Late last week TWO schools in Austin were announced as winners of the CTE Makeover Challenge a contest run by the U.S. Department of Education.  The contestants were asked to share their vision for a “makerspace” at their high school.  According to the Department of Education’s website a makerspace is “an environment or facility that provides resources materials and equipment for students to conceive create collaborate and learn through making.”

Of the 640 schools who entered into the contest earlier this year only 10 were chosen as winners.  Austin Texas managed to take home two of those winning spots (William B. Travis Early College High School & John H. Reagan Early College High School) with a 3rd Texas school (San Antonio’s Theodore Roosevelt High School) also winning one of the 10 prizes.

Each winning school receives $20000 to help turn their vision into reality plus a share of the other prizes listed here.  The additional prizes include equipment (like 3D printers) tools & supplies (such as a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® Education EV3 Core Set with Software Pack) and mentors & access (like 50 Hours of technical training from Microsoft)!

The winning schools will have until September to build out their makerspaces with a video presentation of their completed project to be displayed in October at the World Maker Faire in New York City!  To see more about this contest including what criteria was used to select winners check out the official contest website here.