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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources

Get a roundup of educational grants, contests, awards, free toolkits, and classroom guides aimed at helping students, classrooms, schools, and communities. Check this page weekly to get the latest updates!
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NEW! Teen Read Week Activities Grants

Deadline: June 1, 2016

Do you have an idea to promote reading among ESL teens? The Young Adult Library Services Association, in partnership with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, have the perfect grant for you. This year, the association is providing grants to libraries for "innovative reading or literacies programs aimed at the "22 percent of the nation's young who speak a language other than English at home." Programs or activities should align with the theme of this year's October Teen Read Week, "Read for the fun of it!" Plus, the activities should incorporate YALSA's best practices for teaching literacy.
Prize: Ten $1,000 grants are available.

Middle School Math PD Grants From the NCTM

Deadline: May 6, 2016

Each year, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics provides grants to classroom teachers. This award supports middle school teachers in their pursuit of math PD experiences. Funding can be used to pay for honoraria, consultants, materials, substitute pay, and conference and workshop registrations. This is one of several NCTM grants due by May 6.
Prize: Grants are available up to $4,000.

Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants

Deadline: May 19, 2016

The Youth Literacy Grants are offered to schools, libraries, and non-profits to help struggling readers improve and attain proficiency. The grants supports a range of programs, including new literacy projects, as well as provide funding for new technology and literacy materials.
Prize: Grants are available up to $4,000.

NEA Learning and Leadership Grants

Deadline: June 1, 2016

The National Education Association's Learning and Leadership grants help support individuals and groups of educators in their pursuit of professional development. The grants can be used for high-quality professional development, i.e. summer institutes or conferences, or collegial study like mentoring or lesson plan development.
Prize: Grants are available for individuals up to $2,000; groups can apply for grants up to $5,000.

Middle School Science School Lab Makeover Challenge

Deadline: June 16, 2016

The Fab School Labs grant program, from the Northrop Grumman Foundation, is offering awards to help make over public middle school science labs. To participate, educators develop a plan for their makeover and create a video of their current lab spaces. Submissions should demonstrate need, what makes your school unique and why it should be chosen, as well as the impact a lab makeover would have.
Prize: Five awards of up to $100,000 are available.

Pets in the Classroom Grants

Deadline: Rolling

Classroom pets make wonderful learning companions! Educators interested in funding a classroom pet should consider a Pets in the Classroom grant. They are available for K-8 teachers in public and private schools. Grants are "intended to support pets or aquariums in the classroom" and facilitate learning projects centered on caring for pets responsibly.
Prize: A variety of small one-time grants are available, including awards for supplies.

>> MORE: Get information on how to find grants.

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Contests and Awards

NEW! National STEM Video Game Challenge

Deadline: August 15, 2016

Here's one for the aspiring video game designers in your classrooms. The STEM Video Game Challenge, which was inspired by the President's Educate to Innovate Campaign, encourages middle and high school students "to work as individuals or in teams to design and make original, playable games or written game design documents about any subject." Judges evaluate games based on three game design criteria, and individuals or participating teams can design and build games, or just submit design documents in the design category. A variety of resources, including lesson plans to help teach game design concepts, are available online.
Prize: Many prizes are available for students, including a cash award, mentoring opportunities, and lifetime access to Game Mechanic, among other prizes.

Engineering for You Video Contest

Deadline: May 31, 2016

This contest, sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering, asks middle school and high school individuals and teams to develop 1- to 2-minute videos focused on mega-engineering, or projects that impact large populations of people. Entries are judged on creativity, the potential impact of the project, and how well participants explain the project's importance. For more details, as well as resources for creating videos, visit the Engineering for You contest page.
Prize: Creators of the "Best Overall Video" receive a $25,000 prize. Plus, the top videos in each category, as well as a People's Choice Award winner, receive prizes up to $5,000.

Social Justice Teaching Prize

Deadline: June 1, 2016

This prize -- sponsored by the Lola Stein Institute and THINK magazine -- honors educators who use heritage, culture, or religion "to inspire social responsibility and reach for social justice" with students. To apply, educators must submit an example of original curriculum, in-class projects, or a school-wide initiative that incorporates culture, religion, and heritage and inspires social responsibility in students.
Prize: The top prize is a $1,500 award; second place receives $750.

2016 Ocean Awareness Student Art Contest

Deadline: June 13, 2016

The 2016 Ocean Awareness Contest encourages students to create art projects related to this year's theme: Making Meaning out of Ocean Pollution. To participate, students must research and explore one type of ocean pollution, and then create an project that "says something meaningful" about our impact on the health of our oceans. All variety of mediums are welcome including art, film, prose, and poetry.
Prize: Awards range from $250 to $1,500.

>> MORE: Get information about the latest contests and promotions for teachers in our Edutopia discussion group.

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Classroom Resources

NEW! IWitness: Resources for Teaching Grit and Resilience

Finding Your Seat on the Bus is one of 57 resources, created by the USC Shoah Foundation, included in the IWitness collection. These resources explore a number of topics, including tolerance, justice, family and standing up for others, and they feature primary source materials like text, video, poems, photos and more. Each activity is built around a video clip of testimony, and they complement a number of subjects, including English, history, and social studies.

Exploratorium Science Snacks Hands-On Activities

Created by the Exploratorium, Science Snacks "are tabletop exhibits or explorations of natural phenomena that teachers or students can make using common, inexpensive, readily available materials." There are hundreds of hands-on activities in the collection, and they're created to be easily digested with a short photo/video intro, a materials list, helpful hints, and advice.

National History Day WWII Resource Collection

Produced by National History Day, Understanding Sacrifice is a "collection of videos, primary source, secondary sources, and lesson plans" that covers soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II.

Pixar in a Box on Khan Academy

How does math relate to Pixar animation? Khan Academy and Pixar recently released a fun, interactive lesson series called Pixar in a Box. Each lesson “demonstrates how a concept introduced in school is used for creative benefit at Pixar,” and there are lessons for all different grade levels. Teachers looking for more information should check out the Educator’s Guide, which provides examples and ideas for implementation.

Unlocking Life's Code Genome Sequencing Lessons

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.

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Martin Diaz Alvarez's picture
Martin Diaz Alvarez
Martin Diaz Alvarez EDU Profile Page

That's a great list of educational grants and resources. Thanks for the share.

Eric Brown's picture

Hi all, I'm interested in applying for a grant from the Charlie Lovett Fund for Elementary Drama, but the application on the website is dated 2014-2015. Does anyone know if this fund still exists? I also couldn't find any contact information on their website. Any info out there would be most appreciated!

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager

Eric Brown, we checked with the foundation, and the grant IS still available. Just use the old form that is online.

Linda Mooring's picture

Hi, I work with Amazing People Worldwide, I am also based in Australia, I am trying to find an efficient way to share our amazing musical education resources to the American teaching community? We have just released a new education musical "We the People" this can be used in classroom education as a way to understand history through songs and character education...I am open to any suggestions :) or referrals to a direct contact.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager

Hi Linda. Edutopia sometimes shares OpenEd resources, but since it looks like your products cost money, there really isn't anywhere on the site for you to share them. (As doing so may cause your posts to be flagged as spam.)

Linda Mooring's picture

Hi Samer,

Thanks for the quick response. I will continue my journey to spread the news :)

Patricia K's picture

Hi, I'm not sure if there is anything available or not but figured it's worth a try. My daughter has been selected to go to Costa Rica next year with her school. She's one of only 11 student selected and she's so excited, however we need to pay $2600. I was wondering if there are any grants for these types of things ? Thanks in advance. Any guidance is appreciated.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager

Hi Patricia. I think you'll find that most student travel grants are for study abroad opportunities. To pay for something like your daughter's trip to Costa Rica, you're probably going to have to do some fundraising. Some schools will do things like car washes to build up a scholarship fund for a trip, or you could try one of the online crowdfunding sites, like www.gofundme.com.

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