Tag: Grants

8 Top Grants for STEM Teachers

8 Top Grants for STEM Teachers

Although everyone understands the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in the classroom, the cost involved with being a STEM teacher makes many question its benefits.

There’s expensive lab equipment. There are chemicals, tools, and supplies. Then there’s the cost of continuing education and professional development, important in all educational disciplines, but especially so in STEM fields due to their ever changing growth and development.

Due to the promotion of STEM education in school, the need for innovative and dedicated STEM teachers is at an all time high. To encourage teachers who can develop students’ interest to pursue these fields, there’s a growing list of grants and awards available.

Here’s a list of the top grants for STEM teachers and what each entails.

1) ACS-Hach High School Chemistry Grants

Each year, the American Chemical Society offers $1,500 ACS-Hach High School Chemistry Grants to high school chemistry teachers who encourage enthusiasm in their students by enhancing classroom learning, promoting scientific exploration, and raising an interest in chemistry. Funds can be used for classroom supplies such as lab equipment or teaching manuals, or for professional development, outreach, or field studies.

2) AIAA Foundation Classroom Grant Program

The AIAA Foundation Classroom Grant Program is put forth by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronauts and offered annually. These $250 grants are awarded to K-12 teachers who engage and inspire students by incorporating STEM concepts in the classroom in innovative and fun ways. The money can be used on a variety of things to enhance the learning experience, including software, equipment, and science learning kits.

3) Classroom-Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams Challenge

Through Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lemelson-MIT Program, the Classroom-Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams Challenge grant program gives up to 15 groups of students and teachers funding to come up with an innovative, technological solution for a real problem the world faces today. The teams that receive the $10,000 grants are to use the money to fund the development of their idea, giving the teams hands-on experience with STEM concepts in real world situations.

4) Emerging Teacher-Leaders in Elementary School Mathematics Grants

One of the many grants offered by the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics (NCTM), the Emerging Teacher-Leaders in Elementary School Mathematics Grant is for Pre-K-5th grade math teachers who are utilizing their own teaching methods in the classroom and demonstrating innovation and drive for math education. To be eligible for this grant, which can be up to $6,000, you must be a member of the NCTM.

5) NSTA Awards & Recognition Program

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) gives a range of awards and recognitions to those inspiring students to explore and become interested in the science fields. For over 40 years, the NSTA Awards and Recognition Program has been raising awareness of the outstanding work individuals are doing in science education and awards are given in a variety of specialties, including agricultural science, biotechnology, and engineering. There are also awards given to new teachers, those who build public interest, and those promoting science education in informal or non-traditional settings.

6) NWA Sol Hirsch Education Fund Grants

Given by the National Weather Association, NWA Sol Hirsch Educational Fund Grants are designed for elementary, middle, and high school teachers who are exposing students to the study of meteorology, which is often under represented in science classrooms. The $750 grants can be used to purchase classroom materials, develop community outreach programs, or for professional development.

7) Toshiba American Foundation

The Toshiba America Foundation gives grants to grade 6-12 teachers to fund projects that allow students to “do science.” Awarded to teachers who demonstrate passion for engaging students in STEM classes, these grants have funded a wide range of projects including robotics, greenhouses, genetics and DNA, and 3D animation.

8) Toyota Tapestry Grants for Science Teachers

Together with the National Science Teachers Association, Toyota offers the Toyota Tapestry Grants for Science Teachers. Up to fifty $10,000 grants are issued to K-12 teachers who are demonstrating passion for increasing the quality of science education and getting students interested in the science fields. The grant money is designed to fund student-organized, community-based projects in the physical sciences, environmental sciences, or those that promote literacy and science.

Think Beyond STEM

When it comes to grant money, think beyond STEM specific grants. The US Department of Education has a multitude of initiative and grants available for teachers in all disciplines. Some focus on minority and low-income educational settings and others on those individuals and programs that demonstrate growth and initiative. Many local and national teaching organizations and non-profits also offer grants for educators, so be sure to check with any organizations to which you belong.

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How to Stop Spending So Much Money on Classroom Supplies

Teachers: Spend Less Of Your Own Money on Classroom Supplies with These 7 Tips

Across the nation, teachers spend more than $1 billion of personal money on classroom supplies each year. From hand sanitizer to keep germs down and kids healthy to crayons that replace the classroom’s initial stock, 80 percent of teachers say that they invest their own money primarily because of school’s limited budgets, which often receive annual cuts. It’s not required of them to do so, but it’s hard to explain to a class full of 10 year olds that there’s no more Kleenex or colored pencils for the rest of the year.

How to Stop Spending So Much?

While school budgets may not be too easy to fix, there are ways to make your dollar stretch when it comes to supplies for the classroom and you may be surprised what kinds of funds are available. If you’re looking to spend less of your own money on classroom supplies, here are some tips to consider.

1) Ask Parents

Many parents don’t realize teachers buy classroom supplies with their own money, or that the initial stock of paper, pencils, crayons, and book may not be replenished by the school system. Parents understand how quickly children go through paper towels and tissues, and many don’t mind helping out, especially once they’re aware of the situation. Send a letter home asking for classroom donations, and list what the classroom needs. To make the donation request more successful, ask parents for items easily purchased at a local store. A busy mom is more likely to pick up a pack of napkins while grocery shopping than she is to make a special stop at the office supply store for pencil sharpeners or white board markers.

2) Crowdfunding

There are all sorts of people out there who want to help others succeed, and education is an issue close to people’s hearts. With online crowdfunding options like AdoptaClassroom.com, you can ask for monetary donations from people who want to help you education our nation’s children. If you’re trying to raise money for a specific event or class trip, consider a crowdfunding site like Go Fund Me, where students and their families can share the link with friends and family on Facebook. If 20 students each ask 10 people to donate $10, it doesn’t take long for money to add up.

3) Shop Sales

If you’re going to spend your own money on school supplies, it makes sense to shop the sales, getting the most you can for each dollar. During back to school shopping, notebooks can be found for under 10 cents a piece, and folders for less than a nickel. Check out your local stores to see if they offer educator discount programs. Many, including Kmart and The Container Store, have teacher specific discounts and rewards, keeping a few more dollars in your wallet. Also pay attention to tax-free shopping days, especially when you’re planning on restocking, and depending on where you live, this could save you up to 10 percent of total purchases.

4) Tax Breaks

If you’re spending your own money on classroom supplies, you may be able to get a tax break on some of the things you purchase. Although it’s not near what most teachers spend, there’s a $250 tax deduction offered annually for classroom supplies. This is an above-the-line deduction, which means it doesn’t have to be itemized, but still lowers the amount of taxable income. As an FYI, professional development expenses can also be included in this deduction.

5) Grants

While it may take some paperwork and time, if you want to find cash for classroom supplies, consider applying for educator grants. With a huge range available for all types of classrooms, you can find one that fits your needs. To see what types of grants and what makes you eligible, check out the US Department of Education database to get a list of open grant competitions. Also check with any national educational organization you belong to, as many offer grants exclusively for members.

6) Recycle & Reuse

Over the years, teachers gather supplies, many of which they no longer need. If there’s a teacher who’s preparing to retire, he or she is most likely looking for a place to donate unneeded supplies. Also consider bartering and trading with other teachers you know, whether in your school district or close by. Sharing supplies helps save money and exposes students to a wider range of books, programs, and educational material without the need for large sums of cash. Programs like Teachers Helping Teachers connect you with teachers across the country who are willing to share, donate, and trade gently used supplies.

7) Think Outside the Box

When it comes to saving money on classroom supplies, teachers need to think outside the box. These are some of our favorite ways to save, what are yours? Share your tips in the comments!

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