The GTE Foundation
1255 Corporate Drive
P.O. Box 152257
Irving, Texas 75015-2257
Tel: (800) 315-5010
Web: http://www.gte.com/About GTE/community/gte_foundation/ opportunities/gift.html
Since 1983, GTE Foundation’s Growth Initiatives for Teaching (GIFT) program has been providing math and science teachers with grants that encourage the innovative use of technology in education.
“Before our GIFT grant, we could only dream about using technology as a teaching tool,” said Angie Rye, a seventh-grade science teacher at Sandhills Middle School in Gaston, South Carolina.
Every year, GTE awards GIFT grants to 60 teams consisting of one math and one science teacher from the same secondary school who have developed school enrichment projects that integrate math and science and use technology in a creative way.
Each winning team shares a $12,000 GIFT grant–$7,000 to implement the school enrichment project and $5,000 ($2,500 each) for the participating teachers to pursue professional development activities.
Known as GIFT Fellows, grant recipients first participate in a year-long program designed to inspire their teaching efforts through opportunities for professional growth. The program begins with a seminar that brings together the entire class of 120 fellows for a week of learning about new technology and sharing ideas and teaching techniques.
For the seminar, the fellows travel to Boston to visit the GTE Labs facility. There, they attend presentations by noted scientists and educators, tour the facility and interact with GTE employees, witness real-world applications of math and science, and learn about valuable classroom resources.
The fellows then travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with their congressional representatives. Throughout the ensuing year, they pursue their school enrichment projects and professional development goals.
GIFT Fellows have used their professional development award in various ways, including to travel to Africa or South America for research field trips; to attend NASA Space Camp; to take courses in their field; or to attend conferences for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Science Teachers Association, or Teachers Teaching with Technology, among others.
Examples of past school enrichment projects include using DNA fingerprinting to learn more about an endangered fish species, using Global Positioning Systems and computer-based labs to help restore a natural sand prairie, and conducting motion labs to study seat belt use in moving vehicles.
Since the program’s inception in 1983, GTE has awarded more than $10 million in GIFT grants to more than 1,700 math and science teachers across the country.
The program is open to public and private school math and science teachers, grades 7 to 12, in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
To be eligible for the GIFT grant, applicants must also:
• Hold a bachelor’s degree and state certification (where applicable).
• Have completed at least one year of full-time paid teaching in the same school district by July 1, 1999.
• Carry a full teaching load, with more than half of the teaching schedule in math and/or science, both in the current year and the year in which the grant will be applied.
To apply for the 2000 GIFT grant, team members jointly submit a proposal and budget for a school enrichment project that must be based in the team’s classrooms or school and must directly involve both math and science students for the 2000-2001 school year.
As part of the application, team members also submit proposals and budgets for individual professional development activities that directly support implementation of the school enrichment project and address their own needs for professional growth, especially as it regards technology in education.
Each team submits one application booklet, which is available online. The application must be completed and submitted by January 14, 2000.
Grant recipients are selected by a panel of mathematics and science educators under the guidance of the Educational Testing Service and the GTE Foundation, GTE’s philanthropic arm, which administers and funds the program.
The GTE Foundation ranks among the largest corporate foundations in the U.S. The Foundation provides financial assistance to educational and charitable institutions on behalf of GTE Corporation, one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider of integrated telecommunications services. In 1999, the GTE Foundation will award more than $30 million to causes throughout the U.S.