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.

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

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” category—three years or more of teaching—consisting of $3,000 cash and a Compaq computer. This year, for the first time, 10 additional winners will be recognized in the “beginning” category—at least one year of experience but less than four years—with cash awards of $1,000 and a Compaq computer.

Deadline: Nov. 17


SMARTer Kids Foundation Grants

The SMARTer Kids Foundation will provide at least six (and maybe as many as 10) elementary schools with leading-edge computer technology in early 2001. Teacher training and lesson plans for collaborative learning projects also will be provided. Applicants must be made up of teachers in grades five and six, who apply on behalf of their school. Applicants are asked to describe the current availability and use of technology in their school, as well as their vision of how the addition of more technology will enhance student learning, achievement, and self-esteem. Preference will be given to schools with students requiring socio-economic assistance. One goal of the program is to foster online exchanges between teachers and students in United States and Canadian schools, which is facilitated by trips paid for by the SMARTer Kids Foundation for U.S. educators and students to go to Canada and meet their peers.

Deadline: Nov. 20 appform.htm


Computer Learning Month Competitions

These are a series of contests sponsored by the Computer Learning Foundation. Prizes include iMac DV computers with digital video equipment, Adobe software, and educational lesson instructions. Each contest is slightly different, but they can be separated into three general categories: schools, educators, and students. School contests require that schools host an event that showcases the use of computers to improve student performance and that these events be identified as part of Computer Learning Month (October). Teacher awards are for the creation of original, educational movies on desktop computers and/or lesson plans for integrating desktop movies into the educational curriculum. Student contests are based on five-minute desktop movies celebrating a student’s home town, which will be shared online with students in other communities around the world. For both educators and students, entries will be judged on creativity, scope, depth, and organization. Apple Computer and Cisco Systems are the Computer Learning Foundation’s best-known corporate sponsors.

Deadline: Nov. 30 for all entries (except for a random drawing linked to the student contest, which is open until Dec. 31) contests.htm

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



Urban Challenge Grants

This program from 3Com Corp. rewards forward-thinking cities with $100,000 grants in 3Com systems and services for technology initiatives designed to improve residents’ lives. Modeled on 3Com’s 1996 collaboration with the city of Boston, which transformed its 130

public schools into the nation’s first fully networked urban school system, the program has awarded $1 million in grants to 10 cities, and will give an additional $1 million to 10 more cities by the end of 2000. To participate, your city should meet at least one of these criteria:

a principal policy agenda aimed at enhancing educational or community development; a strong involvement and endorsement from the mayor’s office; tangible benefits to students and residents within a specified timeframe; multiple project constituencies (including schools, local community colleges, libraries, government agencies, healthcare institutions, etc.); and specific ideas about how you intend to use the grant.

Deadline: Dec. 1

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 applicant—there were five winners last year—can 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 ture/2000grants/index.html

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 categories—K-8, 9-12, community college, and university—with $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-targeted—e.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 index.html


E. Glenadine Gibb Grants

Two grants of $2,000 each will be awarded to K-12 mathematics teachers who propose innovative teaching styles that will help students achieve one or more of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards. The standards include both general principles (such as “computational fluency”) and grade-specific skills that students should attain. The grant may be used for the purchase of equipment, but not if equipment is the primary purpose of the grant. Applicants must cite how their projects will teach one or more standards and provide a detailed budget.

Deadline: Dec. 5


Theoni Pappas Incentive Grants

Sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, this program will make two grants of $2,000 each to math teachers in grades 9-12 who are NCTM members. The grants will support the development of classroom enrichment materials and programs that the applicant already has developed on a lesser scale. Electronics of all types (computers, slide shows, calculators, videotapes) can be purchased if they are directly linked to the project. Applications must clearly show how the project will link learning to the larger world and environment, and a full, detailed budget also is required.

Deadline: Dec. 5

NCTM Scholarships

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 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 programs—one 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


Steppingstones of Technology Innovation for Children with Disabilities

This Department of Education (ED) program promotes projects that enable teaching professionals to improve services to children with disabilities. The program explicitly supports technology-based approaches, such as technology that aids the deaf or the visually impaired. Applicants should demonstrate how they will provide early intervention for children (who can be as young as infants or toddlers) with disabilities. Grants of $200,000 or more are available (11 grants in total) for the creation of curricula that help bring educational opportunities and support federal education reform initiatives. State and local educational agencies, institutions of higher education, other public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, and other groups are eligible; partnerships between groups are preferred. Within this program are several subprograms that are especially technology-oriented. For example, at least three projects will be funded under the program titled “Technology and Media Services for Individuals With Disabilities,” which is designed to promote the development, demonstration, and use of technology and educational media. This program provides support for some captioning, video description, and cultural activities.

Deadline: Dec. 8 announcements/2000-3/082900c.html


National Schools of Character

Ten K-12 schools each will receive $2,000 and substantial press coverage for their efforts to teach character to their students. This competition, now in its fourth year, provides awards to schools that have been teaching moral issues by using the “Eleven Principles of Character Education” curriculum. Winning applicants have enhanced this curriculum in innovative ways. Several past winners have used technology to help disseminate messages of character. For example, Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md., an award winner in 1998, has created a daily television program that focuses on key virtues, among other activities. The program’s sponsor is the Character Education Partnership, which includes nearly every significant educational association and organization in the country.

Deadline: Dec. 11


Imation Computer Arts Scholarship

Open to high school students in public or private schools, this program from Imation will provide 25 scholarships of $1,000 each for top computer artists from around the country. Schools must hold contests and send in their winners for consideration; schools may nominate one candidate per 1,000 students. Quality and creativity are the benchmarks for judging the contest. Last year’s contest generated about 650 entries. The National Education Association and the American Association of School Administrators co-sponsor the program.

Deadline: Dec. 15

Magnet School Assistance Program

This ED 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 years—from this program that is budgeted for FY 2001 at $92 million. As many as 60 awards will be made.

Deadline: Dec. 22


Growth Initiatives for Teachers (GIFT)

This program used to be administered by the GTE Foundation until GTE and Bell Atlantic merged to become Verizon earlier this year. It’s now administered by the Verizon Foundation, though little else has changed. The program encourages innovative math and science teaching by annually providing 140 outstanding secondary school educators with funds for professional development activities and hands-on classroom projects. Teams of full-time science and math teachers in grades 7 through 12 (grade 6 if from a middle or junior high school) in public and private United States schools may apply. Each team must consist of one science teacher and one math teacher from the same school. Applicants must propose a school enrichment project that integrates math and science into classroom activities and uses technology in an innovative way. Each winning team shares a $15,000 grant—$8,000 to implement the project and $3,500 for professional development activities for each team member. Recent winning projects have in

cluded using DNA fingerprinting to learn more about an endangered fish species; examining the cellular mechanisms of cancer to look for mathematical relationships between normal and diseased cells; and using Global Positioning Systems and computer-based labs to help restore a natural sand prairie.

Deadline: Jan. 12

Contact: (800) 315-5010 or

Toyota TAPESTRY Grants

The 2001 Toyota TAPESTRY program, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales and administered by the National Science Teachers Association, will award 50 grants of up to $10,000 each to K-12 science teachers. Interested teachers should propose innovative science projects that can be implemented in their school or school district over a one-year period. Winning projects must demonstrate creativity, involve risk-taking, possess a visionary quality, and model a novel way of presenting science. Successful grant-winning projects, such as a mobile observatory to study light pollution and an interactive paleontology lab, often include the use of technology.

Deadline: Jan. 18

(800) 807-9852

Ongoing Grants

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.

Teach America!

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, who can be individual teachers or school district media representatives, must indicate their reasons for wanting access to the online training program and their plans for using their knowledge in the classroom.


TechConnect Grants

These grants from the Electronic Industries Foundation 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 in the spring of 2001. While 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 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.

Contact: Marcie Vorac at (703) 907-7408 or n