LIFT and Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation Partner to Expand STEM Learning Platform in Kentucky

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MakerMinded program connects students to STEM experiences and skills to build Kentucky’s future advanced manufacturing workforce.  


Lexington, KY – August 27, 2019—LIFT - Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow - a Detroit-based national manufacturing innovation institute and member of Manufacturing USA - and AdvanceKentucky, an initiative of Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, announced the start of the 2019-2020 MakerMinded competition in Kentucky.  Now in its fourth year in the Commonwealth, MakerMinded is expanding students’ and schools’ access to world-class advanced manufacturing and STEM learning experiences through a digital platform and student competition. 


Originally designed by LIFT and Tennessee Tech University’s iCUBE and launched in 2016, MakerMinded’s goal is to inspire more middle and high school students to pursue advanced manufacturing careers and equip them with 21st-century skills in demand at Kentucky’s 3,258 manufacturers that currently employ more than 250,000 people. 


MakerMinded’s online platform directly links students to a diverse range of national and local STEM and advanced manufacturing programs, including manufacturing facility tours, gaming activities and project-based learning. MakerMinded also drives a sense of competition, as students and schools receive points for each completed activity, which are tallied on a real-time online leader board, with the top schools being celebrated at year-end recognition events. 


Kentucky is part of a national MakerMinded initiative that includes campaigns in Detroit, Idaho, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia, where LIFT works with local partners to onboard schools and activate student participation.  To date, over 6,000 students and teachers from over 500 middle and high schools are active on the platform.


“MakerMinded fit perfectly into the project-based, community-based mindset that we are cultivating in our school. The entire school community got behind the idea of entering points for things we were already doing in our classrooms. The fact that 225 faculty and students participated created a feeling of the school as a team working toward a goal.” Marsha Bertram – IT/Computer Science Teacher, Wayne County High School, Monticello, Kentucky, 1st Place High School – KY MakerMinded 2018

Currently, over 130 schools and 1,200 students and teachers have participated in KY MakerMinded. The goal for the 2019-2020 academic year is to enroll 30 additional schools across the Commonwealth. Awards will be presented in May 2020 to the top performing schools. 


By supporting MakerMinded in partnership with LIFT, AdvanceKentucky continues its mission to provide advanced quality learning opportunities for Kentucky’s teachers and students. MakerMinded joins AdvanceKentucky’s portfolio of programs supporting Advanced Placement math, science, and English in high schools, Access to Algebra in middle schools, and its K-12 Computer Science Initiative in partnership with 


Students, schools, employers and others interested in joining the Kentucky MakerMinded campaign should visit 


About LIFT – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow

LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA, and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research.


About KSTC – Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation

KSTC is a private non-profit corporation committed to the advancement of science, technology, and innovative economic development founded on Kentucky know-how. KSTC seeks to improve the capacity of people, companies, and organizations to develop and apply science and technology and compete responsibly in the global marketplace. AdvanceKentucky, an initiative of KSTC, supports STEM learning in Kentucky’s K-12 classrooms.

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