The Education’s Unsung Heroes Awards are given to K-12 educators who pioneer new methods and techniques that improve student learning. Educators must submit applications describing projects they have initiated or have envisioned for the future. Their applications are judged on the project description, benefits to students, and use of funds. Each year, 100 finalists are selected to receive $2,000 awards. Award checks are made payable jointly to the recipient and to his or her school. Of the 100 finalists, three receive additional financial awards: first place gets an additional $25,000; second place gets an additional $10,000; and third place gets an additional $5,000.