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LIFT and Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation Announce Winners for MakerMinded 2020


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


Lexington, KY – December 15, 2020—LIFT,  the Detroit-based national manufacturing innovation institute and member of Manufacturing USA - and AdvanceKentucky, an initiative of Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, are pleased to announce the winners for MakerMinded Kentucky 2020.


In partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Defense Education program, MakerMinded launched in Kentucky in the fall of 2016 to inspire more middle and high school students to pursue advanced manufacturing careers and equip them with 21st-century skills in-demand in Kentucky’s manufacturing industry that currently employ more than 250,000 people.


Students and teachers who participated in the competition completed activities that paired them with community partners whose focus is STEM and advanced manufacturing. Winners receive cash awards that can help fund future STEM and advanced manufacturing education in their respective schools.


The winners for MakerMinded Kentucky 2020 are as follows:


High School:

1st place:         Valley High School, Louisville, Kentucky

2nd place:         Trigg County High School, Cadiz, Kentucky

3rd place:         Glasgow High School, Glasgow, Kentucky


Middle School:

1st place:         South Floyd Elementary, Hi Hat, Kentucky

2nd place:         Spencer County Middle School, Taylorsville, Kentucky

3rd place:         Glasgow Middle School, Glasgow, Kentucky


More than 500 students and teachers from 32 schools across Kentucky are part of a national MakerMinded network that includes schools in Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia, where LIFT works with local partners to onboard schools and activate student participation. To date, more than 7,500 students and teachers from more than 650 middle and high schools are participating in MakerMinded nationally.


MakerMinded teacher participant Kolby Huff from South Floyd Elementary in Hi Hat, Kentucky indicated that MakerMinded “highlighted the things we were already doing without adding extra work. To us, it was a competition within ourselves to learn and grow.”


AdvanceKentucky executive director Anthony Mires, states that “MakerMinded is building bridges between STEM education, college and career readiness and advanced manufacturing in Kentucky. We hope to continue to make connections through additional MakerMinded opportunities for Kentucky’s students and teachers in the future.”


Kevin Kerrigan, vice president of business development and talent development at LIFT, concurred saying, “These MakerMinded students in Kentucky are the next generation of innovators and makers. They are living proof that the talent and passion for advanced manufacturing exists in our students for the U.S. to be the manufacturing force globally — we just need to continue to provide more opportunities for young people to access the right learning opportunities and hone their skills.”


Designed by LIFT and Tennessee Tech University’s iCUBE, MakerMinded directly links students to a diverse range of national and local advanced manufacturing programs, including manufacturing facility tours, gaming activities, and project-based learning. MakerMinded also includes a competition component, with students and schools receiving points for each completed activity. Points are tallied on a real-time online leader board and the top schools are celebrated at year-end recognition events.


About LIFT 

LIFT, operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute, is the Detroit-based, public-private partnership between the Department of Defense, industry and academia, committed to the development and deployment of advanced manufacturing technologies, and implementing talent development initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research. Visit or follow on LinkedIn at LIFT or on Twitter @NewsFromLIFT to learn more.


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. 


Joe Steele


(313) 309-9132

Dr. Sheri McGuffin


(859) 309-6015

Winning Schools MakerMinded KY 2020 (3).