will be awarded to applicants that will serve low-income students. Applications must be submitted on the official challenge website.  The White House’s plans to host the National Maker Faire on June 18-19 in Washington, D.C, where winners of the Makeover Challenge will be announced.


Hi, Leecy -

Some K-12 districts share these program spaces with adult education programs, which offer evening, night, weekend and summer classes.   I work with a district which does just that.

In places where this is not the case, often community colleges fill the gap in providing access to CTE facilities.  New initiatives to support increased apprenticeship programs is another avenue for providing adult learners with access to the tools and resources of employers, in an effort to develop future employees' skill sets.

I agree with you that both traditional high school aged students and adult learners need access to these labs/learning spaces.  Let's hope that there are more opportunities for all to gain access to CTE maker spaces.