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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Find a Grant to Fund STEM Initiatives, Professional Development and other Educational Imperatives

I'm always wary of databases or indexes hosted by commercial companies. I have to believe there is a motive beyond altruism. Thus, a database offered by IT warehouse CDWG (the part of CDW that serves education, government and healthcare) is suspect. While I'm sure there are some honest "service to the community" goals for the effort, I'm also sure there's some hope dollars delivered to schools, educators and students via its GetEdFunding website will end up in the company coffers.

GetEdFunding is a free, curated database of more than 750 active grants and awards (as of January 8) "that are currently available to public and private pre-K–12 schools, districts and educators, higher education institutions and the nonprofit organizations that work with them. I'd take that number with a grain of salt; many of the results I found had application dates during 2012 and many others were unsure of funding for 2013. I also found some "contests" that were not really grants including the National Geography Bee listed.

The site allows searches by geography (U.S. state or nationwide) institutional eligibility (public, private, charter, etc.), grade level (by grade group, higher ed, adult), focus (humanities, ed tech, professional development or STEM), content areas (arts, math, social science) and what are called 21st Century Skills (critical thinking, global awareness and problem solving).

I searched for U.S. grants for grade 9-12 STEM grants and got 50 results. Many are from federal government agencies like the National Science Foundation or the Department of Education while others are from professional groups like American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and AAUW. Many are from private corporations like Lowes and United Technologies Corporation.

A keyword search on "geography" resulted in two state grants, including one from a state geography alliance. Good to see!

It's worth a quick look and perhaps an application if it will mean a professional development workshop for an instructor or a new computer for the classroom.

- via EdTech Magazine