teacher fundraising

5 Tips for Applying for STEM Grants

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Education is often underfunded, so many teachers need help getting the supplies they need. Where can educators begin when applying for STEM grants?

Many times, city-budget dollars aren’t enough to teach the class according to an educator’s vision. Applying for STEM grants is an excellent way to raise money to support the financial needs of a class. Read on to uncover STEM Jobs’ five tips for applying for STEM grants.

Choose Your Words Wisely

Many different options for grant funding exist in the public and private sectors. It’s important to remember that the candidate pool for funding is large, therefore applying for STEM grants with an application that stands out from the rest is extremely important. The Afterschool Alliance provides a helpful guide that offers information regarding simple – yet often overlooked – tips, from proofreading and spell checking an application, to forging relationships with administrators or grant officers.

Get Students Involved

Though teachers should complete final proposal applications, students should be engaged in the process of applying for STEM grants. Review application packets and look for opportunities to create a place for students to become involved. Develop an exercise by asking students to submit their own proposals for your review. Teachers will discover the individual STEM dreams of students and uncover characteristics that make his or her class stand out from the rest of the grant-applicant pool.

If You Propose It, They Might Give

The list of organizations and corporations that want to fund STEM education is nearly limitless. Companies such as Toshiba, Honda, and Lockheed Martin want to invest in STEM education. Applying for STEM grants sponsored by corporations helps students become familiar with industry giants. These groups want to nurture the future population of STEM professionals and cultivate quality candidates who might one day work for their company. Feeling ambitious? Make a list of companies that offer grants and start reviewing STEM Jobs’ “Top STEM Grants for Educators.”

applying for STEM grants

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Don’t JUST Go After the Money

Many companies offer cash grants, yet other organizations provide supplies. Teachers who think outside the cashbox when applying for STEM grants can receive furniture and expensive classroom supplies. Adopt A Classroom connects interested donors with teachers who could use a bit of support when buying classroom supplies. By using this method, the organization hopes to eliminate the amount of money teachers personally spend on supplies each year. Office-furniture manufacturer Steelcase offers an Active Learning Center Grant which provides packages worth more than $60,000 to award recipients. The grants include furniture, integrated technology, design, installation, and post-occupancy measurement tools to help create an inviting learning environment.

Invest in Yourself

STEM Jobs has shown teachers where they can find quality free education. Why stop there? Applying for STEM grants isn’t only for the kids. By investing in teachers, a growing number of organizations believe they are directly helping students. The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) and McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation (MDEF) invest in dedicated teachers, thereby helping students have access to more quality education.

Many STEM grants are found through surprising sources. With a bit of research, teachers can find support to enhance their classroom, maximize learning tools, and inspire students.

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