Middle Grades Science Instructional Materials Initiative

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has created a two-part program to support the development of multi-year, comprehensive science instructional materials for use in middle grades and through high school. NSF describes the program’s goals as serving “the needs of students and their teachers well into the new millennium and incorporat[ing] contemporary knowledge about student thinking, learning, pedagogy, assessment, and information technology… In this solicitation, technology is considered an essential component of the materials design.” Projects should be ambitious and demand understanding of complex concepts and deep understanding of fundamental ideas. Three to five projects will be supported in Phase I (for a total of $4 million), and the funds can be used for educator professional development, materials for administrators and parents/community members, or prototype testing. Additional funds will be made available in Phase II, based on a successful review of Phase I projects and the availability of funds.

Deadline: July 14

Contact: Dr. John S. Bradley, Section Head, Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education (ESIE); phone (703) 306-1614, eMail jbradley@nsf.gov

http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf0080/ nsf0080.txt

America Online Rural Telecommunications Grants

America Online (AOL) funds these awards that “recognize and reward outstanding achievement in rural community development through telecommunications.” In partnership with the National Center for Small Communities, the AOL Foundation makes awards in five categories: Infrastructure Technology; Public Access, Skills, and Training; Community/ Economic Development, Job Creation; Health Information and Services; Enhanced Disability Access; and Youth Development/Leadership. The foundation provides $10,000 to winners in each of the five categories and $2,000 to two semifinalists in each category. Applicants must demonstrate how they have used telecommunications to invigorate rural communities—not just show a plan that might work in the future. Rural communities are defined as those with a population less than 10,000. Although the foundation states explicitly that an academic-only orientation is not likely to win an award, its 1999 awards indicate that projects that link students in rural areas with their peers are very strong candidates. For example, the Edcouch-Elsa High School in south Texas created the Llano Grande Center, which enables former outstanding high school students who have gone to Ivy League colleges to stay in touch by eMail and a web site with current high school students and inspire them to similar achievements.

Deadline: July 14

Contact: Jennifer Balsam at (202) 624-3550 or jbalsam@sso.org

http://ruraltelecon.org/aolawards/aol00/ aolawards.asp#youth


Smaller Learning Communities Program

This $45 million federal grant program is being administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to develop, implement, or expand smaller learning communities in high schools. The goal of the program is to develop programs that create communities of 600 students or fewer within large high schools (defined as 1,000 or more students in grades nine through twelve). Strategies may include creating schools within schools, career academies (a technology academy is specifically cited in the grant instructions), or restructuring the school day. All applications must be made by local education agencies (LEAs), although they can submit applications on behalf of themselves, a group of LEAs, an individual high school (with enrollment of 1,000 or more in grades nine through 12), a group of high schools, or a high school program districtwide. Only public schools are eligible. Maximum Planning Grants are $50,000 per school or $250,000 for a group of schools or group of LEAs; maximum Implementation Grants are $500,000 per school or $2.5 million for a group of schools or group of LEAs.

Deadline: July 17

Contacts: Todd May at (202) 260-0960 or Kathy Silva at (202) 260-2598


Connections to the Internet

This NSF program helps fund internet connections at K-12 schools, public libraries, and museums. This is a highly competitive, cost-sharing grant that will reward “only highly innovative approaches” of connecting to the internet. Project costs may include the acquisition and maintenance of hardware and software to establish institutional access to the internet, as well as the installation and recurring charges for a communications channel. Conversely, funds may also be used to acquire internet connections and services from an external service provider. NSF typically awards $15,000 over a two-year period to successful applicants, though consortia may apply for larger awards.

Deadline: July 31

Contact: (703) 306-1636



American Honda Foundation Grants

Four times per year, the American Honda Foundation funds youth-oriented programs that provide support for job training and/or education in math, science, and the environment. The program’s stated mission is to encourage “innovative curriculum development for K-12 youth.” Schools, school districts, and other education-related institutions are eligible to apply. For guidelines, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the American Honda Foundation, P.O. Box 2205, Torrance, CA 90509. If the foundation receives a preliminary proposal a month before the next deadline, its staff can provide feedback in time for you to make changes to your proposal and still meet that deadline.

Deadlines: Aug. 1, Nov. 1, Feb. 1, and May 1

Contact: Kathy Carey at (310) 781-4090


ASCEND Program

NSF sponsors a series of Informal Science Education programs. Its newest program is called After-School Centers for Exploration and New Discovery (ASCEND). In fiscal year 2001, 40 to 60 awards totaling $24 million will be made. Proposals for ASCEND funding should engage middle and high school youth in substantive out-of-school activities that explore science, mathematics, and engineering. Improving children’s technology literacy is a stated part of the program’s goal, and applicants should clearly state their intent to use computers and scientific instruments. Projects can be proposed by schools, corporations, foundations, and others (e.g., museums, zoos, community centers, homes). Projects should reach large audiences or have the potential for significant national or regional impact, and they should help groups of children typically underrepresented in science, mathematics, and technology. Preference also will be given to projects that involve parents in their children’s education and projects that promote public understanding of scientific research. Collaborative projects between academic and non-academic institutions are strongly encouraged.

Deadline: Aug. 14 for preliminary applications; Nov. 15 for full proposals

Contact: Division of Elementary, Secondary and Information Education, (703) 306-1606

http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf0099/ nsf0099.txt


Teacher Enhancement Program

The Teacher Enhancement (TE) program is part of NSF’s Instructional Materials Development Program, which supports the development of instructional materials for science, math, and technology educators in grades K-12. TE has several subparts, one of which is titled “Pilot Projects: Local Systemic Change, Teacher Retention & Renewal, Mathematics and Science Courses for Improving Teacher Qualifications, and Professional Development with Emerging Technologies,” for which grants are available. In fiscal year 2001, some portion of the approximately $55 million in the TE program will be awarded to projects in this subcategory; no project will receive more than $200,000. One of the primary stated goals of the TE program is to “support the use of technology in the teaching of [science, math, and technology] at the preK-12 level and in the professional development of teachers.” Grant seekers should explain how their projects will support one or more of the goals in the program’s title by developing new projects (note the term “Pilot” in the title). For example, a local systemic change project would try out exemplary instructional materials and effective instructional strategies, including innovative use of classroom materials such as computers and scientific instruments. Or a project on professional development could suggest how to use new technology tools to improve teaching through in-service education or ongoing training.

Deadline: Aug. 14 for preliminary applications; Oct. 23 for full proposals

Contact: Dr. Susan Snyder, Secondary and Informal Education, (703) 306-1620 or ssnyder@nsf.gov

http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf0099/ nsf0099.txt


Arts in Education Grants

This ED grant competition supports media literacy projects in schools. ED defines “media literacy” as understanding and interpreting the artistic content of images, including violent messages, transmitted through the electronic media. These grants are intended to support projects that enhance students’ understanding of violence in media and projects that encourage students to create nonviolent media projects. The grants are funneled through local educational agencies (LEAs). Eligibility is limited to LEAs in which at least one school has 75 percent of its students eligible for Title 1 assistance. Eight to 10 awards of $50,000 to $150,000 each will be made, for a total of $990,000.

Deadline: Aug. 21

Contact: Shelton Allen at (202) 260-2487 or shelton_allen@ed.gov

http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/ announcements/2000-2/052200a.html


NEC Foundation Grants

The NEC Foundation of America makes cash grants to nonprofit organizations for programs with national reach and impact in one or both of the following areas: science and technology education (principally at the secondary level), and/or the application of technology to assist high school students with disabilities. These are not grants for the purchase of specific computer equipment for a specific individual, nor does the foundation broker the donation of NEC equipment. Winning projects typically have focused on disseminating products and information to target groups or expanding the scope of an existing program with national impact. The grants, which range from $1,500 to $70,000 each (with a median of $28,000), are awarded twice per year.

Deadlines: Sept. 1 and March 1

Contact: (516) 753-7021


Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loans

This program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers loans or combination loans and grants to rural districts and other nonprofit entities for the implementation of distance learning or telemedicine projects in rural areas. Applications may be submitted any time up to Sept. 30 and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For 2000, $130 million for loans and $77 million for combination grants and loans is available.

Deadline: Sept. 30


Dow Chemical Co. Foundation Grants

Dow supports K-12 programs in the areas of math and science, teacher training, and parental involvement. Grants may include cash, products, in-kind services, and volunteered time. Dow will not give a grant to an individual school. Instead, the company targets its giving toward school districts; national, state, or local programs; and programs to encourage women and minorities in math and science.

Deadline: Sept. 30

http://www.dow.com/about/corp/social/ social.htm



Interagency Education Research Initiative

This is a research program, jointly funded by NSF, ED, and the National Institutes of Health, to assess the large-scale implementation of innovative approaches to using technology in the classroom, as well as other novel educational approaches. Approximately 25 awards will be made this year, totaling $38 million. While all projects share certain benchmark characteristics in terms of gathering data, the projects must be adaptable to studying the impact of teaching techniques in a wide variety of classrooms. Projects can focus either on early learning of foundation skills (such as reading, mathematics, science) or on adaptation to increasingly complex mathematics and science for older children. An example of a foundation study with a technology component cited in the project solicitation reads, in part,: “How can computer and information technologies be used for enhancing the scalability, implementation, evaluation, and sustainability of instructional approaches for improving early reading skills in the context of complex educational environments beyond a single or small numbers of classrooms? What new instructional methods or strategies are made possible with computer and information technologies?”

Deadline: Oct. 2 for letters of intent; Feb. 2 for full proposals

Contact: Nora Sabelli, IERI office, phone (703) 306-1650, eMail nsabelli@nsf.gov.

http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf0074/ nsf0074.txt

Leadership Grants

The National Foundation for the Improvement of Education’s Leadership Grants underwrite professional development opportunities for public school teachers and education support personnel to prepare them for collegial leadership. Sponsored by the National Education Association, these grants enable teachers to lead the educational process from the classroom, rather than having school administrators direct curricula. Up to 50 grants of $1,000 each are awarded each year in two rounds of competitions. Grant candidates should demonstrate a specific need for the knowledge or training that will be supported. Eligibility is limited to employees of public school systems. Although technology training is not the focus of the grant program, a list of recent winners’ proposals included online education courses, attendance at SchoolTech 2000, and the creation of an online “teacher community” to address how to meet new state education standards.

Deadlines: Oct. 15 and March 1



Target Teacher Scholarships

This year, Target Stores Inc. will award a total of $1 million to teachers and administrators for continuing education and staff development. Technology training has been the focus of many scholarship winners in recent years. Awards range from $1,000-$5,000. More information will be made available at Target’s web site.

Deadline: Nov. 1

Contact: (800) 316-6142


Ongoing Grants


Free Career-Planning Videos

The Career Education Network (CEN), one of the leading sources of career-planning information for high school guidance counselors, has contacted principals at the nation’s 15,000 high schools to offer at no charge a series of career-planning videos. Twelve of these videos are available now as part of a series that will cover “dozens of industries and careers,” said CEN President Doug Clark. Each video is about 30 minutes long and includes interviews with companies and employees in various industries who discuss the types of skills needed to work in their field. “The videos have been extremely well-received,” said Clark. “The Milwaukee school system has started to incorporate them into its curriculum, and they’re great to display in the library as a career resource.” The videos also provide information on using CEN’s extensive career-planning web site, a free service for both career counselors and students.

Contact: Doug Clark, (800) 283-8477


ClassLink Grants

Sponsored by cell phone manufacturer Nokia and a consortium of cell phone service providers (organized by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association), this program gives cell phones and free calling time to classroom instructors. The program is designed to create additional in-class learning opportunities by enabling students to call subject matter experts during school time, and also to provide instructors with emergency access to telephones to ensure their safety and the safety of their students. To date, more than 28,000 cell phones and 12 million hours of free phone time have been donated. Among the innovative uses of the system has been a project in a private school in Florida that allows each teacher to place his or her homework assignment on wireless voice mail daily, so that parents can call in and confirm their children’s homework assignments. Grants are made by individual local wireless providers; to find out if your provider is participating in the program, go to the ClassLink web site. s/ index.htm

Robert H.Michel Civic Education Grants

The Dirksen Congressional Center is offering a total of $40,000 for projects that create lesson plans and/or student activities on Congress, government, and civics. Projects that use multimedia applications are preferred, especially as they facilitate identification of additional resources for teaching the historical basis for legislative and regulatory rules. Teachers of students in grades 4 through 12 can apply for the grants; institutions cannot. The grant administrators emphasize that they are seeking “practical classroom applications” in the lesson plans and use of technology. Applicants should begin by sending a short letter or eMail that outlines their project; promising candidates will be asked to submit more detailed information. Proposals may be submitted at any time during the year.

Contact: Frank H. Mackaman, Executive Director, at (309) 347-7113 or fmackaman@pekin.net.

http://www.pekin.net/dirksen/ micheledgrants.html


NSF Special Categories for Full Proposals

NSF has developed a series of programs that support efforts to improve students’ understanding of science, mathematics, and technology. Most of these programs have well-defined aims and deadlines (see the above listings), but NSF also makes a provision for small grants that do not fit neatly into its program categories. One set of grants is aimed at helping assemble teams of experts to speak at conferences, seminars, and symposia. Another set of grants are called “Planning Grants,” and these are sought by groups that need more funding in order to complete a project. With these grants, NSF particularly supports new groups or large consortia that are serving groups underrepresented in science, mathematics, and technology. Another category is “Small Grants for Exploratory Research,” which NSF describes as delving into traditional areas with new approaches, researching new areas, or working on problems requiring urgent attention. NSF encourages prior contact with an officer of the Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education division before submitting a request.

Contact: Call NSF at (703) 306-1234 and ask for the Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education division

http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2000/nsf0099/ nsf0099.txt

Teach America!

Launching its new Teach America! program with a major media splash through President Clinton’s “New Markets for the Digital Economy” tour, the Gateway Foundation has promised to provide free technology training to 75,000 educators in public and private schools. Successful applicants will receive one year of free access to an online database containing more than 400 technology training courses, which run the gamut from word processing, to web site design, to spreadsheets, to computer-aided drafting. Applicants can be individual teachers or school district media representatives. Applicants must file a short note indicating their reasons for wanting access to the online training program and their plans for using their knowledge in the classroom.

Contact: gateway.foundation@gateway.com



TechConnect Grants

These grants from the Electronic Industries Foundation, which will be made in the spring of 2001, encourage creative teaching through technology-based math and science projects for fifth through eighth graders. Awards of $2,500 to $5,000 will be made. While project proposals must be submitted by schools or teachers, they also require a corporate partner who will provide a level of real-world applicability to the program. Projects should demonstrate to students the real-world impact of math and science, and they require at least two critical skills (e.g., critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, etc.). Because the grants are targeted for underserved communities, demographic evidence supporting that claim must be provided. Funds must be used specifically to support the proposed classroom project and may include computers, graphing calculators, or software. Teacher training or technical support also can be funded, and requests for field trips, classroom supplies, or instructional kits are eligible, too.

Contact: Marcie Vorac at (703) 907-7408 or marciev@eif.org


Toshiba America Foundation Grants

The Toshiba America Foundation awards grants for programs and activities that improve the classroom teaching and learning of science, mathematics, and technology for middle and high school students. Public and private schools, local educational agencies, and youth organizations across the United States may apply. Projects should provide direct benefits to students and should include teacher-led, classroom-based experiences. The Small Grants Program awards grants of up to $5,000 monthly throughout the year. The Large Grants Program awards grants of more than $5,000 in March and September (with deadlines of Feb. 1 and Aug. 1, respectively). The total annual grants budget is approximately $550,000.

Contact: (212) 588-0820 or foundation@tai.toshiba.com.


Regional Grants

Bell Atlantic Foundation Grants

The Bell Atlantic Foundation reviews unsolicited proposals from the 13 Northeastern states served by Bell Atlantic on a continuous calendar year basis from January through November. Last year, the organization received about 28,000 requests. Technology integration is the foundation’s priority, and integration with education has been one of the areas it has supported consistentl.y. Examples of previously funded technology projects, which can be found on its web site, include supporting a maritime library’s creation of online courses for middle school students and a program to provide rehabilitated computers to disadvantaged children. The foundation recommends that you apply for its grants online, and guidelines are available on its web site.

Contact: (800) 360-7955


First for Education Grants

Last year, Carolina First Corp. established the Carolina First for Education Foundation with a $12.6 million endowment. The foundation will provide education and community-based grants to teachers and public schools in South Carolina for projects that will help bring the state to the educational forefront, including grants for technology initiatives such as purchasing computers. All grants will be awarded based on evaluation of a written application. For an application form, write to the Carolina First For Education Foundation, P.O. Box 1029, Greenville, SC 29602.

Contact: Bruce Thomas, (803) 750-2706.

Intel Foundation Grants

Intel offers a wide range of support for many technology- and science-related initiatives. On a national level, Intel funds programs that advance math, science, or technology education, promote science careers among women and underrepresented minorities, or increase public understanding of technology and its impact. National grants are made either to national projects or local projects that serve as pilots for national programs. They are cash-only grants (no equipment or volunteer support). Community grants are viewed with the same priorities and subject to the same rules as national grants, but they are limited to communities where Intel has a major facility: Chandler, Arizona; Folsom and Santa Clara, California; Rio Rancho, New Mexico; Hillsboro, Oregon; Fort Worth, Texas; and DuPont, Washington. Intel’s Public Affairs Department also considers requests for equipment and support of Intel volunteers in the communities where the company has operations. An example of this type of activity is the Management Review Committee staffed by Intel managers and administrators in the Chandler Unified, Tempe Union, and Kyrene School Districts in Arizona, which meets monthly to maximize the value of all Intel-supported programs in the area. Applications for all of these programs can be found on Intel’s web site.

http://www.intel.com/intel/community/ grants.htm

Sprint Foundation Grants

The Sprint Foundation supports educational projects that foster school reform through the use of new technologies and communications media and through fresh approaches to the enhancement of teachers’ skills. Although Sprint does not have an application form, the foundation recommends that applicants identify how their projects support Sprint’s objectives: innovation and the use of technology in the classroom; enhanced education for minorities and/or the disadvantaged; and increased employee and public support of education. Because these grants are supported by employee contributions matched by foundation funds, grants are available for projects in areas with a significant employee presence, primarily Kansas City, Atlanta, Dallas, and Sacramento. Two examples of grant recipients for 1998 are the National Technical Institute for the Deaf to implement videoconferencing in a variety of educational applications, and the Kansas City Art Institute to begin creation of a forward-looking, campus-wide technology initiative. Schools and other education-related nonprofit agencies can apply for grants totaling about $500,000 per year. Call to talk to a program officer first, or check out Sprint’s web site for application


Contact: (913) 624-3343

http://www.sprint.com/sprint/overview/ commun.html