CIA Mission Possible Makerspace Nation offers Chicago educators a shot at a $30,000 Makerspace for their classroom Application deadline is March 1, 2024

January 8, 2024

Creating classroom makerspaces is a rapidly growing trend in schools across the country. Chicago educators can win a $30,000 makerspace for their classroom in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Mission Possible Makerspace Nation competition.

CIA Mission Possible Makerspace Nation offers Chicago educators a shot at a $30,000 Makerspace for their classroom

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 the CIA Mission Possible Makerspace Nation 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 Chicago, Ill., Omaha, Neb. and Kansas City, Mo./Kan. with a makerspace loaded with materials worth $30,000.

Interested educators need to act fast! The deadline to apply is March 1, 2024. 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 2024-25 school year.

Elizabeth Eakin and Amy Wagner, 9-12th-grade computer science educators at Northside College Preparatory High School, won the 2023 CIA Makerspace Nation competition in Chicago. The CIA launched the Mission Possible Program in 2021.

To be eligible for CIA Mission Possible Makerspace Nation, educators must:

  • Educate 3rd through 12th grade students in a STEAM subject.
  • Work for a school in Chicago, Ill., Omaha, Neb., or Kansas City, Mo./Kan.
  • Submit a three-to-four-minute video creatively illustrating the need for and possible uses of a makerspace in their classroom.
  • Apply by March 1, 2024.

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.
  • Exhibit 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.

Additional information, including the application and video submission portal can be found here: Also, check out the CIA’s Spy Kids website for cool facts about CIA that could be used in your classroom! For questions about CIA Mission Possible-Makerspace Nation, contact program staff at

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
Director, Communications
Phone: 865.603.5142

Wendy West
Manager, Communications
Phone: 865.207.7953

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