January 25, 2022
Creating classroom makerspaces is a rapidly growing trend in schools across the country. Educators in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., and Richmond, Va. have the opportunity to win a $30,000 makerspace for their classroom in the CIA Mission Possible Makerspace Nation competition.
A makerspace is a designated area of a classroom where students can use various materials and tools to create something unique, often to solve a problem of some nature. Materials in the space can include everything from 3-D printers, electrical circuits and robotics components to cardboard, paper and glue.
The CIA sponsors CIA Mission Possible Classroom Transformations competition to promote learning in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) fields. The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) manages the program.
The competition will award one STEAM educator each in Baltimore, Md., Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va., with a makerspace loaded with materials worth $30,000.
Interested educators need to act fast! The deadline to apply is March 4, 2022. Winners will be notified in April and the items in the makerspace will be purchased and delivered to their classrooms for the start of the 2022-23 school year.
In 2021, Kourtney Purham, life sciences teacher at Kramer Middle School in Washington, D.C., won $25,000 in the CIA Mission Possible Classroom Transformation competition. She used her prize to purchase a variety of equipment for her classroom including a smart screen, programming equipment and more. Jenna Porter, a visual arts teacher at Roland Park Middle and Elementary School in Baltimore, used her prize to purchase new digital cameras and other photographic equipment. Crystal Clark, a fourth-grade teacher at Mary Munford Elementary School in Richmond, used her prize to purchase a weather station, television studio equipment and more.
To be eligible for CIA Mission Possible Makerspace Nation, educators must:
- Educate 3rd through 10th grade students in a STEAM subject.
- Work for a public school in Washington, D.C.
- Submit a three-to-four-minute video creatively illustrating the need for and possible uses of a makerspace in their classroom.
- Additional information, including the application and video submission portal can be found at orise.orau.gov/cia-mission-possible.
- Deadline to apply is March 4, 2022.
A panel of educators and ORISE staff will determine the wining classroom for each city. Entries will be judged on how well they:
- Demonstrate or explain the need for the makerspace.
- Demonstrate or explain the possible use of materials in the makerspace.
- Demonstrate overall creativity in the entry.
- Provide an explanation of the teaching philosophy and/or approach that will be used to expand the STEAM learning experience and encourage students to pursue careers in STEAM fields.
For questions about CIA Mission Possible-Makerspace Nation, contact program staff at MissionPossible@orau.org.
The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.
ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.osti.gov.