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!
Deadline: September 26, 2016
Have an idea for a school beautification project? A Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant might be just what you’re looking for. These grants support parent-teacher organizations that are committed to making permanent upgrades to their schools — whether a landscaping project, or permanent canopy or outdoor classroom. See a list of past winning projects to get a better idea of what they’re looking for. Also, projects that encourage community and parent involvement are giving priority.
Prize: Grants are available up to $5,000.
Deadline: Depends on grant type (August 29, September 16, and November)
The Kids in Need Foundation, along with a variety of partner organizations, is offering a range of grants to fund creative projects in the classroom. There are more than 8 grant programs available, with focuses student creativity and creative writing, as well as projects that encourage creative use of a common teaching aid. These are one-time grants that can be used to bolster or start a new project.
Prize: Many grants ranging from $100 to $500 are available.
Deadline: Depends on grant type (August 29, September 16, and November)
The New Schools Venture Fund is offering a trio of grants designed to expand the reach of innovative educational models and empower educators and students. Currently, funds are available that support preK-12 public schools that will launch in the next 1-3 years (November), the development of advanced learning technology that supports students (August 29), and cultivating diversity in education leadership (September 16). More information about each individual program is available online.
Prize: Up to $7 million will be made available across the three grant initiatives.
Deadline: August 31, 2016
Chartwells K12 and KidsGardening.org want to plant the seed of health and wellness in classrooms around the country. To achieve that goal, they’re offering one-time grants to educators to help implement curricula that teaches about nutrition through edible gardening. Grants support upstart programs, as well as established gardens in schools. Candidates who can show a demonstrated or projected impact and the sustainability of the program are more likely to receive funding.
Prize: Funding for travel and lodging are included.
Deadline: September 29, 2016
Did you receive a thank-you note though the Farmers Insurance Thank America’s Teacher program? If so, you’re eligible to apply for one of 180 classroom supplies grants from Farmers. The grants are designed to support day-to-day classroom needs. Following the deadline, anyone can vote for their favorite proposals through October, and proposals with high vote totals are more likely to win.
Prize: There are 180 $2,500 awards available for classroom materials.
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.
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.
Deadline: Interest forms available now; final applications due December 17, 2016
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: 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.
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.
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.
Contests and Awards
Deadline: September 1, 2016
Ecology Project International is asking educators to apply for the opportunity to travel to diverse landscapes, work on conservation projects, and explore new science teaching methods. Next year, EPI will sponsor 8-day fellowships in Costa Rica, Yellowstone National Park and Baja, Mexico. During the fellowships, fellows participate in real-world conservation projects, as well as learn about EPI’s approach to science teaching and learning.
Prize: Travel and lodging are covered by the program.
Deadline: September 5, 2016
Bring more hands-on, project-based, authentic learning experiences to your students with DIY Guides and grants from the Allen Distinguished Educators (ADE) program. Teach your students to engineer a burrito that’s as fuel-efficient as it is delicious, apply design-thinking to gift giving, create computer games that teach players about indigenous cultures and more. Complete with project plans and how-to materials, DIY Guides provide teachers with adaptable, field-tested ideas for introducing students to computer science, engineering, and entrepreneurship.
Prize: Funding (up to $1,000) is available for K-12 teachers to adapt and implement a DIY Guide.
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.
Prize: A variety of prizes are available.
Deadline: August 18, 2016
This contest is perfect for K-12 scribes located in the U.S. or Canada. Creative Communication is sponsoring a poetry contest, and they’re calling for entries. To participate, K-12 writers can submit up poems up to 21 lines on any appropriate subject. More information, past winners and submission details are available at PoeticPower.com.
Prize: The top 10 winners in each grade division receive a $25 prize, as well as a book of poems. Winning poems may also be eligible for publishing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Deadline: September 23, 2016
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.
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
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.