OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — Most kindergarten through eighth-grade students know how to use computers, tablets, and smartphones, but do they understand how those devices really work? Five educators across the country will be able to immerse their students in all things coding, application development, 3D printing, and design, thanks to a new competition recently launched by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The CIA Mission Possible Operation Advance Technology competition will place $60,000 computer and coding laboratories in five schools across the country. Winning educators will be able to select from among several suites of coding or design equipment based on their needs and wishes for their classrooms.

The CIA sponsors the CIA Mission Possible Operation Advance Technology competition to promote learning in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) fields. The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) administers the programs on behalf of the CIA. 

Interested educators need to act fast! The deadline to apply is March 24, 2023. Winners will be notified in April and the items delivered to their classrooms for the start of the 2023-24 school year.

To be eligible for CIA Mission Possible Operation Advance Technology, educators must: 

  • Educate kindergarten through eighth-grade students in a STEAM subject.
  • Work for a public school in any of the 50 states.
  • Submit a three-to-four-minute video creatively illustrating the need for and possible uses of a computer and coding lab.

A panel of educators and ORISE staff will determine the winning classrooms. Entries will be judged on how well they: 

  • Demonstrate or explain the need for advance technology equipment.
  • Demonstrate or explain the use of the advance technology equipment in their classroom or school.
  • 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.

Additional information, including the application and video submission portal can be found here. Also, the CIA’s Spy Kids website offers cool facts about the CIA that could be used in your classroom. For questions about CIA Mission Possible-Operation Advance Technology, contact program staff at MissionPossible@orau.org.