It is well known the United States ranks much lower in science and math education outcomes than many other countries (Pew Research Center, 2017). As a result, government entities, national organizations, businesses, and private foundations are investing funding for teacher professional development so today’s educators can better train tomorrow’s innovators in the fields of science and math. Below is just a sampling of the myriad of grants available for professional development for science and math teachers.
General STEM Professional Development Grants
The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation: Learning and Leadership Grants
Though the NEA Learning and Leadership Grants are offered to teachers in any field, at present the NEA states it will give preference to teachers who seek funds to travel to professional development events for STEM fields or “global competence” improvement. Applicants must be current NEA members working at a public institution, and either groups or individuals may apply. In additional to educational groups and teachers, other educational professionals—such as bus drivers, custodial staff, and food service staff—are also encouraged to apply. Awards are for either $2,000 or $5,000, and there are three deadlines each year: February 1st, June 1st, and October 15th.
U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science: Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship
This grant / fellowship provides funding for K-12 teachers to gain real-world professional development by working at a Federal agency or Congressional office for eleven months. Participants have the opportunity to affect national education policies while learning valuable information about the latest innovations in their educational fields. To be eligible, teachers must be U.S. citizens who are currently employed as a STEM educator at a U.S. public or private school. Additionally, all applicants must have at least five full years of STEM teaching experience. For the full eligibility requirements, see the Eligibility section of the FAQs. The application period is typically mid-August to mid-November, and this year’s deadline for the 2019-2020 term is November 15th, 2018.
Science Professional Development Grants
The National Weather Association Foundation (NWAF): Sol Hirsch Education Fund Grants
This grant supports K-12 educators who seek professional development to improve their knowledge and their school’s programming specifically related to meteorology. Funds may be used toward coursework, workshops, conference, or other professional development events that can help educators improve their teaching activities in the field of meteorology. Awards are in the amount of $750. The application period will open in Spring 2019.
The American Chemical Society (ACS): Hach High School Chemistry Classroom Grant
The ACS provides grants for anything that will enhance student learning and leadership in the field of chemistry. As the ACS recognizes that knowledgeable teachers are an essential first step to productive classroom learning, professional development is one of the areas this grant funds. Grants are for $1,500,
and the application period will open again on February 1st, 2019.
The NSTA offers two different Science Education Awards: the Distinguished Informal Science Education Award and the Distinguished Service to Science Education Award. The Informal award is available to non-classroom science educators, such as those who teach at museums or community centers. The Service to Science award is available to those who have shown long-term, formal contributions to science education; this award is geared toward classroom teachers and other formal science community leaders. All applicants for either grant must be NSTA members. The award is attendance at the NSTA National Conference, including $500 toward general expenses and three night’s worth of lodging. Applications for the Informal award are due December 18th, 2018. Applications for the Distinguished Service award are due December 1st of each year.
Math Professional Development Grants
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Grants
The NCTM offers more than 20 professional development grant programs annually for math teachers. There are grants available for teachers at all levels of math education, though this organization primarily offers funding to K-12 math teachers. Whether your school needs money for professional development in-service activities, innovative math education curriculum development, research, continuing teacher education, or conference funding, the NCTM has something for you.
Please review the eligibility requirements for the particular grant(s) to which you want to apply. All NCTM grant applications are due either at the start of November or the start of May each year.
AMTE program offers elementary educators currently teaching in non-math fields funding for professional development activities, such as college coursework or other learning opportunities, toward earning a credential in elementary mathematics. Applications must be credentialed teachers, teacher leaders, or coaches who have a formal elementary school certification or credential and who have taught at an elementary school for three or more full years. Awards are for $2,000, and applications are typically due June 15th of each year.
Pew Research Center, “U.S. Students’ Academic Achievement Still Lags That Of Their Peers in Many Other Countries,” 2017.