3 Great Resources to Help STEM Educators Fund Their Classrooms

Schools invest in their students and classrooms all year long to create top-notch learning experiences. There are a variety of ways and means to help educators locate funding they need to invest in students and keep the focus on learning. The following resources, compiled by Project Lead The Way and National 4-H Council, can help STEM teachers support their classrooms:

1. Citizen Philanthropy

To help cover funding needs that your classroom may have, consider taking part in the citizen philanthropy movement. Let potential donors know about the inspiring work that you do, and ask for their help to keep your classroom funded and high-performing. You can even invite your family and friends to donate to your project or classroom in honor of the work you do for your students and community.

Online networks like Donors ChooseGive ForwardAdopt a Classroom, and Six Degrees can make it easier for you to get what you need for projects and activities.

2. Grants

The following grant resources, from both public and private sources, can help teachers to support initiatives in the classroom.

  • STEMgrants.com provides information concerning new STEM grant opportunities from federal agencies, state governments, foundations, and corporations.
  • Fundsnet Services provides information about grants, fundraising, philanthropy, foundations, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations to those in need of funding and research for their philanthropic efforts and missions.
  • Foundation Center Philanthropy News Digest publishes Requests for Proposals and notices of awards as a free service for grant-making organizations and nonprofits.
  • The Grantsmanship Center offers a multitude of private and public funding resources by state on its website. It also features trainings, publications, and other grant resources.
  • Technology Grant News is an interactive site that has a number of links to grant competitions specifically addressing technology needs.
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy is one of the nation’s leading publications for grant seekers. The site also offers a number of other resources that are helpful to nonprofits
  • The U.S. Department of Education maintains a website that lists of available grants. Teachers can also find other helpful information here.

3. Contests and Competitions

Organizations like National 4-H Council are helping to complement classroom STEM learning by offering fun, hands-on contests and competitions. Consider the following funding opportunities:

"Teachers Bringing Science to Life” Contest

This contest from National 4-H Council and Lockheed Martin will provide resources and rewards for educators who submit photos of their students conducting the 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD) "Rockets to the Rescue" experiment. Teachers can submit photos through Nov. 3, 2014, to be entered into a random drawing for a chance to win the grand prize – $1,000 and a STEM classroom makeover. For complete rules and to enter the contest, teachers should visit the contest website.

The Conrad Challenge

Registration is now open for the 8th annual Conrad Spirit of Innovation Program (Conrad Challenge). In partnership with Destination Imagination (DI), this multi-phase innovation and entrepreneurial competition challenges students and young adults from around the world to use STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship to develop world-changing solutions for global sustainability.

The Conrad Challenge celebrates the life and entrepreneurial spirit of the late astronaut Pete Conrad, the third man to walk on the moon. Participants work together in teams to develop solutions in one of four categories: Aerospace & Aviation, Energy & Environment, Cyber Technology & Security and Health & Nutrition. Teams compete for the opportunity to be recognized as Pete Conrad Scholars and vie for more than $500,000 in awards — including seed-funding grants, investment opportunities, patent support, scholarships and more — to further develop their innovative solution into an entrepreneurial start-up business.

Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest

Enter for your chance to win a share of $2 million in technology from Samsung for your school!

Simply enter the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest and show how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can be applied to help improve your local community.

This contest is open to all public schools, grades 6-12. Application deadline is Oct. 31, 2014.

To enter or learn more, visit samsung.com/solve.