So, you have some big dreams for the school year, but you’re not sure where the funds will come from. What do you do? One of the best ways to fund your educational program is through grants. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are about as close to free money as it gets. You’ll need to fill out an application or proposal and you may be asked to show what you did with the money, but you don’t need to pay pack whoever awards the grant.
Grants primarily come from government agencies and corporations. Below, we’ve assembled a list of programs and entities that support STEM education in the United States.
If you take a peek at the U.S. Department of Education’s website, you’re bound to get lost in a sea of alphabet soup — but this is a cascade of opportunities. To help you learn which STEM funding opportunities may be a good fit for you, check out this program breakdown below:
- 21st Century Community Learning Centers: States receive 21st CCLC awards based on the amount of low-income students in the state determined by their Title I share. This funding then gets allocated state-by-state to various after-school and summer programs.
- GEAR UP: The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) aims to increase the number of low-income students who successfully complete high school and go on to succeed in post-secondary education.
- Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP): MSEIP seeks to improve science and engineering education programs, increasing the representation of ethnic minorities, particularly minority women, in STEM careers.
- Office of Innovation & Improvement: One of the areas of focus for the Office of Innovation and Improvement is STEM education. Through more than 15 different programs, they fund both traditional and out-of-school STEM experiences. They adhere to 7 priority areas which can be found here.
- Education Innovation and Research: These grants fund innovative solutions to improve outcomes for large groups of high-need students. There are three types of grants to support projects with various levels of proof of concept.
- Perkins Innovation and Modernization: Perkins funding is designated to help improve career and technical education programs throughout the country.
- Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP): TQP improves students’ achievement by making sure new teachers who are entering the education field have high quality preparation and professional development. They also seek to recruit the best individuals for the field, prioritizing diverse representation.
- Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) Grant Program: SEED tries to ensure high quality educators through professional development and other enhancement opportunities.
- Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program: This program enhances learning at the elementary and secondary levels through project-based learning and innovative teaching strategies. They seek to identify gifted and talented students, especially those who are economically disadvantaged, limited in their ability to speak English, disabled or traditionally underrepresented, and provide learning experiences to meet their needs.
- Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP): MSAP gives grants to magnet schools who are striving to help all students learn challenging academic content, especially through project-based lessons. These grants also support the implementation of classes which teach academic concepts and vocational skills.
- Upward Bound Math-Science: The goal of Upward Bound and other TRiO programs is to help students from low-income backgrounds, first-generation college attendees and disabled individuals to thrive in secondary education and succeed in college or other post-secondary programs. The Math-Science offshoot specifically seeks to strengthen math and science skills so that students realize new potential and pursue degrees in STEM fields.
Many states have a STEM Action Center or Network that supports education throughout the region. Look up your state and see what resources are available for you.
- National STEM Networks
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- New York State STEM Education Collaborative
- CNY STEM Connection
- New York State Network for Youth Success
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Many corporate entities support STEM, especially the ones looking for a strong STEM workforce in the future (aka most of them). These companies may not always have grants available, but if you reach out, they might be willing to match funds or help in other ways such as donating laptops, providing volunteers or assisting with mentorship opportunities.
Ongoing Grant Search
Want to keep an eye on emerging grants? Check out these grant databases to see the latest opportunities.