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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! Braitmayer Foundation Grants for K-12 Innovation

Deadline(s): March 15, 2016

The Braitmayer Foundation focuses their education grant giving on innovative and novel solutions for K-12 education. There are two primary areas of focus: Curriculum and school reform initiatives, as well as innovative professional develop solutions for K-12 teachers. PD programs should have a goal of teacher retention in K-12.
Prize: Grants are up to $35,000 and can be used as seed funding, challenge grants, or matching grants.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grants

Deadline(s): February 12, 2016

Each year, Lowe's supports schools in their pursuit of building better schools. The Toolbox for Education program supports projects that "have a permanent impact such as facility enhancement (both indoor and outdoor) as well as landscaping/clean up type projects," including examples like a reading garden or school nature trail. Additionally, preference is given to projects that encourage community and parental involvement.
Prize: Grants are available between $2,000 and $5,000.

Dolciani Mathematics Enrichment Grants

Deadline: February 12, 2016

Are you in need of funding to develop a math enrichment program for middle school or high school students? This is the grant for you. Dolciani Math Enrichment Grants are geared for developing curriculum and learning programs for students who need more of a challenge in the math classroom. Each funded project should encourage students to be actively engaged in math learning outside of the classroom, as well as provide mentoring to participants. Of Note: "Proposals are sought from college and university mathematical sciences faculty working in partnership with middle and/or high school mathematics teachers. Interested middle and high school teachers are strongly encouraged to seek out college and university mathematic sciences faculty in the formulation of proposals."
Prize: Grants are available up to $6,000.

InvenTeam Initiative From Lemelson-MIT

Deadline: February 19, 2016

From organizers: "Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams are comprised of high school students, educators, and mentors that receive up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems of their own choosing." Student teams develop conceive, design and build prototypes of their solutions, and during the program, teams are encouraged to provide updates and photos of their work. To get started, there are a number of resources available online.
Prize:  Grants are available up to $10,000 for teams located in the U.S.

Arboriculture Education Grant Program

Deadline: March 1, 2016

Apply now for a grant to support the development of an arboriculture program at your school. Each year, the Tree Fund provides grants for teaching project related to urban forestry and arboriculture. Grants can be used for learning materials, as well as curriculum development and supplies.
Prize: Grants are available up to $5,000.

Teacher Development Grants

Deadline: April 15, 2016

Do you have an idea for changing K-12 instruction? Considering applying for a Teacher Development Grant from the McCarthey-Dressman Foundation. Beginning January 15, small teams of teachers can apply for grants to form and implement "groundbreaking K-12 classroom instruction" programs. These grants are available to help teachers integrate new ideas for encouraging critical inquiry and gather the results to share with the community.
Prize: Grants are available up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of $30,000 over three years.

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.

Elementary Drama Grants

Deadline: Rolling

Each year, the Charlie Lovett Fund for Elementary Drama provides grants to elementary schools across the U.S. These grants are designed to help elementary schools enhance or establish a production-based drama learning program at the school. Grants can also be used for the school's drama productions.
Prize: Grants are available up to $300.

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

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Contests and Awards

NEW! ISTE's Outstanding Teacher of the Year 2016 Award

Deadline: February 29, 2016

Are you a teacher who has embraced technology in the classroom? Yes! Well, you should consider applying for ISTE's Teacher of the Year Award. The "award recognizes and honors one teacher who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in and understanding of educational technology implementation, who is passionate about teaching, and who has examples of successful lessons." If that sounds like you, apply or nominate someone until Feb. 29.
Prize:  One educator receives a $1,500 cash award, a travel stipend to attend ISTE's annual conference, and other prizes.

NEW! Student Infographic Contest from Department of Education

Deadline: March 3, 2016

This contest from the Department of Energy, the BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge, asks teams of high school students to examine alternative biofuels and create an infographic explaining how they're affected by them. To participate, students can get started with the BioenergizeME Toolkit, which includes all contest rules and guidelines, as well as other helpful information.
Prize:  Winning teams receive national recognition, as well as letters of recommendation and certificates.

National History Teacher of the Year

Deadline: February 15, 2016 (Nominations due)

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History's National History Teacher of the Year awards support the best and brightest history teachers in the U.S. The contest is directed at teachers who are creative, passionate, and have a demonstrated commitment to teaching U.S., state, and local history. Educators who use digital resources, documents, and other artifacts in the classroom are given preference.
Prize:  State winners receive $1,000 grants and exclusive access to Gilder Lehrman resources; one national winner receives a $10,000 award.

Vocabulary Video Contest NY Times Learning Network

Deadline: February 23, 2016

Here's a great contest to supplement your vocabulary lessons: The Learning Network is sponsoring a vocab video contest. Participants are asked to short, 15-second videos about one of The Network's Words of the Day.
Prize:  Winning entries are published on The Learning Network blog.

Clean Tech Competition

Deadline: Registration closes February 28, 2016

Each year, pre-college students from around the world compete in the global Clean Tech Competition. To participate, students and teams of students are asked to examine and study real-world issues related to clean energy. This year students are asked "to identify a problem associated with plastics or the need for clean, cheap energy." Teams start by identifying and researching a problem, then they're required to designed a solution "that can mitigate these negative impacts."
Prize:  The top 10 teams receive prizes ranging from $10,000 to $1,000.

Cooke edX Challenge for Middle School Young Scholars Program

Deadline: Courses must be completed before April 14, 2016

Do you know a middle school student who is planning to apply to the Cooke Foundation's Young Scholars Program? Here's an opportunity to give them a leg up: Students who successfully complete five edX courses, which are MOOCs created by the world's top universities, receive special consideration when applying to the Young Scholars program. Check the edX website for the list of eligible courses.
Prize:  Students who complete five courses by 4/14 receive special consideration, as well as a $25 Amazon gift card.

Outstanding Special Education Teacher Awards from the NASET

Deadline: May 1, 2016

Each year, the National Association of Special Education Teachers recognizes an educator who has "demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of special education." Educators must by nominated by their school, district, a colleague, or parent of a student, and nominees must be in their third year of teaching. Candidates are judged in three areas: teaching, service, and professional activities.
Prize:  There are several awards bestowed each year.

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

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Classroom Resources

NEW! 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.

First Peoples Resources From PBS LearningMedia

PBS recently broadcast First Peoples, a series looking at early human cultures around the world. To accompany the series, PBS LearningMedia has created a number of web-based resources for teachers. Included in the package are interactive maps, infographics, short videos and documents.

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.

Digital Compass From Common Sense Media

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."

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 questions. 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.

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.

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 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.

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Edward Ayo's picture

I am in Northern Uganda East Africa. Is it possible for my staff/school to access these grants?

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager

Edward, most of these grants are U.S. only, but there may be some that are open to international applications. The only way to find out is to click through to the ones that interest you and check the eligibility requirements.

Shafattack's picture

Creating resource for UK teachers to obtain information on improving their practice through online portal. Does anyone know if it's possible to get grant or sponsorship to help keep it going? Thx.

ProjectBasedIzzy's picture
Constructionist in Practice

Thank you for sharing! As a newbie teacher, I'm on the prowl for resources like this.

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.

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