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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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Earthwatch Institute’s Teach Earth Teacher Fellowships

Deadline: Interest Forms Available Now

The Teach Earth program is a travel and expeditionary learning program for U.S.-based educators. Each year, the Earthwatch Institute selects teachers in a variety of subject areas to "work side by side with world-class scientists on field research expeditions around the world." The program is open to all educators, even educators without scientific backgrounds.
Prize: Funding for travel and lodging are included.

Toshiba America Foundation Grades 6-12 Education Grants

Deadline: August 1, 2016 (Grants over $5,000); Rolling

Each year, the Toshiba America Foundation provides grants for "classroom innovators" who are working to make math and science more engaging for students in grades 6-12. Are you a classroom innovator? If you need funding for an existing curriculum program, or need help getting a STEM project off the ground, this might just be the grant for you. A listing of past winners, as well as guidelines and eligibility requirements are available online.
Prize: Small one-time grants are available for middle school and high school educators; grants totaling more than $5,000 are available and awarded twice per year.

Mockingbird Foundation Grants for Music Education

Deadline: August 1, 2016

The Mockingbird Foundation provides one-time grants to organizations that provide music education programming to students. Grants support a range of initiatives, including fostering creativity and supporting music education programs. Programs should provide programming to students 18 years old or younger.
Prize: Grants range from $100 to $5,000.

Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation Curricula Grants

Deadline: August 12, 2016 (Pre-proposals due)

This annual grant program from the Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation supports the development of innovative classroom environmental curricula. Grants are available for developing, implementing or field testing various programs. All curricula must integrate field activities and classroom instruction, as well as engage students in problem solving and basic ecology learning. More details and a listing of past winners are available on the foundation's website.
Prize: One or two grants of $1,500 are available.

Disney Summer of Service Grants

Deadline: September 30, 2016

Disney Friends for Change, through Youth Service America, is offering $500 awards to young people aged 5-18 for service learning projects. Funding is available for a variety of projects that may help to make communities healthier, greener, and/or stronger. To participate, young changemakers submit their a proposal online for their service learning project. For inspiration, students can check out past winners and training guides for ideas.
Prize: Winners receive one-time $500 grants to jump-start their service-learning projects.

Toshiba K-5 Teacher Innovation Grants

Deadline: October 1, 2016

Each year, the Toshiba America Foundation provides small, one-time grants to public and private school K-5 teachers in the U.S. The grants are available to support science and math classroom projects, and individuals and teams can apply for funding. Grants are available for project learning materials.
Prize: Grants are available up to $1,000.

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! Frankenstein 200 Creative Writing Contest

Deadline: Opening in July

Two hundred years ago, 19-year-old Mary Shelley wrote the classic Gothic novel Frankenstein. What you might not know: Shelley wrote the novel on a dare. To honor the novel's publication anniversary, Arizona State University, along with National Novel Writing Month, the Chabot Space and Science Center, and Creative Nonfiction magazine, are daring authors to write a scary works of their own. To participate, organizers are asking authors "to write a scary story that explores the relationship between creators and the 'monsters' they create." Entries should be posted on Medium with the hashtag #Frankenstein200.
Prize: Winners in this short fiction contest will receive feedback from award-winning science fiction author Elizabeth Bear, as well as a Frankenstein and book prize pack from NaNoWriMo.

Google RISE Awards

Deadline: Opening in July

Need funding to support a computer science learning program? The Google RISE Awards support "informal education organizations around the world" that promote computer science among K-12/pre-university youth. Google seeks applications from organizations that serve diverse populations, including girls, youth in low-income communities and minorities traditionally underrepresented in computer science fields.
Prize: Average awards range from $10,000 to $25,000.

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.

7th Annual New York Times Summer Reading Contest

Deadline: August 19, 2016

The Learning Network from The New York Times is encouraging students aged 13-19 years old to get engaged with the news this summer. From June 17 to August 19, the Learning Network will open a small essay contest for youth readers each Friday. To participate, students write a brief 250- to 300-word comment in the weekly thread that answers: What interested you most in The Times this week? Why?
Prize: Each Tuesday, a winner's submission will be published on the blog.

Every Kid in a Park From the National Park Service

Deadline: Ongoing until August 31, 2016

This summer, fourth graders and their families have free access to any national parks, waters, and lands through the National Park Service Foundation's Every Kid in a Park program. To participate, students download a summer pass that is good until August 31. Plus, for fun end-of-year activities, the Activity Guides for teachers are designed to teach students about the parks, land conservation, and more.
Prize: Students receive a pass to all National Park Service lands and areas that's good until August 31.

Penguin Random House Teacher Awards for Literacy

Deadline: September 1, 2016

The Penguin Random House Teacher Awards for Literacy support innovative programs that foster and encourage a love of reading among students. Educators at K-12 public schools in the U.S. are eligible to apply or be nominated. All types of literacy programs are considered, especially those that are innovative and original, that support reluctant readers, and that foster and develop a love of reading among students. This year, there's also a new award, the $10,000 Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry, which focuses specifically on poetry curricula and programming.
Prize: Three literacy awards are available, including $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 prizes. Plus, the $10,000 Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry is available for poetry-specific programs.

I Love My Librarian Awards 2016

Deadline: September 19, 2016

Each year, the American Library Association recognizes the country's best librarians with the I Love My Librarian Awards. People are encouraged to nominate a librarian that is making a positive impact in your community or school; nominators must write brief statements about the librarian and why they are perfect for the award.
Prize: Ten awards of $5,000 are available for librarians across the U.S., as well as a plaque and a travel stipend to an awards ceremony in New York City.

Varkey Foundation 2017 Global Teacher Prize

Deadline: October 14, 2016

The annual Global Teacher Prize was created to honor one outstanding educator who has made a significant contribution to their profession. The prize was first awarded in 2015, and it was created to bring awareness and recognition to the world's very best educators. Educators across the world can apply or be nominated. Applicants are judged on a variety of criteria, including impact in the classroom, contributions to the community, use of innovative teaching methods, and work with mentoring and coaching fellow educators.
Prize: One educator receives a $1 million award; finalists also receive prizes and recognition.

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

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Classroom Resources

Free STEM Outreach Programs from Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin is committed to advancing STEM curriculum in the classroom. The organization supports a variety of STEM outreach programs, offering free curricula, student STEM contests, and mentoring opportunities for high school students. From Generation Beyond, a free aerospace classroom resource, to Code Quest, a coding contest for young students, Lockheed Martin funds a number of diverse initiatives that empower young learners.

Free Activities for Teaching Science and Math With Music

MathScienceMusic.org, a new website from the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and the NYU MusEDLab, features free resources to help teachers incorporate music in science and math lessons. The activities and apps are designed for all students, kindergarten through college. Subjects covered include geometry and physics, among many others, and all lessons teach students about the strong relationship between music and STEM learning.

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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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.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager

L D Coleman, you can share the details here, and our editors will take a look to see if it's a good fit for the list.

L D Coleman's picture

Thank you Samer! Here are the details:

Educational Facilities Grant at EDspaces
Revised Deadline: June 22, 2016

The Educational Facility Grant Program at EDspaces (11/2-4/2016, Cincinnati, OH) supports the professional development of those involved in the design, build, management or renovation of an educational facility. At EDspaces, the premier event focused on transforming education through the learning environment, grant awardees will be inundated with (exposed to) innovative solutions and best practices that will assist them in making more effective decisions regarding their upcoming facility projects. Stay informed and be part of the discussion about how facilities and learning interact.

Prize: Includes hotel accommodations for up to three (3) nights at an official EDspaces hotel and full conference registration which includes career-enriching educational sessions, exhibits and networking events.

Shayna Keyles's picture

The GotScience Teachers STEM Education Resource Center has just announced the release of the G otScience.org Discussion Guides. This free 36-page PDF ebook of high school science teaching discussion guides and activities is now available to download from GotScience.org, a science & eduaction non-profit.

Inside, you'll find discussions on topics such as astronomy, biology, environmental science, physics, and technology. A second ebook for middle school science teaching is coming soon!

You can download the free ebook at GotScience.org. Here's a direct link to the ebook download page: http://www.gotscience.org/discussion-guides-e-book/

Derek's picture
Media and Education Consultant

I came across this company's new School Technology Grants Initiative and thought I would share for consideration as an add-on to your Grants list. They have a great history of community initiatives addressing the digital divide globally and now locally in Canada and the USA. http://www.softchoice.com/powerup (I'm not employed by them, engaged in any way, and receive no benefit from this referral) I also left a post on your facebook page too. All the best and keep up the great work!

Christine Monahan's picture

I'm interested in the knowledge in action AP Gov curriculum. I am so inspired by the videos and research. Can I possibly participate?

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