While the American education system has put much money and effort toward improving in-class education in public schools, after-school programs are often harder to justify in already-stretched school budgets. This statement is especially true in high-poverty, high-crime areas where under-served students are likely to drop out of school or engage in risky behaviors.
It is well known that 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 in 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 in the fields of STEM 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 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
You’re a math teacher, and you’re busy—we get it. There are lessons to plan, tests to correct, and your school’s mathlete team is competing next weekend. You’ve probably heard about some excellent grant opportunities out there for math education, and you may be wondering, “Is it worth my time to apply? How could grant money really benefit a math classroom?” The fact is that grants could add up to some educational advantages for you and your students.