Whether you are involved in early childhood education field as a tech teacher working in a school innovation lab, or makerspace, or you’re a classroom educator who would like the opportunity to incorporate more technology into everyday curricula, funding for such resources is in short supply.
Photo Credit: The Radio Scout
A technology grant may be exactly what you need to help offset district costs and afford more learning tools to students. Applying for a grant however can be tricky and a daunting task. Here is a quick breakdown of why technology grants are so competitive and how to write a winning proposal and be awarded the money for programming resources.
The Importance of Applying for Grants
Having adequate funding to support technology innovation within your school is critical to learning. Why? Being innovative means staying one step ahead with the evolving tech world. Imagine if your students were still learning on clunky Windows 97 desktops while another school in your area was integrating VR/AR and coding robots into their curriculum. The difference is mind blowing.
Technology grants have increased in popularity over the years because companies and private donors have seen the need for education-based and innovation-based financial help in not just their community but across the nation. Technology grants are available from federal, state, and private agencies. However, these grants are very competitive; hundreds of people just like you apply with the goal to win.
There are plenty of grants out there available for everyone, so not taking advantage of them is doing your school/lab/makerspace a disservice. Do your research and get ready to put your best writing skills to use.
5 Ways to Apply for a Technology Grant and Win
Applying for a technology grant essentially involves writing an application to the grant provider that explains your situation, why you need the funding, what you will use it for, etc. The application may ask for other key details as well.
As mentioned earlier, tech grants are highly competitive because 1) many schools are in need of funding and 2) technology innovation is what everyone seeks. Your application must be written to stand apart from the rest in order to obtain grant funding.
1. Don’t Put it Off Until Last Minute
Writing a technology grant proposal takes time, effort, focus, and multiple revisions to ensure your application is perfect. This process can take a week or longer so it behooves educators to start early and spend time on the process.
2. Read the Rules and Guidelines
Make sure your application follows every rule, guideline, and addresses every detail to a “T”. Make a checklist and check it twice. Miscommunication, incomplete applications, or absence of information leads to disqualification. With hundreds (sometimes thousands) of applications per grant, don’t give them any reason to pass up your request.
3. Be as Specific as Possible
Avoid being generic in your wording. Spell everything out, clearly and directly. Don’t use jargon or unnecessary filler words.
4. Use Research to Backup Your Story
Whoever reads your grant proposal wants to hear your story, but they also want hard facts to back up your claims. The more data, need and school insight you can provide, along with the personal narrative the more compelling a grant application is.
5. Align Your Missions and Goals
This can’t be stressed enough and should be a pre-cursor to all other steps. Before you start writing, outline your mission for funding and align your mission with the goals you want to achieve by obtaining the grant. There needs to be merit behind the desire to obtain money for expenditures beyond what has been given to a district. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it can be experimental, there just needs to be a clear objective as to how the spending of monies will impact the classroom experience.
Early tech education impacts STEM learning in young children. Obtaining a tech grant could mean cultivating high-performing students. And, by equipping your school with technology, like coding robots for example, you foster more than an appreciation for programming but also provide developmental opportunities that can be seamlessly integrated into daily lesson plans.
For more information on grants and specifically technology and STEM grants for funding for coding robots and programming in early education, please visit our Grant Opportunity Page.
Meet KIBO, a Screen-free Educational STEAM Robot
There are coding toys available designed to approach a precise issue: How do we teach young people about coding fundamentals while giving them a fertile environment for other aspects of their growth? Enter KIBO, a screen-less way to engage and learn. Using programmable wooden building blocks that can be placed and manipulated to create sequences that will direct a robot’s movements, it addresses a growing understanding of technology’s impact on childhood development and allowing us to rethink the amount of time children interface with computers.
KIBO, the learning robot designed specifically for kids, offers an inviting, engaging platform for young children to start their journey into creating with code in a fun and creative way. KIBO’s block-based coding language gives children control over the robot’s movements, sounds, and sensors, allowing them to express their imaginations with code. The KIBO curriculum for educators also teaches children to tell stories, create characters, and explore the world around them through code. KIBO is the number one choice in screen-free coding for kids – trusted by more parents and schools to introduce today’s youth to the wonders of technology and robotics.