Scholastic’s Ms. Frizzle Award 2000
Scholastic Inc., a global publisher and media company for children, has announced the third year of the Ms. Frizzle Award, presented by Microsoft Corp. The program honors proposals from elementary school teachers (K-6) who present creative science education projects that inspire imagination and inquiry-based learning for the new millennium. Eligible teachers must submit a proposal for a project that encourages kids to learn science through hands-on discovery and problem solving. The application must include a description of the classroom environment, a letter of recommendation from a principal or school official, a budget, a timeline, and an implementation plan. Grand-prize winners receive $2,000 cash, $2,000 in educational software from Microsoft, and $2,000 in Scholastic books and educational materials.
Deadline: April 10
** NEW THIS MONTH **
Geoscience Education Grants
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is awarding grants to facilitate geoscience education. Proposals may target any educational level, including K-12 education and education outside the classroom. Grant applicants must demonstrate that the proposals are highly innovative and/or serve geoscience education for audiences that might not otherwise have access to the information. The program announcement specifically emphasizes that collaborative projects between schools and other institutions (museums, laboratories, ships, etc.) are encouraged, and that the internet can facilitate such collaborations. Now in its third year, the NSF Awards to Facilitate Geoscience Education grants program anticipates awarding up to 20 grants totaling $2 million for geoscience education and for projects to develop a national online geoscience library for college undergraduate students.
Deadline: April 10
Contact: Michael Mayhew at (703) 306-1557 or firstname.lastname@example.org
** NEW THIS MONTH **
Rural Systemic Initiatives in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education
This program, funded through the National Science Foundation (Grant NSF 00-47), supports systemic change in the way mathematics and science are taught in the K-12 environment. It is focused primarily on rural and economically disadvantaged areas. Applicants must show that progress is being made toward meeting knowledge standards for each student, and that the project has widespread support from teachers, parents, and administrators. Development awards are typically for one year and are worth about $100,000; implementation awards that follow initial development can be as large as $5 million for a five-year period.
Deadline: April 19 (followed by implementation proposal due Oct. 1)
Contact: Dr. Gerald Gipp and Dr. Jody Chase, Division of Educational System Reform, at (703) 306-1682.
Cisco Foundation Grants
Although not specifically targeted toward educational technology, the Cisco Foundation’s semiannual awards program has supported a number of community-based programs to bring the benefits of technology to youth. The foundation does not fund individual schools, but funds organizations that provide programs and services to schoolsfor example, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Digital Clubhouse Network. Average grants are $10,000.
Deadline: April 30 and Nov. 30
Building Effective Roadmaps for the Information Superhighway
To promote effective internet research skills and media literacy in K-12 education, N2H2 Inc. has introduced a Curriculum Contest in conjunction with the nonprofit Computer Learning Foundation. The contest requires entrants to submit an original curriculum for teaching students internet research and literacy skills, such as how to organize a search for information, how to use internet search tools, how to narrow a search, and how to assess the quality of the information found. Entries should include lesson plans, handouts for students, worksheets, and other information that would enable teachers to replicate the curriculum in their own classrooms. They will be judged on originality, quality of the pedagogy and written communication, and potential effectiveness. N2H2 will award 12 grand prizes of Windows-compatible computers, 12 second prizes of CD-ROM recorders, and 12 third prizes of $100 software gift certificates to winners.
Deadline: April 1
Sponsored by the SMARTer Kids Foundation, this program provides researchers with innovative technology-based learning materials in return for permission by the researchers to publish their study results on the web. The foundation will loan Roomware products from SMART Technologies Inc. to participants for up to six months. The use of the SMART products must be a component of the project; however, it is up to each participant to define the project’s overall goals and intended outcomessuch as studying how students use the equipment, for example, or perhaps trying to develop software to enhance learning. At the end of the research projects, all equipment will be offered to participants at a nominal price. To date, 15 projects have been completed under the program and 16 are ongoing. The foundation will select approximately 15 more projects at each of its semiannual deadlines.
Deadlines: May 31 and Oct. 31
Computers for Learning
Computers for Learning is an equipment grant program that allows schools and educational nonprofits to request surplus federal computer equipment. The computers available through this program are primarily IBM-compatible PCs, the majority of which are 486s and 386s. The program also donates peripheral equipment, including printers, modems, routers, servers, telecommunications equipment, and research equipment. Applicants must submit information about their organization and its needs, as well as the name and eMail address of a point of contact. Donations are all given based on need, including whether a school is within an empowerment zone or enterprise community.
Since its inception in 1991, the Detwiler Foundation’s Computers for Schools Program has solicited retired corporate equipment, refurbished it at prisons and vocational centers, and placed more than 55,000 computers in schools and nonprofit organizations. Refurbishment and/or distribution of computers now occurs in almost 30 states and more states are added each year. Schools and nonprofits may access the Application for Refurbished Computers on the organization’s web site, fill it out, print it, and mail it to the Detwiler Foundation. Applications are accepted nationwide.
Global Schoolhouse CD-ROMs
Global Schoolhouse, which recently was acquired by the Lightspan Partnership, offers its members free CD-ROMs through the Global Schoolhouse web site. New CD-ROM selections are available each month; past selections have included Knowledge Adventure’s JumpStart Kindergarten, New Millennium Home Reference Library, and American Heritage’s The History of the United States. Schools pay only the $4.95 cost of shipping and handling, and there are no limits on quantities. Becoming a member of the Global Schoolhouse is free.
Schools Online Internet Access
Schools without classroom internet access are eligible to apply for Schools Online equipment grants. The Schools Online program offers schools simple, cost-effective internet access, together with local support and training in its use. Participating schools are asked to designate a committed person to manage the equipment and participate in training. Schools are also asked to provide a telephone line and an internet service provider (ISP) account for dial-up access or a network connection to the world wide web.
Schools Online has helped more than 5,000 classrooms get internet access in a little more than two years. Corporate, educational, and individual partners support the program.