Now in its ninth year, the Medtronic Foundation’s Science and Technology Are Rewarding (STAR) Program encourages student interest in science and technology education. Three times per year, the foundation makes awards of $2,000 to $50,000 each, and public and private K-12 schools are eligible. The foundation bases its decisions on how projects adhere to nationally recognized standards for curriculum development, instructor involvement (and training), high expectations for students, interaction between students, and a post-completion assessment plan. Proposals should specify how the five standards will be met and how the program can be sustained after Medtronic’s funding is used. Eligibility is limited to schools near Metronic operations: Tempe, Ariz.; Santa Barbara, Santa Ana, and Santa Rosa, Calif.; Parker, Colo.; Danvers, Mass.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Milaca and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.; Memphis, Tenn.; Redmond, Wash.; and Humacao and Villalba, Puerto Rico.
Deadline: Three times per year, with next deadline Oct. 15
Alliance for Minority Participation
The Alliance for Minority Participation program is part of the National Science Foundation’s effort to increase the participation and achievement of underrepresented groups and institutions in the sciences and mathematics. The Human Resource Development for Science, Mathematics, Engineering Education and Research Grants Program, also known as NSF 98-19, offers “Comprehensive Partnerships for Mathematics and Science Achievement” to support educational systemic reform in city school districts. Districts must have at least 20,000 students and cannot be eligible to participate in the Urban Systemic Initiatives program, nor have received a Local Systemic Change award. Winning applicants are expected to demonstrate links with institutions of higher education, other educational organizations, and community groups in the design and implementation of a combination of in-school student and teacher enhancement activities. The solicitation states that “the integration of computer technology in classroom and laboratory settings in the context of mathematics and science standards is strongly encouraged.” Long-range programs that work throughout the secondary school pipeline are preferred. It is anticipated that five grants will be made, and typically they are worth $200,000 per year for up to five years (with a maximum of $800,000).
Deadline: Oct. 15
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
**NEW THIS MONTH**
Bright Ideas Grants
EnergyUnited’s Bright Ideas grant program, now in its seventh year, supports innovative educational projects not covered by traditional school funding with grants of up to $2,000. Purchases of computers or other digital equipment are eligible for grants, if they are tied directly to specific projects. In recent years, EnergyUnited has funded the purchase of a computer projector and the purchase of a digital camera for a student newspaper. Educators in any K-12 public school within EnergyUnited’s North Carolina service area are eligible.
Deadline: Nov. 6
Contact: Dusty Rhodes, public relations manager for EnergyUnited, (800) 522-3793.
**NEW THIS MONTH**
Barrick Goldstrike Mines Elementary Earth Science Teaching Awards
Only elementary school science teachers are eligible for this National Science Teachers Association award. The winner must demonstrate exemplary environmental or geological earth science teaching practices in one or more of the following areas: innovative design and use of hands-on earth science materials; creative design and implementation of earth science lesson plans/curriculum; or fostering student, school, and school-community instructional programs in elementary earth science. Applicants should emphasize how their teaching helps meet national science education standards. The winner will receive a desktop or laptop computer system (worth up to $3,500); $2,500 for the purchase of earth science materials and/or equipment for his or her school; an all-expenses paid trip to NSTA’s annual conference; and an all-expenses paid trip to the Nevada Mining Association’s Minerals Education Workshop for teachers. Note: Numerous other NSTA awards and scholarships are available; to see the entire range, visit the organization’s web site.
Deadline: Nov. 15
**NEW THIS MONTH**
RadioShack National Teacher Awards
RadioShack is honoring outstanding mathematics, science, and technology high school teachers with cash awards and Compaq computers. Criteria for judging winners includes infusing innovative teaching methods (such as technology) and inspiring students to higher achievement. Applicants should explain how they will use the funds and computer to add to their pedagogical skills. The company will make 100 awards in the “experienced” categorythree years or more of teachingconsisting of $3,000 cash and a Compaq computer. This year, for the first time, 10 additional winners will be recognized in the “beginning” categoryat least one year of experience but less than four yearswith cash awards of $1,000 and a Compaq computer.
Deadline: Nov. 17
Verizon Foundation Grants
The newly-formed Verizon Foundation (the charitable arm of Verizon Corp., which was created by the merger of GTE and Bell Atlantic) has started reviewing proposals for projects in numerous areas, including several with direct K-12 applications: literacy, digital divide, math/science education, and helping people with disabilities obtain job-relevant skills. Applications can be submitted immediately and will be considered as they arrive. Note that the foundation only accepts electronic proposals submitted through its web site.
Deadline: Nov. 30
**NEW THIS MONTH**
FamilyPC Teachers’ Technology Grants
This grant program by FamilyPC magazine supports teachers in K-12 public or private schools in the United States who have a unique idea for integrating technology into their curriculum. Each applicantthere were five winners last yearcan apply for up to $2,500. Projects that can be replicated in other schools are preferred. Project proposals may still be in the “idea” stage, as long as your application explains how the grant will enable you to initiate your project. Grants may be used for computer-related equipment, ancillary products that help accomplish the goals of the project, or salaries for personnel involved in the project. One winner last year was a project in which middle school students filmed each other performing physical activities and used computers to analyze movement, caloric use, and related issues.
Deadline: Dec. 1
**NEW THIS MONTH**
Projecting Education Grants
These grants from Proxima Corp. are intended to measure and document the effectiveness of multimedia projection use in the classroom. The program will reward outstanding educators from four categoriesK-8, 9-12, community college, and universitywith $1,000 in cash, plus a Proxima multimedia projector. For consideration, entrants must submit a proposal to Proxima that details a measurable plan to use a multimedia projector in the classroom to increase learning or behavioral results. The four category winners will be announced on December 15.
Deadline: Dec. 1
Coca-Cola Foundation Grants
The Coca-Cola Foundation has three focuses for its philanthropic giving, one of which is support of innovative classroom teaching and learning in K-12 schools. In total, the foundation gave nearly $11.5 million in 1999 and $12.5 million in 1998. The foundation looks especially favorably upon programs that are small and well-targetede.g., helping elementary and secondary students with a particular issue, such as civil rights or the environment. Funds also can be applied toward tuition for training that will result in new instructional techniques in the classroom. Public and private school educators serving children of all ages may apply for these grants. Although the monetary size of grants varies considerably, a quick review of successful applicants from the past two years indicates that $5,000 to $25,000 is typical.
Deadline: Quarterly, with next deadline Dec. 1
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) will award two grants of up to $2,000 each to math teachers who are seeking to improve their professional competence. Proposals can include requests for funds to take professional development courses or to work on projects to improve a mathematics curriculum. Equipment purchases are acceptable only if they directly support the proposed plan. There are two grant programsone for teachers in grades K-6 (in honor of Ernest Duncan) and one for teachers in grades 7-12 (in honor of Mary Doliciani). Be sure you apply for the proper one. In each case, the grant is open to all public and private school math teachers with three or more years of experience in teaching a particular grade level. A similar program, titled the Leonard Pappas Incentive Grant, will make two $2,000 awards to support the development of mathematical enrichment materials or lessons detailing an innovative teaching unit; computer programs and videotapes are specifically cited in the grant announcement as eligible. For any of these grants, applicants must submit two-page typed proposals describing the project, its cost, and how it will lead to personal and professional growth that will enhance student learning.
Deadline: Dec. 5
Magnet School Assistance Program
This Department of Education program has a very specific purpose that substantially limits eligibility of applicants. It is only open to local educational agencies and consortia of such agencies to support magnet schools that are part of approved desegregation plans. These grants will support programs that enhance the ability of magnet schools to attract and retain minority students, and magnet schools using technology as a draw have been successful applicants in the past. Grant recipients will receive substantial awards$200,000 to $3 million per year for up to three yearsfrom this program that is budgeted for FY 2001 at $92 million. As many as 60 awards will be made.
Deadline: Dec. 22
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.
**NEW THIS MONTH**
Education World’s Grants for Educators
Education World, an education web portal, is offering 40 grants of $250 to $500 each to educators who design a learning experience or project for their classroom that uses Education World and its online partners as an integral part of the learning experience. The projects must have a direct impact for students and provide an innovative educational opportunity. All United States educators in public or private K-12 schools are eligible to apply. Applicants should identify how the funds will be used in one or more categoriesclassroom supplies, equipment, project materials, or other items. Awards will be made periodically during the school year.
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 email@example.com.
**NEW THIS MONTH**
National Semiconductor’s School Tool
National Semiconductor Corp. has established a charitable foundation with initial funding of $20 million to provide grants to support K-12 education, university programs, and critical needs in communities where the company has a major presence. The company has four U.S. locations: Irvine and Santa Clara, Calif.; South Portland, Me.; and Arlington, Texas. Improving science, math, and technology education in K-12 classrooms is a funding priority. The first foundation gift, announced in September, will go to the Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT), a San Jose-based nonprofit that accepts donations of office supplies, computers, and thousands of other items and sells them to teachers at a very low cost for classroom use in creative math, science, and art programs. National Semiconductor is giving RAFT a $100,000 cash grant, plus $50,000 in training for teachers in how to use the internet in their classroom curricula.
Contact: LuAnn Jenkins at (408) 721-2440.
New Deal Foundation Grants
The New Deal Foundation gives computers and/or free software licenses to schools and nonprofit groups that work with disadvantaged youth. Through a wide array of programs, the foundation tries promote computer literacy and computer access for all. Sponsors of the organization include such prestigious groups as MIT’s Center for Information Technology and Society, the Detwiler Foundation, and the East West Foundation, as well as lesser-known organizations that have recycled and repaired thousands of used computers and distributed them in underserved communities.
Through its Teach America! program, 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.
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