Most occupations offer paid professional development opportunities—but this is not always true for teachers. There's often little paid time to create innovative curricula or enough money to take your students on meaningful field trips. So Ecology Project International asked our own Fellowship Experience Coordinator, Klavdija Jenko, to research funding opportunities for science teachers. Here's what she's got:
1. Fund for Teachers
Would you like to design your own fellowship? Then you may want to check out Fund for Teachers, which supports educators in their mission to impact student achievement through developing their own leadership skills, knowledge, and confidence.
2. Make a Difference: Teach
If you are interested in advancing your own education but haven't been able to find the time or money, check out Teach. This website is dedicated to helping you find online degree options that you can pursue while working. There are also resources for people who want to become a teacher through an online program.
3. The NEA Foundation
The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation offers a variety of grants for classrooms and teachers. Their Learning & Leadership Grants further the professional development of NEA members to improve student learning, with a preference for those proposals that include STEM and/or global competence as elements.
4. NCMT Mathematics Education Trust
You're not a math teacher, you say? But science is full of math! We couldn't model our data or come to any quantitative conclusions without it. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) created the Mathematics Education Trust (MET) as a vehicle to distribute funding from generous individuals interested in improving mathematics teaching and learning. MET offers individual grants for professional development, as well as school and classroom grants and awards.
5. Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award
This one's just for New York educators and is sponsored by the State University of New York. If you live in the Big Apple state, the governor wants to know about your progressive work in the classroom. Teachers who demonstrate lifelong learning, share their passion for knowledge with students and other educators alike, and even take on influencing education policy are ideal candidates for the Teacher Ambassador award, which comes with a $5000 stipend for teacher professional development.
6. Toshiba America Foundation
Do you love to bring math and science alive for students in fun ways? Toshiba America Foundation (TAF) grants are focused on helping support teachers in making science and math innovative and exciting in classrooms from K-12. Applications are for project-based learning only.
7. McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation
A passion for lifelong learning is a gift that teachers can impart to their students. The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation (MDEF) wants to support that gift by providing Teacher Development Grants for small teams of teachers who are interested in creating "groundbreaking K-12 classroom instruction."
8. Donors Choose
Imagine: You post a list of needed classroom materials (or field trip funds). Then someone magically pays for, orders, and delivers those materials right to you. That's the concept behind Donors Choose, which empowers public school teachers to request much-needed materials and experiences for their students from a community of donors.
9. Target Field Trip Grants
Field trips are expensive (never mind the logistics!) but are often the highlight of a student's school year. If you can show how a field trip will provide a "demonstrable learning experience" for your students, they are interested! Each Target Field Trip Grant provides $700.
10. NSTA Awards and Recognition Program
The National Science Teacher Awards (NSTA) and Recognition Program has a whole cadre of awards for talented science teachers! Are you a new science teacher? Are you a teacher who brings biotechnology into your classroom? Do you have a science and agriculture curriculum built around your school garden? Are you a non-traditional science educator who brings science to the people? There are award options for all of you here!
We hope these opportunities make you excited about the opportunities and funding available to you! Want to read more? The NEA wrote a piece on some other education grants, which you can find here. Got another idea for funding to share with your fellow science teachers? Please comment and share the resources below. Good luck and go get 'em!
Education, Professional Development