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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! Teacher Innovation Grants for Character Education Programs

Deadline: November 2, 2015

Do you have a character education program that you'd like to bring into your classroom? Character Lab is calling on inspiring educators who want to test programs that build and strengthen students' characters skills. To be considered, teachers submit proposals outlining their innovative and creative approaches to character education. Then, the best programs will receive awards to $10,000 to be tested in class.
Prize:  Up to seven teachers will receive a $10,000 award to test their character building program.

Arts Education Grants from the NAEA

Deadline: October 1, 2015; November 1; December 15

The National Arts Education Association has opened their annual awards program. There are numerous awards for arts educators at all stages of their career, and the awards are designed to recognize achievement, excellence, and quality art education. There are regional awards and national awards, as well as lifetime achievement honors. Many awards require nominees to be NAEA members, although some awards are dedicated to non-members. For more information about individual awards, see the downloadable NAEA 2016 Awards Program Booklet.
Prize:  Award amounts vary by category.

Association of American Educators Fall Classroom Grants

Deadline: October 1, 2015

Each year, the Association of American Educators provides small, one-time grants to educators for classroom supplies. Awards can be used for software, calculators, books, art supplies and more. Awards are available for members and non-members, and there are national and state-specific awards programs. To apply, educators must submit a brief proposal outlining how the funds will be used and how the award will benefit students.
Prize: Grants are available up to $500.

NEA Learning and Leadership Grants

Deadline: October 15, 2015

Each year, the National Education Association provides Learning and Leadership grants to individual educators and education professionals. The awards focus specifically on professional development, and they are designed to help fund PD experiences for educators at all levels. For example, funding can be used to help cover the expense of attending summer institutes, conferences, and to participate in research projects. Plus, grants also fund group collegiate study, which includes study groups, lesson plan development, mentoring experiences for staff, and action research.
Prize: The grant amount is $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegian study.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grants

Deadline: October 16, 2015

The annual Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant program is a great source of funding for improvement projects at public schools in the U.S. Grant funding falls into three categories, including "technology upgrades, tools for STEM programs, and facility renovations and safety improvements. If you're looking to beautify your school, or enhance your technology and STEM offerings, this is the program for you.
Prize: Grants can range from $2,000 to $100,000, which a large majority falling in the $2,000 to $5,000 range.

Math Grants from NCTM

Deadline: November 6, 2015

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.

Classics for Kids Foundation Matching Instrument Grants

Deadline(s): December 31 and March 31

The Classics for Kids Foundation supports school music programs throughout the U.S. by "providing matching grants for new stringed instruments." The foundation's instrument grants go to organizations that can provide evidence of need and that can raise matching funds. Interested schools and non-profit groups can apply online.
Prize: A variety of matching grant prizes are available.

Hot Planet/Cool Athlete Grants

Deadline: January 15, 2016

Environmental advocacy group Protect Our Winters, in partnership with The North Face, is providing one-time grants to schools for student-led projects that "take serious action against climate change." Grants can be for projects related to recycling or composting, developing clean energy initiatives and other sustainability-related ideas. The key is that proposals must be developed and submitted by students. For inspiration, check out the list of past winners online.
Prize: One grant of $5,000 is available during each proposal period.

KaBOOM! Playspace Construction Grants

Deadline: Rolling

Fundraising for playgrounds can be a challenge for schools and nonprofits. That's why KaBOOM! -- an advocacy group focusing on active play for all children -- is offering tons of grants to nonprofits in the U.S. Currently, there are three grant programs that are all focused on providing funds to help build playgrounds and start creative play programs.
Prize: Each year, approximately 175 to 200 nonprofits receive funding for a creative play project.

Karma for Cara Youth Service Learning Grants

Deadline: Rolling

Do you know a youngster who's working on a service project in their community? They might be working on a community garden, or checking on senior citizens during summer heat waves. If they're leading the charge in their communities, the Karma for Cara Foundation wants to help by offering small grants to students 18 years old or younger.
Prize: Many grants between $250 and $1000 are available.

Library Grants from the Wish You Well Foundation

Deadline: Rolling

The Wish You Well Foundation supports programs that foster and promote “the development and expansion of new and existing literacy and educational programs." If you school or organization has developed a project that supports and promotes literacy, this is the grant program for you. To apply, submit a brief questionnaire online, as well as supporting documents.
Prize: In general, grants are available between from $200 to $10,000; many prizes are available and are reviewed four times each year.

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

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Contests and Awards

NEW! Vernier/NSTA Technology Awards 2016

Deadline: November 30, 2015

Learning to collect and utilize data is one of the most in-demand skills, and it's being incorporated into classroom lessons more and more. Do you encourage data collection in your classroom? If so, you might be eligible a Vernier/NSTA Technology Award. Organizers are looking for elementary, middle school and high school teachers who incorporate data collection using a tablet, computer, or handheld device into science lessons. The most innovative and original projects are then selected for cash awards.
Prize:  There are seven $5,500 awards available.

Breakthrough Junior Challenge

Deadline: October 7, 2015

Khan Academy and the Breakthrough Prize are calling on all students aged 13-18 to share their passion for learning with the world. To enter, students must create short videos that showcase "a concept or theory of mathematics, life sciences, or physics in an engaging, illuminating, and creative way." Videos should be 10 minutes or less, and entries are judged on engagement, illumination, difficulty and creativity.
Prize: One grand prize winner will receive a $250,000 post-secondary scholarship, as well as $50,000 for the winner's teacher and a $100,000 lab makeover grant for winner's school.

Global Teacher Prize 2015

Deadline: October 10, 2015

Calling all the world's educators! The Global Teacher Prize -- a $1 million dollar prize awarded by the Varkey Foundation -- is back. Established in 2014 to "raise the stature of the teaching profession," the prize recognizes the best teachers in the world. Anyone can nominate an educator, and teachers can apply themselves. Applicants are judged by a panel of education leaders, journalists, education technology entrepreneurs, and public officials from around the world based on their accomplishments in the classroom and their commitment to the profession. On the site, you can find information about the methodology, application process, and last year's winner.
Prize: One teacher is award a $1 million grand prize.

YoungArts Awards for Young Artists

Deadline: October 16, 2015

The National YoungArts Foundation sponsors an annual scholarship and awards contest for youth artists in the U.S. Awards are available for students aged 15-18, and they're available in a variety of artistic disciplines, including the performing arts, dance, visual arts, writing, and photography. To apply, artists must submit an audition, portfolio or materials related to their discipline before the deadline.
Prize: Winners receive an invitation to National YoungArts Week events, a cash prize up to $10,000, access to scholarship opportunities, and more.

Student Editorial Cartoon Contest

Deadline: October 20, 2015

Student artists and critical thinkers, this is the contest for you! The Learning Network from The New York Times is sponsoring an editorial cartoon contest. Think you have what it takes? To enter, students must submit original editorial cartoons that highlight current events, historical events, or political issues, and student cartoonists are encouraged to let their opinions ring through in their work. For teachers, The Learning Network has a useful lesson plan that can help spark student inspiration.
Prize: Winning cartoons are featured on The Learning Network's blog.

2015 Allen Distinguished Educators Awards

Deadline: November 1, 2015

The Allen Distinguished Educator Awards were created to honor innovative teachers who have created pioneering computer science, engineering, and/or entrepreneurship learning programs. To apply, teachers must have designed and implemented an innovative program that incorporates real-world learning, 21st-century skills, and encourages student-directed learning. The awards are available to U.S.-based educators, including teams of up to three teachers. Applicants must submit a detailed abstract about their program and a brief video of how the program exemplifies ADE principles, as well as additional application materials.
Prize: Each Allen Distinguished Educator honoree is awarded a $25,000 prize.

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching

Deadline: November 4, 2015

Looking for an opportunity for an international professional-development trip? This grant is for you. Fulbright awardees participate in three- to six-month programs abroad at university-level schools of educations. International winners participate in four-month programs. During the cultural exchange, participants "take courses, teach master classes and seminars, visit local schools, collaborate with each other online and in person, and complete an inquiry project of their own design."
Prize: The cost of travel, living expenses, and university courses and fees are included.

NSTA’s Shell Science Lab Makeover Challenge

Deadline: December 16, 2015

Could your school's science lab use a major makeover? If so, consider entering the 2015 Shell Science Lab Makeover Challenge. Each year, NSTA calls for innovative science educators who are providing engaging science education in dated labs. The grand prize? A $20,000 lab makeover. To enter, educators and nominees submit applications detailing their science teaching strategies, current lab equipment and needs, and their ideas for how they will use the updated lab space. If interested, consider attending the November 18 NSTA webinar: Developing a Competitive Application for the Shell Science Lab Challenge.
Prize: 18 schools are chosen from each NSTA district for a $3,000 prize. District winners compete in the National Finals for one of five additional $5,500 prizes. One grand-prize-winning school receives an additional $11,500, for an overall grand prize of $20,000.

ACM/CSTA Culter-Bell Prize in High School Computing

Deadline: January 1, 2016

Each year, the Prize in High School Computing recognizes the most talented high school students in computer science. To participate, students complete a computing challenge that allows them to showcase their computing skills. This year, participants are asked to develop "an artifact that engages modern computing technology and computer science." Judging will be determined on the "ingenuity, complexity, relevancy, and originality" of the project.
Prize: There are four $10,000 prizes available. Plus, winners receive a trip to the ACM/CSTA Cutler-Bell Prize in High School Computing Reception in February 2016.

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

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Classroom Resources

NEW! The Great Thanksgiving Listen from StoryCorps

This Thanksgiving, StoryCorps is encouraging students aged 13 and older "to preserve the voices and stories of an entire generation of Americans over a single holiday weekend." To participate, students are encouraged to conduct an interview with a grandparent or elder, asking questions about their lives and what they've learned along the way. StoryCorps has developed curriculum to help facilitate lessons in civics, journalism, social studies, and history, and the only tools needed are a smartphone with the StoryCorps app. Students will then record the stories and submit them via the app.

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.

Comments (27)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

EFHWashington's picture

IT would be very helpful to know which of these grants is available to schools/ organizations and students which are not American. I work with a youth center in Ethiopia and we are always looking for grants for our students, and many don't apply.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager

EFHWashington, thanks for the feedback. We'll pass it along to our editorial team.

Ann Oberg's picture
Ann Oberg
Department Chair - Pharmacy Technician program -Denver area

Looks like a lot of these are for K-12. Does anyone know of another good resource for grants for community colleges and technical schools? Thanks!

Joanne Crooks's picture
Joanne Crooks
High School Math Teacher from Morrisville, North Carolina

High School Robotics Club Sponsor - looking for grants to help fund equipment, programming software, and (possibly a field). We are a relatively new club, this is our second full year, and are trying to offer an opportunity to participate to more students - but we need to find funding.
Thank you for any help,

Joanne Crooks's picture
Joanne Crooks
High School Math Teacher from Morrisville, North Carolina

Samer, Thank you headed there now.

Anita's picture

Could there be information on grants available to African institutions and educational societies for conference and research paper attendance?. Thanks

Lydia Kihura's picture

Does anyone know of another good resource for grants for dissertation research in education to Africa-Kenya--Special Education,am in need of research funding

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer

A couple of more resources that may be helpful in your search:

1) Crowdfunding -- We create a guide on how to fundraise online in a very effective (and fun!) way:

2) Considering creating a makerspace? Check out this post on how to raise funds for it:

3) Lastly, bookmark this page: as it has all of our blog posts on fundraising and classroom supplies.

Hope this helps and reach out if you have any questions or need more resources.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager

rondallen, below are a couple of non-Edutopia articles that talk about crowdfunding options for going to school:

Once you've set up a campaign, you're welcome to post about here: We promote this thread weekly.

Ann Oberg's picture
Ann Oberg
Department Chair - Pharmacy Technician program -Denver area

Looks like a lot of these are for K-12. Does anyone know of another good resource for grants for community colleges and technical schools? Thanks!

Andre Lisowyk's picture
Andre Lisowyk
Elementary School Principal, London District Catholic School Boardg

Canadian elementary school Principal here....looking for grants to support technology and collaboration strategies in schools. Are there grant donors for Canadian institutions?

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Manager

rondallen, below are a couple of non-Edutopia articles that talk about crowdfunding options for going to school:

Once you've set up a campaign, you're welcome to post about here: We promote this thread weekly.

Sara Burnett's picture

The American Immigration Council awards bi-annual grants for immigration- themed classroom and community-based projects to teachers and community organizers for up to $500! The next deadline is June 29, 2015.

For more information on how to apply and previous grant recipients, please see our page:

We'd love for this grant to be posted on Eduptopia's list!

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer

A couple of more resources that may be helpful in your search:

1) Crowdfunding -- We create a guide on how to fundraise online in a very effective (and fun!) way:

2) Considering creating a makerspace? Check out this post on how to raise funds for it:

3) Lastly, bookmark this page: as it has all of our blog posts on fundraising and classroom supplies.

Hope this helps and reach out if you have any questions or need more resources.


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