**NEW THIS MONTH**
The National Science Foundation (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 2001, 40 to 60 awards totaling $24 million will be made. Proposals for ASCEND funding should engage middle and high school youths in substantive out-of-school activities that explore science, mathematics, and engineering. Improving children’s technology literacy is a program 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, and 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. Projects that involve parents in their children’s education and projects that promote public understanding of scientific research will receive preference. 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
**NEW THIS MONTH**
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 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 would support one or more of the goals in the program’s title by developing new projects (note the term “Pilot” in the title).
Deadline: Aug. 14 for preliminary applications; Oct. 23 for full proposals
Contact: Dr. Susan Snyder, (703) 306-1620 or email@example.com
**NEW THIS MONTH**
Arts in Education Grants
This U.S. Department of Education (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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 are 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
**NEW THIS MONTH**
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. Projects can focus 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, 2001, for full proposals
Contact: Nora Sabelli, NSF, at (703) 306-1650 or email@example.com
The National Foundation for the Improvement of Education’s Leadership Grants underwrites professional development opportunities for public school teachers and education support personnel to prepare them for leadership. Sponsored by the National Education Association, these grants enable teachers to lead the educational process from within the classroom. 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 $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 to $5,000. More information will be available at Target’s web site.
Deadline: Nov. 1
Contact: (800) 316-6142
**NEW THIS MONTH**
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, 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. Other grants, called “Planning Grants,” are sought by groups that need more funding 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
**NEW THIS MONTH**
These grants from the Electronic Industries Foundation, which will be made next spring, 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 that 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). Because the grants target 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 up to $5,000 monthly throughout the year. The Large Grants Program awards more than $5,000 in March and September (with deadlines of Feb. 1 and Aug. 1, respectively). The annual grants budget is approximately $550,000.
Contact: (212) 588-0820 or email@example.com