Toshiba America Foundation
Contact: Program Officer
1251 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (212) 596-0600
Fax: (212) 221-0973
With an annual grantmaking budget of $450,000, the Toshiba America Foundation (TAF) helps schools and districts fund programs, projects, and activities which have the potential to improve classroom teaching and learning of science, mathematics, and technology.
The foundation welcomes applications from across the U.S., though TAF does have a special interest in funding projects in communities where it has a corporate presence.
The foundation exclusively targets middle and high schools, where it looks for projects that are student-focused. Specifically, Toshiba seeks projects which directly benefit students as a result of teacher-led classroom experiences. Educators are encouraged to implement or adapt existing programs with their grants as opposed to creating new ones.
TAF does not contribute to general operations, capital projects, endowments, conferences, independent studies, fundraising events, or other such activities–nor does it provide grants for computer hardware, except if needs are proven to be extreme. Curriculum inventions, teacher training, salaries, facility maintenance, textbooks, creation of video or computer materials, and education research are also excluded. Summer projects will not be considered unless they are proven to be an integral part of the academic year.
The foundation reviews hundreds of applications each year and says it typically approves funding for between 10 and 15 percent of the proposals it receives. For small grants (under $5,000), the average award is $4,500, while larger, more carefully scrutinized grants average $9,000.
For grants of less than $5,000, Toshiba accepts applications throughout the year, with the exception of the months of March and September. There are no deadlines for submission of proposals at this level.
For grants in excess of $5,000, applications are accepted twice yearly, with deadlines set on the first working day in February for board consideration in March or the first working day in August for consideration in September.
Examples of projects funded
Several schools have used technology as the backbone for their projects.
Cheltenham High School in Wyncote, Penn., for example, was awarded $7,200 from TAF to beef up the school’s science curriculum. The project has impacted 300 tenth-grade biology students by integrating the use of software, interactive probeware, and CD-ROMs, giving students an opportunity to engage in a range of experimental activities. For instance, biology students used computer simulation to age themselves and to predict the changes that will occur.
Stratford High School in Houston, Texas, received $8,500 for a project that sought to apply mathematics to real life situations. The project, which affected 300 students, incorporated spreadsheets and ledger systems to set up and calculate a loan repayment schedule and to investigate the effects of different interest rates and monthly payments using interactive software and a computer projector.
Blacklick Valley Junior-Senior High School in Nanty Glo, Penn., secured $14,700 to supplement science class experiments on topics such as acid rain deposition, solar radiation, human circulatory and transport systems, and Newton’s Laws with hands-on activities that involve the measurement of real-life systems using digital and analog sensors connected to computers through an interface. This project impacted 426 students in grades 7-12.
Wayne Community Schools in Wayne, Neb., got $4,500 for 440 students to study the fundamentals of mathematics, applied math, pre-algebra, beginning and intermediate algebra under the tutelage of a teacher and para-professional who will individualize instruction for each child using software that provides for self-pacing and self-analysis.
Guidelines for proposals
Because the foundation believes that classroom instructors are central to improvements in science and mathematics education, teachers must be involved in the planning of projects. Involved teachers should be prepared to initiate improvements immediately upon receipt of funding.
TAF asks that proposals conform to the specific format that follows:
• Section 1. Objectives/Outcomes
Exactly what student learning objectives will you reach by conducting the proposed project? These objectives should be realistic, directly related to the project, measurable, and attainable within the timeframe of the project.
• Section 2. Methods/Strategies
Describe the methods, materials, and strategies that you plan to use to produce your desired outcome. What exactly do you want to do with or for your students to produce the outcome you desire? Samples of lesson plans or other relative information are encouraged.
• Section 3. Discussion of Alternatives
Provide other examples of methods or strategies that could accomplish your desired outcome and explain why you rejected them.
• Section 4. Project Management
List and describe activities that will have to be managed by you and/or others to ensure that the project will operate successfully. This section should also address the purchasing process if materials are needed, as well as concerns regarding safety and security.
• Section 5. Budget
Provide a cost estimate for each item for which you are seeking funds, based on information obtained from vendors, catalogs, salespeople, etc.
• Section 6. Evaluation
Include plans for how you will ensure that you are gathering the data needed to be able to later complete a final report–including qualitative and quantitative data–upon completion of the project.
• Section 7. Eligibility
Public schools must provide evidence from a relevant school official that your institution is recognized by an appropriate local or state agency. TAF will accept a state tax exemption certificate as proof of eligibility.
TAF asks that you write a summary of your proposal, to be used as a cover page. Mail three copies of the completed application along with an official letter of submittal on school letterhead to the foundation.