Deadline: November 30, 2016
The Life Time Foundation, Chef Ann Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation are teaming up to provide funding to help school districts in the U.S. innovative and re-imagine their school food programs. The goal is to make school meals programs healthier and more sustainable. Grants can be used to make system-wide improvements, including equipment and software purchases.
Deadline: October 31, 2016
Prize: Up to seven U.S. school districts will receive $50,000 grants, as well as training and technical support.
This mini-grant program supports projects designed to increase agricultural literacy. County and state farm bureaus can apply for funding to develop and deliver K-12 ag literacy programs. Funding is also available to expand existing programs. Applicants must provide a brief description of their ag literacy program, as well as how they will utilize the award.
Deadline: Applications open November 1, 2016
Prize: Grants up to $500 are available for K-12 classroom projects.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Teacher at Sea Program offers a unique travel-learning opportunity for full-time U.S. preK-12 and college-level educators. Through the program, teachers set sail aboard one of NOAA's research ships, and they participate in real-world learning experiences working with field researchers and scientists.
Deadline: Nov. 11; Jan. 20; March 31
Prize: All costs travel costs, including airfare, lodging, transportation and a travel per diem allowance are covered by the program. Additional travel costs may be reimbursed following the program.
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program encourages students in the U.S. to launch or grow community-based service learning campaigns. The Roots & Shoots grants are available to help support these projects. To apply, participants must sign up for a free Roots & Shoots membership, and participants must reside in the U.S. Funding is available for many different types of projects, from environmental clean-up, to community education initiatives. Students submit their projects, and then can apply for funding. More information, as well as learning guides and project guidelines is available online.
Deadline: Interest forms available now; final applications due December 17, 2016
Prize: Grants range from $200 to $500.
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.
Deadline: Jan. 1 and April 1
Prize: Eighteen grants are available: 15 $1,000 grant packages, 2 $2,500 grant packages, and 1 $5,000 grant package for the grand prize winner.
Know a student who's looking to get a volunteerism project off the ground? The Karma for Cara Foundation can help. Launched in 2014, the foundation's minigrant program offers small, one-time grants to students to help jump-start or sustain community service projects. A range of projects qualify for funding, including examples like rebuilding a school playground, or helping senior citizens prepare their homes for winter.
Deadline: January 31, 2016
Prize: Grants range from $250 to $1,000.
Each year, Fund for Teachers offers summer fellowship grants for preK-12 teachers. These awards enable educators to develop self-directed professional learning experiences, and their odysseys take them all over the world. For ideas, check out the list of past winners. In the past, educators have roved the Mississippi River, developing an ecology unit along the way, and many other unique experiences.
Prize: Individual grants are available up to $5,000; teams can apply for up to $10,000.
Since 1999, IGT has provided grants that support after-school programs for economically disadvantaged students. In particular, IGT focuses on digital initiatives, designed to close the digital divide, as well as technology for students. During their grant-giving history, IGT has donated more than 270 computer labs across the U.S. and in several other countries.
Prize: Funding for classroom materials and technology for after-school programs is available.
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
Deadline: November 29, 2016
The Learning Network, from The New York Times, is sponsoring a student review contest. To participate, students must review a book, movie, restaurant, album, theatrical production, video game, dance, TV show, art exhibit or "any other kind of work The Times critiques." Related lesson plans and past winners are available online.
Deadline: Videos due October 24
Prize: Winning submissions are featured on The Learning Network website.
In this nationwide competition, student teams create their own political parties, including a unique name, logo, platform. Then, "primary" elections at held within local schools with the winners going on to compete in a national election. A multi-week curriculum is available to help students explore the election, politics and other aspects of democracy. Once the platform has been finalized, students then must create 30-second ads for their political parties.
Deadline: November 1, 2016
Calling all student artists, musicians, photographers, and videographers. The Get to Know Student Art Contest is asking for entries, and the guidelines are simple. U.S. students under 19 years old are encouraged to submit original works that are inspired by the natural world around us. Students are encouraged to get outside and "get to know" the wild neighbors and environs in their areas. For ideas, check out winners from previous years.
Deadline: November 18, 2016
Prize: A variety of prizes are available.
The app challenge, an initiative of Verizon Innovative Learning, a nationwide competition for middle and high school students. To participate, students must design and conceptualize mobile apps that solve a problem in their communities. Teams of five to seven students plus an advisor can participate, and students must be in grades 6 through 12. Learning resources, competition rules, and app ideas are available online.
Deadline: Applications available Fall 2016
Prize: Teams that submit winning app designs earn prizes and other awards.
Each year, the Fishman Prize honors the best U.S. educators who have track records of success in high-needs schools. To be eligible, educators must demonstrate an ability to lead students of all backgrounds to academic excellence, show a deep commitment to the teaching profession, and possess an in-depth understanding of teaching practice. Winners participate in a five-week summer residency program, as well as earn a $25,000 prize. To apply, educators must complete an application, and may be required to submit a teaching video and permit a classroom visit.
Deadline: December 2, 2016
Prize: Winners receive a $25,000 award and a five-week summer residency program; finalists receive $1,000 prizes and national recognition.
Here's your chance to recognize a K-12 teacher who has worked hard to bring "real world" STEM learning into the classroom. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is supporting the best of the best, and they're looking for educators who encourage and inspire students with engaging STEM lessons and contests. If you know a teacher, or you would like to nominate yourself, you can apply online.
Deadline: December 15, 2016
Prize: Winning educators are honored at an AIAA awards ceremony.
This challenge from Lockheed Martin and Discovery Education asks individuals or teams of middle school students to create 1-2 minute videos explaining how they would design a living module on Mars. Accompanying curriculum and lesson plans are available online, as well as FAQs, competition rules, and other information.
Prize: One grand prize winning team or individual will win a $10,000 prize. Second place receives $5,000, and third place receives $2,500.
MORE: Get information about the latest contests and promotions for teachers in our Edutopia discussion group.
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The California Academy of Science's teaching resources offer something for every teacher: Online courses, interactives, toolkits, and much more. If you're looking for fun, engaging science resources, you're bound to find some useful ones here. Choose from lesson plans, as well as games, films and clips, and other interesting multimedia.
During the week of September 18, classrooms around the world will participate in the World's Largest Lesson. With 17 modules following the United Nation's Global Goals for Sustainable Development, students will explore a variety of subjects, including ending hunger and poverty and climate action. Free curricula is available online and it's designed for students aged 8 to 14 years old. More information as well as ideas for implementing lessons is available in the educator's guide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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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