STEM grants are in demand because educators are keenly aware of the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. By one estimate, jobs that require STEM skills are growing at 17% as opposed to 9.8% for other occupations. Our future simply depends on a tech savvy workforce. Likewise most teachers know that the National Education Association Foundation makes STEM a priority in their grantmaking. The need is so great, however, they can not fund all requests. Here are four other foundations, three national and one regional that also provide STEM grants to help provide cutting edge education in America's schools.
Toshiba America Foundation
The Toshiba America Foundation has two programs that are dedicated to innovative and engaging ways to help students learn science and math in schools, while developing skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication.
Toshiba America Foundation: Grants K-5 Science and Math Education Grants
These awards fund classroom teachers up to $1000 for materials for innovative classroom projects that have measurable outcomes. The list of previous project winners include:
- Alpine Elementary School, TX - Students became project managers to renovate their playground from beginning to end.
- LaJolla Elementary School, CA - Future crime fighters are getting their start with "Forensic Joe Fridays" which introduces students to forensics and how it applies to criminal justice.
- Newberry Elementary School, SC - Classroom robot architects build them from scratch and design them to perform specific tasks.
Toshiba America Foundation: Grants for Grades 6-12
This program supports science and math teachers create innovate projects for their own classrooms. Examples of previous project winners include:
- Cooper Middle School, GA - To examine housing and transportation of the future;
- Garden Spot Mille School, PA - Will study science through technology and animation;
- Kimbal Union Academy, NH - Has a new course on digital models, 3D printing, and laser cutting.
Eligible applicants are 6-12th grade science and math teachers in public or nonprofit private schools. Grants for under $5 thousand are accepted on a rolling basis. Requests for over that amount are accepted and reviewed twice a year, on June 1 and November 1.
Toyota USA Foundation
The Toyota USA Foundation has also been dedicated to funding nonprofits who provide innovative STEM education programs. Previous winners include:
- The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth in Baltimore, LA and NY to advance the science education of Lakota students;
- Washington National Youth Baseball Academy to enable a collaboration between the baseball academy and the Higher Achievement Academy to encourage year-round-youth-development and academic enrichment in STEM for at-risk-youth:
- West Point Center for Leadership and Diversity in STEM to attract those with STEM skills to West Point, the Army and the country as a whole.
Applications have been accepted on a rolling basis. While the website says it is not currently accepting applications, visitors are encouraged to check back.
American Honda Foundation
Honda supports scientific education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as the environment. Projects should reflect the basic values of Honda which they describe as:
Eligible applicants are public schools/school districts, private elementary and secondary schools and nonprofit organizations. Applications are accepted three times a year, February and August 1 for new organizations and May 1 for organizations that have received a previous award.
Although the above organizations operate on a national level, many regional foundations can also be a source for STEM grants. Corporations want to give back to the communities in their area of operations. They also want to ensure a future supply of skilled workers to meet their needs. The foundation below is one example of a funder who gives grants to select geographic locations. Such opportunities may exist in your area as well.
The DART Foundation
One priority of the Dart Foundation is to fund science, technology, engineering, mathematics, career, and technical training in public schools. Applications are accepted quarterly on February 15, May 15, August 15, and November 15. The information page also lists the selected communities they fund.
Here is a link to a previous article that has more sources for STEM Funding: Stem Education Funding Resources and Opportunities