STEM Funding Guide

Often, funding is the biggest hurdle educators face when trying to implement a new STEM program for their students. That’s why we’ve written a guide to help you find, apply for, and secure grants at the local, state, and national level.

We’ve included step-by-step instructions for putting together a proposal whether you are seeking funding for a classroom, a school, an after-school program, or even a district. 

Need assistance finding or applying for a grant? Let our team help! Email us today.

Jump to Sample Grant Proposals

Fund STEM Learning In
A K-5 Classroom

Fund After-School or Summer STEM Learning

Fund A District
STEM Initiative

Where to Search for Funding Opportunities

Grants Watch

Grants Watch is a searchable database that lists over 3,000 grants for public, private, parochial, and charter PreK-12 schools. The service is not free, but there are several subscription tiers based on length of time.

GrantsAlert

GrantsAlert is a searchable database that features some smaller grants for free. Larger grants can be found as a subscriber. A GrantsAlert subscription  is: $149.95 per year or $14.95 per month.

Grants.gov

Grants.gov is THE hub for al federal grants. For an overview of how to use Grants.gov to find and apply for a grant, you might want to start with this blog post. The searchable database provides lots of filtering options around timing and eligibility.

Wonder Workshop's List!

We’ve curated a list of STEM grant sources for you to use as a starting point when looking for funding. We update this list all the time, so check back to see additions and the latest updates to the list.

Getting Started

When you’ve decided to seek funding from outside sources, there are a number of steps you’ll need to take to get started.

1. Find a funding source well-suited to your project

2. Make a clear plan for how you’ll use the funds

3. Gather the content you’ll need to include in your application

This page is here to serve as a resource and guide for approaching each of these steps!

Elements of a Grant Proposal

1. Overview

2. Problem Statement

3. Detailed Description of the Problem and Goals

4.  Steps For Implementation

5. Required Tools & Associated Budget

6. How You’ll Measure Success

7. Timeline and Project Stages

8. Additional Information About Your Organization and Other Sources of Funding You’ll Be Using

Problem Statement Sample

Why Computer Science in the First Place?

We believe that coding is the new literacy. Being literate in computer languages and computational thinking is essential for navigating the modern world. Developing a growth mindset capable of tackling new challenges is also essential for today’s youth. When students are faced with solving a coding and robotics problem that is right in front of them and is tangible, they are very motivated to succeed and are interested in experimenting with their ideas until those ideas help them achieve their goals. That experience helps them develop grit and a growth mindset.

In addition, coding reinforces core concepts like logical sequences, patterns, creativity, measurement, and storytelling. For this reason, coding isn’t just an add-on concept for the K-5 curriculum, it is fundamental for preparing students for the futures they will face, and provides them with the skills they need for life-changing opportunities, whether they are utilizing technology or creating it.

Sample Grant Proposal #1
Goal: Bring Coding & Robotics to My K-5 Classroom

Possible Funding Sources

Toshiba Foundation (Grades K-5 Grants – Robots & Curriculum, but not for Devices or Laptops)

Toshiba Foundation (Grades 6-12 Grants – Robots & Curriculum, but not for Devices or Laptops)

Westinghouse (Area of focus: Grants defined as education with a focus on STEM are those used to improve knowledge and literacy with a focus in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math among students, teachers and the general public.)

Crowdfunding: Donors Choose, Adopt-A-Classroom, PledgeCents

Sample Description of Problems and Goals

As an elementary school teacher, I want to make sure that I provide learning opportunities that foster important 21st-century skills like communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity. In addition, I want to equip my students with important science and technology skills that they will need to navigate our complex world. To meet these goals, I want to present them with STEM challenges throughout the year that build coding literacy and require them to solve real-world challenges by working with classmates, trying new ideas, and iterating their approaches to find success. Coding and robotics combines this set of challenges and builds these skills in an ideal way. For my students to engage meaningfully in a coding and robotics program, we need funds to procure the curriculum, the robots (both physical and virtual), and professional development for the teachers who will be presenting these lessons to our students.

Sample Steps for Implementation, Required Tools, and Budget

Steps for Implementation:

1. Acquire the Curriculum and Professional Development needed to deliver the compelling STEM content that meets our grade level’s code.org and ISTE standards. Wonder Workshop’s K-5 Learn to Code Curriculum provides a scope and sequence of Lesson Plans that we will follow to meet these standards. Our teachers will start by completing Wonder Workshop’s online course, Introduction to Coding and Robotics with Dash & Dot, a 15-hour online course, designed for elementary school teachers to provide a broad understanding of how to teach coding and robotics at the elementary level.

2. Acquire the robots and software needed to deliver the lessons in the scope and sequence. In order to provide students with opportunities for collaboration, we will purchase 12 robots, allowing them to work in groups of 2-3. To provide students with opportunities for self-paced, independent learning, we will purchase an annual subscription to Wonder Workshop’s Class Connect platform, which provides student’s with an onscreen virtual robot to program. We will use the Class Connect platform to track student progress through standards-aligned coding puzzles so that we can report back on exactly which standards were met.

Required Materials as Outlined Above:

1 Teacher Success Pack for 35 students/1 Teacher – $395

(Includes Standards-Aligned Curriculum, Professional Development Course, Virtual Robot, Progress Tracking)

2 Dash 6 Packs – $995 each, for a total of $1,990

Total grant request = $2,385

Sample Timeline & Measurement

Because Wonder Workshop’s Learn to Code Curriculum provides activities that can last through the full school year, we plan to set aside time for coding with Dash three 2-3 per month for the entire school year.

The year will culminate in a final project-based learning assignment where students will work in teams to complete a more open-ended challenge. We will choose a Mission or series of Missions from Wonder Workshop’s collection of mission-based challenges. We will then be able to assess student progress, using a rubric that measures for the key skills we have been building: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity, and of course, coding!

Additional Information & Other Sources of Funding

In this section, you can describe your specific school setting, any particular funding challenges your school faces, and any other ways that you have raised funds. 

Sample Grant Proposal #2
Goal: Fund Our After-School or Summer Coding Programs

US Department of Education: Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers 

This Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. The program helps students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

Sample Description of Problems and Goals

Our goal is to provide opportunities for after-school academic enrichment, particularly for students who attend low-performing schools. This specific program is designed to meet State and local academic achievement standards in core academic subjects, such as mathematics, and to provide activities that reinforce 21st-century skills and provide valuable technology education experiences.

We are seeking funds to support our after-school STEM program that provides students with programs to learn coding and robotics and tackle real-world, project-based challenges that are fun, engaging, and help them develop skills in collaboration and creativity. In addition to learning STEM skills, we will be providing activities that bolster math literacy and are aligned to core math standards.

We need funds to purchase the robots, curriculum, and software that will form the basis for the program. 

 

Sample Steps for Implementation, Required Tools, and Budget

Steps for Implementation:

1. Identify Sites and Staffing

We have identified 20 sites around the district where this after-school program will be implemented and 20 educators who will deliver the programming to students. Each site will have the capacity to serve 20 students with a coding and robotics program that teaches coding, problem-solving, teamwork, and even bolsters math fluency. Purchasing a Dash 6 Pack for each site will ensure that students can work in groups of 3. The Wonder Workshop program includes access to a virtual robot, so students will be able to work through the coding puzzles and math activities independently as well as in small groups

2. Purchase (20) Dash 6-Packs

Included in the Dash 6 Packs are:

6 Dash Robots

12 Building Brick Connectors

12-month Class Connect Subscriptions – each after-school site will have access to:

Progress tracking for 1 teacher and up to 20 students through standards-aligned coding puzzles

Progress tracking for 1 teacher and up to 20 students through 60 standards-aligned math activities

Online course, Introduction to Coding and Robotics with Dash & Dot, a 15-hour online course, designed for elementary school teachers to provide a broad understanding of how to teach coding and robotics at the elementary level.

3. Purchase (20) Curriculum Guides + Learn to Code Challenge Card Box Sets

This pack was designed to provide everything we need to get started with the award-winning Dash & Dot Robots. From how to use Dash & Dot, to implementing the K-5 Learn to Code curriculum, this pack provides project-based assessment strategies and cross-curricular extensions. Included in this pack are Learn to Code Challenge Cards and the Learn to Code Curriculum Guide that follows a scope and sequence aligned to Code.org’s Computer Science Fundamental series covering the six fundamental coding concepts: sequences, loops, events, conditionals, functions, and variables across six coding levels.

This $99 pack includes:

1 Spiral-Bound Curriculum Guide (ISBN 978-0-9989850-1-5)

1 Learn to Code Challenge Cards (ISBN 978-0-9989850-0-8)

4. Purchase 3 Chromebooks and 6 iPads for each site (20 sets)

Each Dash robot will be controlled by students using an iPad. Coding puzzles and math activities for students to work through are available on both iOS and Chrome devices. Chromebooks will give additional students access to Wonder Workshop’s virtual robot, so that they can work independently as needed.

(6) iPads for each site at $320 each = $1,920 x 20 sites = $38,400

(2) Acer Chromebook Spin 512 R852TN – 12″ Chromebooks for each site at $450 each = $900 x 20 sites = $18,000

Required Materials as Outlined Above:

20 Dash 6 Packs – $995 each, for a total of $19,900

20 Learn to Code Challenge Cards + Curriculum Guide – $99 each, for a total of $1,980

iPads for all 20 sites = $38,400

Acer Chromebooks for all 20 sites = $18,000

Total grant request for learning materials = $78,280

Sample Timeline & Measurement

Wonder Workshop’s Learn to Code Curriculum, Coding Puzzles, and Math Activities provide content for our after-school program for the entire school year.

We will be able to start the after-school program at the beginning of the school year.

After-school program teachers will access Wonder Workshop’s online professional development course before the start of the school year to learn how to get started and get set up. They will have ongoing access to additional support materials and the Wonder Workshop learning community to support them as they support students in this important STEM-learning endeavor.

 

Additional Information & Other Sources of Funding

In this section, you can describe your specific after-school program setting and goals, any particular funding challenges your district faces, and any other ways that you have raised funds.

Sample Grant Proposal #3
Goal: Fund STEM Learning at the District Level

Possible Sources of Funding

There are several Federal programs, administered by States, that could be used to fund computer science initiatives that feature coding and robotics lessons for students as well as professional development for teachers:

Pandemic Relief Funds: ESSER II, ESSER III

Title I A: Improving Basic Programs

Title II A: Supporting Effective Instruction

Title IV A: Student Support & Academic Enrichment

Description of Problems and Goals

X% of the students in our district are identified as low-income and it is our goal that all children meet challenging academic standards. In order to increase the quantity and quality of STEAM learning opportunities for students in our district, and to build the confidence and competence of staff facilitating STEAM lessons, we are seeking funds to purchase hardware (robots), software (apps), curriculum (digital), and professional development (online and in-person), that will facilitate standards-aligned coding and robotics education for all of the 3rd graders in the district. There are currently 3,100 students in the 3rd grade and 103 3rd-grade teachers.

The goal of this coding and robotics program we will be to mitigate the learning loss that took place during the pandemic and insure that our students have access to the STEM learning they need to thrive in the 21st-century.

Steps for Implementation, Required Tools, and Budget

Steps for Implementation:

1. Scope

Implement a year-long coding and robotics program in every 3rd grade classroom that spans the school year and covers code.org’s Computer Science Fundamentals standards, Levels A – D.

2. Purchase (103) Dash School Packs

Each School Pack includes:

6 Dash robots

1 Dot robot

3 Gripper Building Kits

Learn to Code Challenge Cards Box Sets

Learn to Code Curriculum Guide

1-teacher/35-student access to Class Connect

Included in each Class Connect subscription

Virtual Dash robot for 1:1 coding in a rich 3D environment (iPads or Chromebooks).

35 student accounts so kids can share devices while preserving their own code as they work through puzzles and activities

60 standards-aligned Math activities

Progress tracking and classroom management for the teacher

Cross Curricular Lesson Library

Lessons, filterable by subject and grade-level

Online Course 

Enrollment for 1 teacher in an online professional development mini-course, “Getting Started with Dash & Dot”

Wonder League Robotics Competition

Full access to the missions and resources for the competition

Required Materials as Outlined Above:

Total grant request for learning materials = $153,985

Timeline & Measurement

Teachers will take Wonder Workshop’s online professional development course before the start of the school year to learn how to get started and get set up. They will have ongoing access to additional support materials and the Wonder Workshop learning community throughout the school year as they implement this program.

Teachers will use the Class Connect admin dashboard to assign coding puzzles to students as well as delivering lessons from the Learn to Code Curriculum aligned to code.org’s Computer Fundamentals standards. To enhance learning in core subject areas like, math, student work in March and April of the school year will culminate in completing the 20 standards-aligned, 3rd grade Math Activities. These activities will bolster math fluency while also testing student understanding of the coding concepts they have learned throughout the year.

Using the tracking dashboard in Class Connect, teachers will be able to report on student achievement in the coding puzzles and the standards-aligned math activities. 

 

Additional Information & Other Sources of Funding

In this section, you can describe your specific after-school program setting and goals, any particular funding challenges your district faces, and any other ways that you have raised funds.

Need additional assistance finding or applying for a grant? Let our team help! Email us today.

Robots

Curriculum

Apps

Professional Development

Robotics Competition

Educator Community