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10 Grant Sources for STEM Education

Where can I get funding for STEM?

You want to incorporate more STEM but you just don't have all the supplies you need. There might be a grant for that; if you are willing to put in a little time and effort, you may be rewarded with a grant to help take your STEM lab or makerspace to the next level. Read on to find out how to download a grant writing checklist and PDF of all these links for future reference.

STEM classroom grants to apply for

Before Getting Started with Grant Applications

As you tackle grant writing and applications, please make sure to perform due diligence with any grant you find. The NEA Foundation has a grant-writing guide that you should definitely check out for tips on how to make sure your proposal rocks, or head to Amy Mezni's post about writing a successful grant application.
A few more tips:
  • Learn about the company or foundation. 
  • Find out if they are expecting anything in return.
  • Get the green light from your administration.
  • Read the guidelines. Re-read the guidelines. Read them a third time! You don't want to spend your precious time applying for a grant only to be rejected because you missed something important.
  • If something isn't clear, call and speak with someone about the grant. I know that phone calls are not everyone's favorite thing, but you can make a personal connection and may even get some tips on what the grant panel is looking for.

Beyond the Usual Suspects

You likely already know about grant opportunities through the US Department of Education, the NSF, PLTW, and the NSTA, so here are a few new places to look. Grant databases are highlighted in red, the rest are single source.

10. Get Ed Funding

On Get Ed Funding, you can seek out a grant that matches your needs. I love that you can just go through the search to narrow what you are looking for. Are you in a public or private school? Choose your grade range, and don't forget to check the STEM box.

You'll find everything from Boeing grants to various family foundation grants.

9. Lowe's Toolbox for Education

The website boasts that this program "has provided over $54 million to more than 12,000 schools across the country." Read through the Lowe's grant site to find ideas for applications as well as past awardees.


8. Motorola Solutions Foundation Grants

The Motorola Solutions Foundation has grants available specifically for STEM programs. "Supporting programs that advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, preparing our next generation of innovators." Apply online.

7. NEA Foundation Grants

If you are a member of the NEA, they have grant opportunities that encourage STEM applicants. Find detailed information on their Student Achievement Grants page or look through the rest of their grant opportunities if something else might suit your classroom better.

6. Best Buy Grants

Who you callin' geek? Best Buy has a number of grants available, with a strong focus on underserved youth and technology. Head to Best Buy's education grants.

5. STEMfinity's List of Grants

STEMfinity has a list of STEM grants sorted by state, as well as a list of federal grant programs.

4. Making the Future U.S. After-school and Summer Program Grants by Cognizant

Cognizant is a Fortune 500 company that has long believed in the importance of STEM education for our youth. They have participated in events such as Maker Faire and are dedicated to advancing innovation and providing opportunities for advancement in education. Watch the video about the program on their website, and then apply for the Cognizant grant program!

3. Target Field Trip Grants

Sometimes a trip to a science museum, robotics company, or 3D print shop is a great way to use grant funds. Target has grants specifically for field trips!

Take a trip to the birthplace of the industrial revolution, an automotive plant, or an aerospace museum.  

2. Toshiba America Foundation

Grants from the Toshiba America Foundation are categorized by grade, for K-5 or 6-12. Some grants for 6-12 are accepted throughout the calendar year, which means no looming deadlines to worry about. Great news about this grant program - there is an online application. Make sure you have a great PBL in mind, as "Applications must be for project based learning. We do not consider requests for computers, laptops or tablets!"

1. Find Local STEM Grants and Funding

This is not a grant per se, but it's so so important, and likely to be where you find the most success. Contact local STEM and other businesses, asking if they would be willing to donate to your STEM lab. Maybe you have something particular in mind, like a class set of Sphero robots, or storage options. You might even be able to get a business to donate some storage solutions if they are upgrading their space or going out of business. Ask for support via Donor's Choose if that platform works for you.
Think outside the box - ask a bank, pediatrician or dental office, or your PTA. Get brownie points - 3D print (or build) a plaque recognizing the business or group, then snap a photo with your students and their STEM creations. Send it over to the business as a thank you! It may be enough to inspire them to donate again in the future. If you are at a religiously-affiliated school, look to places of worship and see if they have any ideas for partnerships or fundraisers.

A Few Honorable Mentions

Steelcase Active Learning Grants
Applied Materials Education Grants 
Honda STEM Grants

Download the Organizer and Link-Filled PDF

I have added this download to my free resource library. Just sign up for my newsletter and you will gain immediate access to this and other STEM resources.


Even More STEM Grant Opportunities

Do you know about Get Caught Engineering? As seasoned STEM educators, Wendy and Cheryl know what it takes to get a STEM program up and running. They have another great post on this topic, Bucks for STEM.  Click on the image below to find more STEM grant tips and ideas:

Help! I could use some writing tips

Lucky for you, Amy Mezni has already put together a great post about writing a winning grant proposal.


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10 STEM educational grant sources and downloadable PDF to help get you started. | Meredith Anderson - Momgineer
10 STEM educational grant sources and downloadable PDF to help get you started. | Meredith Anderson - Momgineer

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Middle School Scientist Asks: What's in My Water?

Middle School Student Innovates with a Water Testing Device

What's in my water?

You've likely heard of Flint, Michigan, and their lead water crisis. It's not just a problem for residents of Flint. Bright young mind Gitanjali Rao from Lone Tree, Colorado, decided to tackle the water crisis problem with science. Developing her ideas with the help of teachers at her STEM school, she eventually entered into the Young Scientist Challenge. Her hard work and perseverance paid off.

America's Top Young Scientist

Discovery Education and 3M have awarded Miss Rao the title of "America's Top Young Scientist" with prize earnings of $25,000. Her device, which she named "Tethys," clinched the top price in this year's competition, which was the 10th anniversary of the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. 

Tethys, aptly named for the Titan goddess of fresh water, includes disposable water testing cartridges that have chemically treated carbon nanotube arrays, an Arduino processor to process test results, and Bluetooth integration for quick display of results on your smartphone. A 3D-printed box contains all the electronics within. See more about Gitanjali's invention here

Ten finalists competed for this title while participating in a summer program with a research scientist. Gitanjali Rao, the winner, worked with Dr. Kathleen Shafer from 3M. Read about all of the finalists and their mentors by going to the Young Scientist Finalists page.

What a great opportunity for budding innovators and scientists to tackle real world problems in a meaningful way with corporate support. Kids come up with amazing ideas. Having a partner help bring their ideas to fruition is an inspiring and eye-opening process for any young scientist.

Do you have a #YoungScientist?

Encourage your students or kids to enter next year's challenge until 4/19/2018. Not only is it a great learning opportunity and a way to explore STEM fields, you may be helping to make a real and lasting impact in the scientific community.

Resources for Teachers and Parents

Change the world one problem at a time. This is #girlpower at its finest! If you are a middle school science teacher or parent, are you aware of this program? Find out more at Young Scientist Lab, where there are activities for students and resources for parents and teachers as well. 

You don't want to miss the other finalists' ideas either! Here are a couple I just loved (click image to read more):
Rithvik Ganesh Young Scientist Finalist #YoungScientist
Photo from www.youngscientistlab.com
Kathryn Lampo Young Scientist Finalist #YoungScientist
Photo from www.youngscientistlab.com

Find Discovery Education on Social Media

Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge materials are also available through Discovery Education Streaming Plus.  

Discovery Education on Facebook
Discovery Education on Twitter
Discovery Education on Instagram

Find 3M online

3M online at www.3M.com
on Twitter @3Mor @3MNewsroom

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Little Red Riding Hood STEM Activity with Integrated Literacy

Fairy Tale STEM Activity for Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood is on her way to visit her sick grandmother, but the wolf beats her to Grandmother's house. Can you help stop the wolf before he eats Grandmother?

Materials Needed for this STEM Fairy Tale Activity

  • supplies to create two different musical instruments (metal like washers and bolts, etc., rubber bands, recyclables cups and containers, balloons or plastic bags to create drums, craft sticks and rubber bands to create kazoos, etc.

Before Getting Started with the STEM Tale

STEM tales work best if you read the original fairy tale first or do your own storytelling. Discuss the similarities and differences as you read through the story. For this STEM tale, you will start with an exploration of Morse code!

Learn Morse Code for Kids

After getting acquainted with Morse code, students will then create two instruments that make distinctly different sounds, to represent the short and long parts of the code.

Fairy Tale STEM with the Engineering Design Process 

I have designed STEM tales so that as students read the story, they will follow the engineering design process. What is the problem that needs to be solved in the Little Red Riding Hood STEM Tale? Grandmother can't call for help because she lost her voice with her illness. She did, however, learn Morse code with Little Red Riding Hood so the instruments will help save Grandmother!

Little Red Riding Hood STEM Tale Challenge

Design an Instrument

After brainstorming instrument design ideas, the students will then choose two to create. They will need to test out their instruments with a partner and decode the message! This can also be done digitally if desired:
Digital STEM Challenge with Little Red Riding Hood

You can have students create a Scratch program to send the message. Otherwise, stick with simple instruments like the ones shown below:

STEM tales are a great way to foster teamwork and problem-solving. To find the full resource, which includes an 8-page booklet, check list for self-evaluation, and tips, visit Little Red Riding Hood STEM:

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To read more about how to conduct a STEM challenge, visit this post:


To see all posts in this series, click here:

STEM Tales Blog Series

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Gingerbread STEM Activities - Classroom Appropriate for the Holidays

Gingerbread Man Activities and STEM Challenges

Do you love the holidays but aren't sure how to bring a learning experience into a fun topic? One way to celebrate the season is with all things gingerbread! Even though I have a soft spot in my heart for the jolly bearded fella, I know it's not always easy to use certain themes in the classroom.

Do you have fond childhood memories of books where you got to choose what happened? I know I do. I would go back and read through all the possible endings just to make sure I got the best one (admit it, you did too).

I was thinking how FUN and ENGAGING it would be to alter a classic tale and let students choose how it unfolds? This STEM adventure starts with the story of the gingerbread man and turns it into a choose your own STEMventure activity. The gingerbread man meets a fox...will he survive? That depends on your students' choices (**spoiler alert** - the gingerbread man always survives, but they won't know that while choosing their adventure):

In this short storybook, the gingerbread man may need a zip line transport across a canyon, or he could need a tent for the night to stay alive. Here is a gingerbread man crossing a river to get away from the fox:
When the story is complete there are even a couple of bonus STEM challenges to complete. The gingerbread man finds himself among more gingerbread people and is so excited to have finally found a safe place where he won't be eaten. The gingerbread people decide they want to pursue the circus life. What gingerbread man wouldn't want to get launched from a catapult or slingshot? Move over, Cirque du Soleil...

The easy to follow booklet includes the engineering design process.

All your students have to do is follow the story, fill in the pages for the challenges they pick, and continue on with the story. This is even a great activity to send home over winter break if you know families will get involved. Click the image below to go directly to the resource on Teachers pay Teachers:


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I need more gingerbread it my life. Read on, my friend.

My teacher friend Amy and I were chatting about all things gingerbread. Do you know Amy? Her forte is social studies and writing.You are going to LOVE these gingerbread resources she put together. You can head over to her blog, Teaching Ideas 4U, to find out more about them. Two I know you'll love are this non-fiction gingerbread book report and this writing resource for character development:


It wouldn't be a gingerbread post without some recipe links! Here are some to try out, depending on what floats your boat. Do you like cookies? To build gingerbread houses? Do you like your gingerbread spicy, crunchy, or chewy?

Gingerbread Recipe Links
Genius Kitchen Gingerbread Cookies
King Arthur Flour Gingerbread Cookies
Eileen's Spicy Gingerbread Men Recipe
Spiced Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread House Recipe

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

Get crafty with a Thanksgiving turkey or bookmark!

Turkey Craft for Thanksgiving and Thankful Bookmark

A Thanksgiving turkey craft or a thankful bookmark are two fun hands-on ways to celebrate the holiday this season. I have created simple templates that are great for practicing fine motor skills.

The turkey thanksgiving craft includes everything you need to put together this gobble gobble cutie! Why not use it on your Thanksgiving kids' table as a centerpiece? If you have craft feathers, feel free to use them as well.


I have outlined all the steps with photos so that you know exactly how to put it together.

Students Can Be Thankful this Thanksgiving

This is the perfect time of year to reflect on the things we are thankful for. It's a good habit for kids to get in as well, but it can feel overwhelming if they don't know where to start. I created this Thankful Craftivity Bookmark as a guided way for kids to explore who and what they are thankful for. It makes a perfect bookmark!

Not only does the Thanksgiving Activity Bundle include the above activities, it includes so many fun and cross-curricular activities for kids in K-2. Label the turkey, do math and ELA activities, and learn about the first Thanksgiving.

 Click this link to go right to the Thanksgiving Activity Bundle:

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!

STEM Activities for Thanksgiving - Pilgrim and Wampanoag Challenges

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to try three themed STEM challenges for both the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people! I have come up with STEM challenges to learn about tools used by each group of people, water vessels, and their homes. For the Wampanoag people, that means:
  • a bow (hello, elastic potential energy and kinetic energy),
  • a mishoon, and
  • a wetu
Before getting started, research the Wampanoag people. What materials did they use to make these? What were typical activities of Wampanoag adults and youth at the time they met the Pilgrims? Find out more about the Wampanoag and Pilgrims at the Plimoth Plantation website. Here is a link that describes their homes.

Gather basic materials. I always recommend using what you have. For a bow, a string and a bamboo skewer work well. For the mishoon, you may just want to use aluminum foil or clay, or perhaps if you are doing this at home with supervision you can use wood and carve out a real miniature mishoon. For the wetu, try paper or pipe cleaners.

If you can take this one outside to test it, your kids will be thrilled!
Another great one to bring outside if possible (remember to roll up sleeves).

A wetu sample.
For the Pilgrims, try these three:
  • a capstan (awesome if you are studying simple machines),
  • the Mayflower, and
  • a Pilgrim house
What were Pilgrims used to when they arrived? Were they able to create homes like they had before? Did they need to learn to use different tools and eat different foods? What would that have been like for them?
For this capstan, we used LEGOs and string to haul cargo over 2 feet vertically!
Design and create a mini Mayflower with plastic egg cartons, straws, and plastic bags.
Pilgrim houses were small. Try craft sticks or cardboard.
After trying two of these, kids can contrast and compare. Where did the people use each item? How was it important to their livelihood? What materials would you use now if making something similar?

I have created recording sheets and additional STEM challenge prompts you may find useful in this Thanksgiving STEM Bundle, available at Teachers pay Teachers:

In addition to the challenges shown above, there are also challenge cards for each set of people that allow for further exploration. Here is a photo of the Pilgrim cards:

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Thanksgiving STEM activities with Pilgrims and Wampanoag tools, structures, and more. | Meredith Anderson - Momgineer

momgineer Meredith Anderson

STEM education is my passion!