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Grants for STEM High Schools
By Emily Posted:July 18, 2014 0 Comments
Anyone who has spent any time following the STEM education conversation within the education field has seen an incredible expansion in the variety of activities which fall under the STEM education heading. Curriculum that includes robotics, programming, experimentation, field trips, guest speakers, and more can unlock creativity and scientific potential within a student body, and can motivate students to eventually pursue careers within the STEM field. However, as education budgets have been stretched rather thin throughout the recent economic crisis, it can be hard to find money to support the implementation of these extra programs. Therefore, a useful strategy is for schools and educators to apply for grants that can provide you financial remuneration for resources that can help jump start a STEM program. Educators can also seek funding for the extension and augmentation of educational programming that brings learning beyond the traditional classroom setting.

Kids In Need Foundation Teacher Grants

For smaller-scale, individual classroom grants, the Kids In Need Foundation offers an annual award of up to $500 for innovative classroom projects. Depending on the year and the quality of submissions within the application pool, between 300-600 awards are distributed through this program every year. This money can be used, for example, to help acquire materials and supplies for classroom experiments or buy basic components for a robotics program. Grantors might also consider funding aspects of more complex projects, such as purchasing parts for building programmed cars that can stop at certain places based on mathematical principle. The Kids In Need Foundation posts all of the applications from past winners on their website, separated by subject and grade level, so that you can peruse successfully applications to learn how to tailor your proposal to meet their needs.

The application process for the 2014 cycle begins on July 15th, and the application can found on the Kids in Need Foundation website. The application process closes on September 30th. Multiple classrooms from the same school can apply, but each award is for a single classroom.

American Honda Foundation

For larger, system-wide grants, schools may want to look into making specific requests from corporations that are committed to giving larger grants, especially ones that are particularly interested in the development science or STEM education. One such institution is the American Honda Foundation. This foundation gives awards primarily in the areas of youth education, STEM, job training, and literacy. The awards are typically between $20,000 and $75,000 in value, and they are awarded quarterly on a rolling application basis. Schools can apply once every 12 months for an award. One requirement of a completed application is the submission of two years of audited financial statements with any grant request. Their online grant process begins with a quiz that lets you assess whether your organization is eligible for their awards.

The American Honda Foundation's next submission deadlines are August 1st for an award date of November 1st, and November 1st for a February 1st award date. To gain a better understanding of what kinds of programs and initiatives have been funded by the American Honda Foundation, you can view a list of their past winners and program descriptions on their website.

Google RISE Awards

The Google RISE Awards are an international set of grants that seek to increase the interest of students ages 7-18 in the pursuit of STEM or computer science careers. The primary focus of these awards is to increase the level at which computer science is integrated into K-12 curriculum, such that more students are better prepared for a technology-driven future. Grants typically total between $10,000 and $50,000. Eligible organizations are those that are already offering programs in STEM, computer science, or a related field that feature a strong computer science or STEM component. The grantors prefer for the ideas presented to be regional in scope, whether at a city-wide, county-wide, or state-wide level. Also, the grantors are looking for projects that have the potential to be performed on a larger scale if they prove to be successful. Additionally, the Google RISE Awards encourage partnerships and programs that increase access and participation for girls, students from socioeconomic disadvantage, and students who identify with other minority statuses that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.

The applications for these awards open in the fall of every year. Past award recipients from North America and descriptions of the winning projects are also available online.

Region-based Grants

In addition to the large number of nationally competitive grants that are available, there are a large number of grants that are available based on a specific part of the country. Typically these awards are either given through state governments, or they are STEM grants that are sponsored by regional businesses that specifically want to target their giving towards schools in their service area. Some of these opportunities include:

There are many more regional awards available from companies and foundations that are committed to supporting STEM education around the country. When searching for grants, make sure that you look for funding on a local level. Awards that specifically target your city and state may be more committed to supporting education in your school district. Furthermore, the application pool may be far less competitive.


Grants are incredible sources of funding that support schools as they reach to accomplish important increases in the quality of STEM education for their students. Whether a small single classroom grant that helps a class complete a new project, or a system-wide block grant that can have a resonating impact for years to come, grants help educators achieve more within a school system than they could have otherwise. The application process may be time-consuming, but with a strategic approach to sourcing funding from a variety of grantors on both local and national levels, you will be able to work effectively towards acquiring a grant that meets the needs and goals of your school's educators and students.