Deadline: July 15 to September 30
Kids In Need Foundation grants are designed to help teachers purchase classroom materials for innovative projects. There are two different programs. One program supports teachers' projects in any subject area, and these projects are judged on creativity and educational merit. Teachers can also select a project from a list of more than 1,200 ideas and apply for funding through the second program.
Deadline: June 8, 2015
Prize: Grants are available from $100 to $500.
The Jane Goodall Institute is providing small grants to students or groups to students for community projects. To participate, students using the Institute's "participatory mapping" method to map their communities and find areas where they can make a difference. Once they've completed the mapping, students can apply for small grants to fund a campaign. Projects should focus on improving the environment, animal welfare or the human community.
Deadline: June 1, 2015 and October 15, 2015
Prize: There are many $200 minigrants available for kids of all ages.
Currently, the NEA offers grants in two categories, including “Student Achievement” and “Learning & Leadership." Both programs have a Feb. 1 deadline. Student Achievement grants are designed to help teachers engage students in critical thinking and problem solving in standards-based subject matter. Winning programs should also improve students' inquiry, self-paced learning, and critical reflection skills. The Learning & Leadership grants fund professional development experiences and collegiate study for educators.
Deadline: June 22, 2015
Prize: Grants range from $2,000 to $5,000.
Looking for ways to integrate creativity across the curriculum? The Champion Creatively Alive Children is your source. In 2015, the grant program from Crayola will provide schools with grants and supplies to develop innovative creative collaboration projects. Awards are available to help schools build creative PD programs that help infuse creativity throughout the curriculum. Plus, schools also receive a prize pack of Crayola supplies for classroom creative projects. To participate, schools should develop a collaborative approach and submit their ideas.
Deadline: November 6, 2015
Prize: Up to 20 winning schools will receive a $2,500 grant, plus $1,000 worth of Crayola products.
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is offering dozens of grants for math educators. Through the organization's Mathematics Education Trust, educators can apply for grants, scholarships, and awards, and there are programs for all different types of work, from in-class projects, to math-related research and professional development. Grant programs are available for in-service and pre-service math educators.
Prize: Funding ranges from $1,200 to $24,000.
Educators at Title 1 schools are encouraged to apply for software and teacher development grants from Adobe. The program is designed to increase access to Adobe creative tools through the White House's ConnectED initiative. In addition to software, educators also receive access to on-demand professional development, including webinars, workshops and collaborative courses to learn more about utilizing Adobe creative programs in the classroom.
Prize: Schools receive access to a variety of Adobe tools, including Adobe Photoshop Elements and Adobe Premiere Elements. Educators also receive access to online PD courses.
On a rolling basis, the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation awards teachers digital and print subscriptions to USA TODAY. Currently, the foundation is awarding digital subscriptions to teachers on a first-come, first-served basis; print subscriptions are unavailable at the moment. Teachers must submit a short online application to be considered. Plus, for educators in New Jersey, the Foundation is currently sponsoring the Panasonic Student Eco Citizenship Project, which is an environmental literacy program designed for students in grades 4-8. The deadline for the Eco Citizenship Project is at the end of March.
Prize: Classroom subscriptions to the e-edition of USA TODAY.
>> MORE: Get information on how to find grants.
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Contests and Awards
Deadline: May 14, 2015
Here's an award for the youth environmental and environmental justice advocates in your classrooms. The Brower Youth Awards is an annual program that recognizes six young people in North America for their accomplishments in environmental advocacy. Students aged 13-22 are encouraged to apply, and applicants are judged on four criteria, including the scope of their environmental work and their overall youth leadership skills.
Deadline: May 19, 2015
Prize: This year, "winners receive a $3,000 cash prize, a trip to California for the award ceremony and wilderness camping trip, and ongoing access to resources and opportunities to further their work at Earth Island Institute."
Calling all youth scientists, technologists and engineers! The Google Science Fair is back, and individual students or teams of 2-3 students can now submit their projects. The rules are simple: Each project should be an in-depth investigation of a scientific question or engineering problem. Students can explore a question of their own, or Google has created an easy-to-use idea generator designed to help spark inspiration. Plus, for teachers and parents there are many resources to get started, including lesson plans.
Deadline: May 28, 2015
Prize: One grand prize winner or winning team will receive a $50,000 scholarship. Twenty finalists receive a prize pack, including magazine subscriptions, a LEGO prize pack, and more. Plus, there are many special awards, including a $25,000 grant for developing a project further from Google and a travel grant from National Geographic.
Calling all tech-savvy K-12 foreign language teachers! The American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language is providing awards for educators to recognize innovative approaches to using technology in foreign language classrooms. Applicants can be classroom teachers or administrators who have taught for five or more years. To apply, educators submit examples of how technology integration has contributed to classroom achievement, as well as supporting documentation.
Deadline: June 1, 2015
Prize: The winner receives a $500 cash prize.
Each year, TheBestSchools.org chooses a teacher or school administrator who has made a positive impact on students for the Escalante-Gradillas Prize. This year, the prize will honor a K-12 administrator in the United States "who has overcome stiff challenges and yet is still able to inspire their students to the highest levels of academic achievement." These challenges may be related to the school or community, and include issues like addressing poverty, improving lagging academic achievement, or bouncing back from a natural disaster.
Deadline: July 15, 2015
Prize: One grand prize winner receives a $10,000 award and a $10,000 grant for their school or school district.
The annual K-12 Game-a-thon is a national math games competition sponsored by the MIND Research Institute. Each year, the organization asks students to design and build math games that "feature creative and unusual solutions to mathematical problems." Any type of game works, including card games, board games, and apps or video games, but the game must incorporate math problem solving in game play. Teams of two or more students can participate, along with the help of a parent or teacher coordinator.
Prize: Up to 25 student-created games will be selected for special recognition and will be displayed at MIND’s 2015 Math Fair. Five top winners will receive a prize pack.
>> MORE: Get information about the latest contests and promotions for teachers in our Edutopia discussion group.
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Unlocking Life's Code is a new tool, created by the National Human Genome Research Institute, that enables students to explore "ethical and social questions surrounding genomic sequencing." The resource includes an online exhibit covering genomic sequencing technology, as well as discussion starters and information about the "growing involvement of genetics" in many areas of our lives.
In today's connected world, it's increasing important for young people to understand the impact their online decisions have. Digital Compass, from Common Sense Media, is a free multimedia interactive designed to help students do just that. The site encourages students to explore "the twists and turns of everyday digital life," and through games and learning modules, students are able to examine "how decisions made online can affect their futures."
Discovery Education has produced a valuable food education resource for students and teachers. Recipe for Innovation features a variety of materials to teach students farm-to-table concepts. There are resources for elementary, high school and middle school teachers that feature lesson plans, a live interactive field trip and student-centered multimedia tools that help students explore the way food is produced.
Have you ever wanted to know how video games can aid learning? Well, this Mindshift guide can help answer some of your question. This originally began a series of blogs by Jordan Shapiro, and Mindshift has developed it into a more in-depth PDF-downloadable guide. This is a great starting point for any educator interested in game-based learning, as it "explains key ideas in game-based learning, pedagogy, implementation, and assessment." Plus, there are suggestions for classroom use, as well.
Developed by EDC's Center for Children and Technology, Possible Worlds is a suite of free games designed to help students learn about science. Currently there are four games available that focus on scientific misconceptions, covering photosynthesis, electricity, heredity, and heat transfer. Each game includes classroom activities for teachers that have been developed to “leverage students’ experiences within the games.”
Looking for to incorporate PBL in your classroom? Well, you might start at PBLU. Here, there are a variety of projects for every grade that are waiting for teachers to implement them in their classrooms. Currently, projects focus on math, ELA and social studies. Plus, PBLU offers a portal for PD classes that explore the design, management and assessment of PBL in classroom practice. Teachers can enroll in a course, but there is a limited number of spots available in each.
EdSurge has culled a list of articles, resources, and videos to help educators incorporate gaming into the classroom. The guide covers the latest research, as well as strategies and tips from practitioners, and there are plenty of useful reviews of ideal classroom games that support learning. This is a great primer for educators looking to incorporate gaming in the classroom, as well as for teachers who have already embraced the trend.
Students and teachers: Interact with experts from the Smithsonian once a month during their hour-long online conferences, held on topics ranging from civil rights to astrophotography. The conference series includes special “virtual teachers’ lounge” sessions for teachers to engage with each other and discuss other Smithsonian learning resources.
STEM–Works is a resource for teachers, parents, mentors, and anyone else wanting to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering, and math. The site offers links to virtual field trips, interactive lesson plans, and fun activities for all grade levels.
With so many apps, websites, and digital tools available, how do you know which ones to use? Graphite, a free service from Common Sense Media, provides reviews and ratings to help teachers find the best digital learning products.
Blendspace, formally Edcanvas, enables teachers to create lessons that incorporate online educational resources in one place. The lessons can then be shared quickly with students, and they can be accessed via any digital device. Additionally, teachers can use the platform's built-in quizzes and monitoring features to measure student progress.