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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!

Grants

NEW! Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

Deadline: March 17, 2015

The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program from the National Science Foundation is designed to encourage and develop future STEM educators. There are four programs, which provide support for STEM professionals at all stages of their careers to pursue teaching. Grants support professional development, specialized college learning and they're designed to "help STEM professionals become teachers." There are grants for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as STEM professionals and retirees.
Prize: Individual grant and scholarship amounts vary.

NEW! Disney Friends for Change Grants

Deadline: February 18, 2015

Here's a grant program for the young change-makers in your classroom or home. Disney and Youth Service America have teamed up to offer kids 5-18 grants to carry out service projects. Grants are available for youth-led projects to better communities, including environmental better, youth mentoring, and feeding the hungry. Plus, These projects -- which should be carried out on or around Youth Service Day in April -- should "harness the creativity and commitment of young people to use their skills, interests, and talents to meet the needs of others."
Prize: Grants are available up to $500.

Summer Travel Grants from National Endowment for the Humanities

Deadline: March 2, 2015

Each year, NEH provides stipends to K-12 and college educators so that they can attend summer institutes, workshops, and seminars. There are nearly 50 programs at colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad that cover a variety of humanities topics, and they last between one and five weeks. Here’s a sampling of programs: a study of Rome’s monuments, a seminar on the Underground Railroad at Colgate College, and an exploration of indigenous literature in Missoula, MT.
Prize: Stipends of $1,200-$3,900 are available to help cover expenses for the different programs.

Art Works Grants from the National Endowment for the Arts

Deadline: February 19; Dates vary by program

Currently, the NEA is accepting proposals for grants in three areas: Community-based direct learning, community-based professional development, and collective impact. Direct learning grants support arts education programs for students of all ages pre-K-12. Professional development grants enable educators to participate in programs that improve arts instruction. And collective impact projects "increase student access to arts education through collective, systematic approaches." Take a look at past grants for an idea of the types of projects that receive funding.
Prize: Grants are available from $10,000 to $100,000 and must be matched by nonfederal funding dollar-for-dollar.

Kids to Parks Day Contest Field Trip Grants

Deadline: March 2, 2015

Each year, the National Park Service encourages students, families and communities to get outside and play on Kids to Parks Day. To correspond to this year's event in May, the NPS is sponsoring a school contest; students are encouraged to create and plan their own park experience for Kids to Park Day at a park near their schools. Winning schools receive funding for their park experience in May. Last year, 47 grants were provided to schools around the country.
Prize: Schools receive awards of $1,000 to put on their park experience, as well as other classroom resources.

Mini-Grants from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation

Deadline: March 31, 2015

Each year, the EJK Foundation provides mini-grants to support educators in developing programs that "foster creative expression, working together, and interaction with a diverse community." Grants are available for public schools and public libraries. Educators can use awards to create a project outside of the curriculum, and new this year, the foundation is sponsoring projects that fit within Common Core curriculum.
Prize: Grants are available up to $500.

Teacher Development Grants

Deadline: April 15, 2015

Teacher Development Grants from the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation support the development of new K-12 learning programs. Small teams of teachers are encouraged to apply for funding to help "integrate fresh strategies that encourage critical inquiry and to observe their effects on students." Grantees then have an opportunity to share their results with fellow educators. Projects should be designed to enrich and improve classroom learning.
Prize: Grants are available up to $10,000 for a maximum of three years.

Teacher Grants from the NEA Foundation

Deadline: June 1, 2015 and October 15, 2015

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.
Prize: Grants range from $2,000 to $5,000.

Get Creative With a Software Grant from Adobe

Deadline: Rolling

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.

Classroom Newspaper Subscription Grants from USA TODAY

Deadline: Rolling

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.
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

NEW! Society of Professional Journalists’ High School Essay Contest

Deadline: February 28, 2015

Each year, the Society of Professional Journalists sponsors an essay contest for high school students interested in journalism. This year, the Society is asking students to write essays that answer, "Why is it important for journalists to seek the news and report it?" Additional rules, as well as previous winning entries, are available online.
Prize: First, second and third place winners receive $1000, $500 and $300 scholarships, respectively.

NEW! Engineering For You Video Contest

Deadline: March 2, 2015

Here's a contest for the engineers in your classroom: The National Academy of Engineering is sponsoring the Engineering for You competition. To participate, teams of students or individuals are encouraged to submit a 1- to 2-minute video that focuses on one or more of the 14 NEA Grand Challenges for Engineering. Videos should explain how "achieving one or more of the NEA Grand Challenges will lead to a more sustainable, healthy, secure, and/or joyous world." Challenge examples include: "Make solar energy more economical" and "engineer better medicines." There are four age groups, K-8, high school, higher education, and the general public.
Prize: The team that submits the "Best Overall Video" receives a $25,000. Plus, the best video in each age group, as well as the public's favorite video, receive $5,000 awards.

2015 Saving Endangered Species Youth Art Contest

Deadline: March 1, 2015 (Entries must be postmarked)

Calling all student artists! The Endangered Species Coalition is sponsoring a contest for K-12 students that will correspond with the 10th annual Endangered Species Day on May 15. Students are encouraged to create a work of art that depicts an animal, inspect, or plant that is considered threatened or endangered, or an animal that was considered threatened but is now recovered. Judges will choose winners in four grade groupings, and students are encouraged to tell a story or create a concept within their works.
Prize: One grand prize winner receives travel accommodations for him/herself and one guardian to attend an awards ceremony in May in Washington, D.C. Plus, winners at each grade level receive a $25 art supplies package and a commemorative plaque.

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

Deadline: April 15, 2015

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is awarded each year to 25 young leaders, aged 8-18 years old, who “have made a significant positive difference to people and our environment.” The awards are designed to inspire and support young leaders from diverse backgrounds and who are committed to public service. Students can start the nomination process online.
Prize: The top 10 winners receive a $5,000 cash prize to use for their service project or for higher education costs, plus mentoring opportunities and other great prizes.

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

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Classroom Resources

NEW! Recipe for Innovation

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.

MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning

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.

Cybersecurity Lab from NOVA Labs

PBS and a variety of partners have created a long list of engaging and innovative labs for students, featuring interactive quizzes, game-based learning modules and rich multimedia. The latest focuses on cybersecurity. Teachers can check out the educator’s guide for using the lab with students. Plus, there are modules for learning about the sun, RNA, energy, and clouds. Each lab features an educator’s guide, as well.

Possible Worlds Free Science Learning Games

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.”

PBLU 2.0 from the Buck Institute

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.

The Ultimate Guide to Games in School

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.

Classroom Resources from the National Parks

The National Park Service recently released new Back-to-School resources for educators across the U.S. There are curriculum resources, which allow students to explore parks from the comfort of the classroom, information about in-person field trips and online professional development resources for teachers. Currently, there are 53 free curriculum packets for almost every grade, and they explore topics like immigration at Ellis Island and the Civil War at Fort Scott.

CELA Common Core Sample Tasks from PARCC

The 19-state Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of two groups developing Common Core-aligned assessments, recently released sample tasks that will give educators a snapshot of how the ELA assessment will look in 2014-15. In addition, PARCC has also released math sample items to provide insights into next-generation math exams and assessments. Both provide great insights for educators transitioning to the Common Core.

Common Core Math Tools for High School Educators

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics produced “Core Math Tools,” a customizable suite of software tools and apps for high school educators aligned with the Common Core. The suite is available for free download, and the apps and tools can be used to engage students in a variety of areas, from general algebra resources to interactive graphing tools. There are also specialized how-tos to help educators use the tools in the classroom.

Smithsonian Online Education Conference Series

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

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.

Rating System for Digital Learning Tools

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.

How Youth Learn

What Kids Can Do, a nonprofit that focuses on marginalized youth ages 12 to 22, has built this portfolio of research, exemplary practices, student voices, and educator resources to illustrate effective student learning and motivation. Also, check out the organization's recent article, "Learning by Heart: The Power of Social-Emotion Learning in Secondary Schools (PDF)," which highlights elements of successful social-learning programs.

Blendspace

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.

Educating English Language Learners: Grantmaking Strategies for Closing America's Other Achievement Gap

Read this report from Grantmakers for Education and learn more about the needs of English learners in the US today and current ELL grant making, discover lessons for philanthropy, and examine four case studies that unpack strategic ELL investments.

PBS LearningMedia

Find thousands of digital resources including videos, games, audio clips, photos lesson plans, and more. All of these free resources are great for classrooms or summer learning, and they provide colorful multimedia packages to help students learn, including the award-winning Shakespeare Uncovered and Constitution USA.

EarthCam

EarthCam has compiled live webcam footage from around the world, giving students the opportunity to travel the globe from their desks. The live streams include Times Square in New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and they offer instant video from hundreds of interesting locations. Also, peer into the lives of exotic animals with live video feeds from zoos all over the world!

The More You Know

NBCUniversal’s public service campaign, The More You Know, gives celebrities the opportunity to inspire change and voice their opinions on social issues such as education, diversity and internet safety. The site features videos with important NBC personalities as well as links to additional resources, such as free ebooks, to educate students and teachers.

SciStarter

This website is a place for scientists, teachers, parents, and kids of all ages to contribute to science through recreational activities and research projects. The site helps scientists share their research projects, and citizens to tinker, build, and explore science.

Better Money Habits

Bank of America has partnered with Sal Khan and the Khan Academy to provide a free online financial learning experience that's self-paced, fact-based, and conversational. Resources include videos and customizable features.

MindShift: Teachers' Guide to Videos

For educators who want to know how to use videos to enhance student learning, MindShift has created a resource with valuable tips, including video links for all kinds of subjects -- history, math, science, language arts, and more -- and ideas on how to inspire students to use videos as a conduit to ask questions and learn.

SOLE: How to Bring Self-Organized Learning Environments to Your Community

The 2013 TED Prize winner, educational researcher Sugata Mitra, set up "Hole in the Wall" self-learning experiments around the world. His research is proving that children are naturally self-motivated to learn and have an ability to problem-solve in peer groups. He has created a toolkit for educators, parents, and communities who want to try out a Self-Organized Learning Environment (SOLE).

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