Events and Competitions
2020 Green Schools Conference and Expo
The eleventh annual Green Schools Conference and Expo will be held at the Hilton Portland Downtown in Portland, Oregon, March 2 – 4, 2020. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from and network with educational leaders, green building professionals, nonprofit partners, and others who are passionate about the future of green schools.
Registration for the conference is now open. Both full and daily passes are available. Register before December 20, 2019 to save with early bird rates. Special room discounts are also available at the Hilton Portland Downtown until February 17, 2020.
Five tracks of programming will be offered at the 2020 conference. Learn more about each track and view the full line-up of education sessions.
2019 Place-Based Education Conference
Hosted by the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, this national, three-day conference is designed to inspire and support a community of educators around the power of place-based learning. The 2019 conference will take place November 7 – 9, 2019 in Flint, Michigan and will focus on the theme of Building Strong and Transformative Communities Together.
The sixth annual national Carton 2 Garden Contest, sponsored by Evergreen Packaging, is now accepting registrations! Open to public and private schools, contest winners will be selected based on their implementation of an innovative garden creation featuring creative and sustainable uses for repurposed milk and juice cartons. Your school can get started by collecting at least 100 empty cartons from your home, community, or cafeteria.
Fifteen entries will be selected to receive award packages for their efforts. Entries are due by April 1, 2020 by Midnight PST.
Celebrate National Farm to School Month in October
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate connections happening all over the country between schools, food, and local farmers! Farm to school enriches the connections communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. Farm to school is reaching millions of students in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and U.S. territories. This October, get involved, be inspired, and take action to advance farm to school in your community and across the country. Learn more about National Farm to School Month, find ways to get involved, and explore resources for celebrating by visiting the National Farm to School Network’s website at farmtoschool.org.
Chesapeake Region Greening School Food Forum and Festival
November 8, 2019
8:30am – 4:30pm
Thomas Edison High School of Technology, Silver Spring, Maryland
The fourth in a series of regional forums around the country, this dynamic event focuses on healthy, climate-friendly school food service. During the forum, participants will have opportunities to cultivate new relationships and learn from school food leaders across the region about how they have employed cost-effective approaches to implement healthy, plant-forward menus, reduce food waste, and increase student participation and engagement. The event also includes a festival where students and their families can cook with a professional chef, attend health and wellness workshops, and sample creations from chef-led student participants. The festival will feature local producers who will be able to network and offer product samples to regional food service directors and families.
Future City is a project-based learning program where sixth- through eighth-grade students image, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. The 2019 – 2020 theme is Clean Water: Tap into Tomorrow. Teams will choose a threat to their city’s water supply and design a resilient system to maintain a reliable supply of clean drinking water.
Participants complete five deliverables: a virtual city design using SimCity; a 1,500-word essay; a scale model; a project plan; and a presentation to judges at Regional Competitions in January 2020. Regional winners represent their region at the Finals in Washington D.C. in February 2020.
Registration for the 2019 – 2020 competition closes on October 31, 2019.
Girls Who Code Informational Webinars
Girls Who Code is leading the movement to close the gender gap in technology through introducing girls to computer science and coding. One way the organization does this is through after school clubs for girls in grades 3 – 5 and grades 6 – 12. If you are interested in starting a club at your school, you can attend one of several Girls Who Code Informational Webinars that are held each month. Register here to attend a webinar and apply for a free club at your school.
Upcoming webinar dates and times include:
Wednesday, November 6th: 4:00 – 4:30PM ET
Tuesday, November 12th: 7:00 – 7:30PM ET
Thursday, November 21st: 10:00 – 10:30AM ET
Tuesday, November 26th: 11:00am – 11:30AM ET
Green Clean Schools ISSA/INTERCLEAN Educational Facilities Track
November 18 – 19, 2019
Las Vegas, Nevada
This two-day program provides facility directors at schools and universities and their teams with the knowledge and tools necessary to support healthier, safer cleaning programs that promote learning. Attendees will participate in immersive, interactive workshops and panel discussions followed by networking opportunities and exclusive access to ISSA’s New Attendee Breakfast and trade show floor orientation session.
Inspired by Nature: Enhancing STEM with Biomimicry Design Challenges
December 8, 2019
Library of the Canyons, Anaheim, California
The Biomimicry Institute, Bioneers, and Ten Strands are excited to offer this professional development training to educators interested in the intersection of environmental education and sustainable design. This workshop for middle and high school teachers (grades 6 – 12) will demonstrate how educators can use biomimicry as a framework to engage students in standards-aligned STEAM content while enhancing 21st century skills. The training is offered as part of the Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge, a free project-based learning program and design competition hosted annually by the Biomimicry Institute.
National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
The 10th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference will be held April 20 – 24, 2020 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hosted by the National Farm to School Network, this biennial event convenes stakeholders engaged in farm to cafeteria activities who are working to source local food and promote a culture of food and agricultural literacy across the country. Conference registration will open in January 2020.
Outdoor Classroom Day is a global campaign to celebrate and inspire outdoor learning and play. On this day, thousands of schools around the world take lessons outdoors and prioritize playtime. Over 3.5 million children participated in 2018. This year, Outdoor Classroom Day will be held on November 7, 2019. To participate, visit the website, sign up, and check out the online resources for activities, lesson ideas, and materials to inspire your Outdoor Classroom Day.
The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is an annual competition that provides high school students, grades 9-12, the opportunity to work on real-world engineering challenges in a team environment. Each year, student teams address a challenge that confronts our nation’s leading industries. Students utilize professional engineering software to develop their solutions and generate presentations that convincingly demonstrate the value of their solutions. RWDC provides students with opportunities to apply classroom lessons to the technical problems that are being faced in the workplace.
Registration is open until November 22, 2019. Students on the national winning team will receive $50,000 scholarships from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Students in grades K-12 are invited to participate in a national
recycling awareness contest sponsored by the Institute of Scrap Recycling
Industries (ISRI) and JASON Learning. The theme of this year’s contest is
Recycling: Then, Now, and into the Future.
The challenge: create an original video or poster that imagines what recycling will look like in 50, 75, or even 100 years from now by designing a solution to a current problem in recycling today. Students can enter as individuals or as a team of up to four individuals. One video and one poster will be selected as a finalist from each of three grade bands: K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Up to two grand-prize winners will be selected. Grand-prize winners will receive a trip for one team representative and a parent/guardian chaperone to ISRI’s Annual Convention and Expo to be held April 27 – 30, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Entries are due December 20, 2019.
Safe Routes to School National Conference
Registration is open for the 2019 Safe Routes to School National Conference, to be held at the Hilton Tampa Downtown from November 12 – 14, 2019. Join hundreds of active transportation and public health advocates and practitioners from across the country for valuable networking, sharing best practices, and exploring one of Florida’s most vibrant and active cities.
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest
This nationwide contest challenges public school teachers and students in grades 6 – 12 to apply STEM project-based learning to improve their local communities. Ten finalists will be selected to attend a pitch event to demo their prototypes in front of a live panel of judges in New York City in April 2020. Three national winners will be invited to attend the final event in Washington D.C. in May 2020 and will receive $100,000 in Samsung technology and classroom resources. The deadline to enter is November 13, 2019.
‘See a Bloom, Give it Room’ High School Video Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the ‘See a Bloom, Give it Room’ video challenge to promote public awareness of harmful algal blooms through creative problem solving. The contest is open to high school students or teams (grades 9 – 12) in EPA Regions 7 and 8: Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. This includes students in public, private, and tribal high schools, and home school programs. Students are asked to create public safety videos (under two minutes in length) that explain how to spot harmful algal blooms and how people and their pets should be safe around them. A winner from each state, along with two regional tribal winners, will be selected by judging panels to each receive a $2,000 cash prize. Two grand prize winners will also be selected to receive $4,000 each. Winning videos will be highlighted at the EPA Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Conference in February; featured on EPA web and social media channels; and used by the Agency and its state environmental partners in HAB safety outreach efforts. Submissions are due by 11:00pm ET on January 3, 2020.
USGBC Colorado Green Schools Summit
The USGBC Green Schools Summit is the Mountain Region’s only conference dedicated to convening green building industry professionals, school decision-makers, educators, and parents to further advance healthy, safe, and sustainable schools. The 2019 summit will take place November 7 – 8 in Arvada, Colorado at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. The summit will address the risks of the looming climate crisis as they relate to students and offer solutions.
Professional Development and GSNN PD Partner Resources
Captain Planet Foundation supports educators with grants, resources, tools, and models to spark children’s curiosity, cultivate a love of nature, and engage students in science and engineering practices to solve real-world problems. Our programs and materials have co-evolved with education priorities over the years to ensure educators have the tools and strategies to meet their needs in and out of the classroom.
The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education
The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education works with schools and school districts to help them integrate Education for Sustainability (EfS) into their curriculum. Core services include consulting and leadership development (on-site and off-site); professional development and faculty coaching; curriculum design, assessment, mapping, and alignment; and school and community partnerships. The Cloud Institute holds an annual Summer Design Studio that enables educators, administrators, and program designers to learn how to design and embed EfS into curriculum, assessments, and programs.
Community Works Institute (CWI) directly supports K-16 educators and schools in making their local community the focus and context for powerful student learning experiences. CWI’s work with educators is focused on using the local community as the classroom through the lens of place-based service-learning, sustainability, and social justice. CWI particularly emphasizes student voice and reciprocity in its program design work. Since 1995, CWI has provided powerful on-site support and professional development for educators around the globe, including its acclaimed annual Summer Institutes in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. CWI’s Summer Institutes are the longest running professional development events of their kind. CWI also provides resources for educators, including its digital magazine Community Works Journal.
Early bird and team rates are available for all Institutes. Scholarship support is available on a need basis. Please see CWI’s website for additional information.
The NEXT Institute: From Classroom to Community, Moving Toward Social Justice – An Experiential Approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Saturday, November 9, 2019, 8:30am – 4pm
Brooklyn, New York
CWI’s 2020 Institute SOUTH America on Place Based Service-Learning, Sustainability, and Social Justice
January 13 – 17, 2020
Lima, Peru (in partnership with Otis College of Art and Design)
CWI’s 2020 Summer EAST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning, Sustainability, and Social Justice
June 22 – 26, 2020
Brooklyn, New York (in partnership with Berkeley Carroll School and Otis College of Art and Design)
CWI’s 2020 Summer WEST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning, Sustainability, and Social Justice
July 27 – 31, 2020
Los Angeles, California (in partnership with Otis College of Art and Design)
EcoRise’s school-based program empowers youth to tackle real-world challenges in their schools and communities by teaching sustainability, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship. Our curriculum, classroom grants, ongoing training, and support engages educators and students in meaningful learning experiences. Our program empowers teachers to confidently champion sustainability and innovation in their classrooms, while students cultivate 21st century skills and sustainable living practices.
Facing the Future is an international program, based out of Western Washington University, creating tools for educators that equip and motivate students to develop critical thinking skills, build global awareness, and engage in positive solutions for a sustainable future. The curriculum is organized around eight sustainability big ideas: Connecting with Nature; Equity and Justice; Health and Resiliency; Interconnectedness; Local to Global; Peace and Collaboration; Respect for Limits; and Universal Responsibility.
Facing the Future curriculum materials and resources are available for K-12 teachers, teachers in colleges of education, and for some community college and undergraduate classes. All materials are developed for teachers, by teachers, with best teaching and learning practices in mind and are aligned with Common Core Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and most state standards frameworks.
The Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Program
The Fulbright Leaders for Global Schools Program will send cohorts of K-12 school and district administrators to Finland and Singapore for an intensive program (approximately 10 days in length) to learn about best educational practices to enhance student learning and develop 21st century skills. In Spring 2020, 10 administrators will have the opportunity to travel to Finland and five administrators will have the opportunity to travel to Singapore. A second cohort to Singapore will be selected for travel in Spring 2021. Visit the website to learn more about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and the application process.
Green Apple Day of Service gives parents, teachers, students, companies, and local organizations the opportunity to transform all schools into healthy, safe, and productive learning environments through local service projects. Check out project ideas, pick up helpful event resources, and register your project online. Register by December 31, 2019 to be eligible for the 2020 Green Apple Awards.
Green Strides Webinar Series Calendar
The Green Strides Webinar Series provides school communities with the tools they need to reduce their schools’ environmental impact and costs; improve health and wellness; and teach effective environmental education. It provides all schools access to the resources that help them move toward the Pillars of the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognition award. Sign up for Green Strides Webinar Series email updates to receive information on future webinars.
Elementary School Projects with an International Reach
Wednesday, October 30, 7:30 – 8:30 pm EST
Lisa Anderson routinely gets her primary school students to think beyond their immediate bubble through lessons and projects that highlight the full stories of how we get food and other everyday products. In this webinar, she shares her insights about how to make these explorations particularly meaningful and how to bring environmental stewardship into the formal education setting, from pre-kindergarten to grade eight.
Using Geocaching and Orienteering as Engaging Learning Tools
Wednesday, November 13, 7:30 – 8:30 pm EST
If students are asking to stay outside even during inclement weather, your lesson is making an impact. It’s especially rewarding when this lesson requires students to use critical thinking and transferable practical skills. See how Becky Lewis is augmenting her teaching by using geocaching and orienteering.
Conservation through the Lens of Religion
Wednesday, November 20, 7:30 – 8:30 pm EST
Join Carissa McKinney in this deep dive into the fascinating connections between select religions and conservation education. Many of the overlaps can form the basis of hands-on lessons in the science classroom and beyond.
Knowles Teaching Fellows Program
The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation was established in 1999 to increase the number of high-quality high school science and mathematics teachers with the ultimate goal of improving STEM education in the United States. The Knowles Teaching Fellows Program, the Foundation’s signature program, one of the most comprehensive fellowship programs in the nation for mathematics and science teachers starting their first or second year of teaching. During the five-year program, Fellows receive professional development from experienced educators and financial support for professional development, classroom materials, and more. Applications for 2020 Teaching Fellowships are due December 1, 2019 at 11:59pm PST.
A product of the U.S. Green Building Council’s The Center for Green Schools, Learning Lab provides K-12 teachers and school leaders with comprehensive, project- and STEM-based curriculum that encourages student leadership, environmental literacy, and real-world action. Discover best-in-class content, training, and tools. Access their curated catalogue of lesson plans, interactive projects, assessment opportunities, and other multimedia resources in English and Spanish. Lessons are mapped to meet current educational standards and were created by educators, for educators.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Teacher at Sea Program provides teachers with hands-on, real-world research experience working at sea with world-renowned NOAA scientists, thereby giving them unique insight into oceanic and atmospheric research crucial to the nation. The program provides a unique opportunity for kindergarten through college-level teachers to sail aboard NOAA research ships to work under the tutelage of scientists and crew.
Since its inception in 1990, NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program has enabled nearly 700 teachers to gain first-hand experience of science and life at sea. By participating in this program, teachers profoundly enrich their classroom curricula, enhance their approaches to teaching science, and engage their local community with knowledge that can only be gained by living and working side-by-side, day and night, with scientists who contribute to the world’s oceanic and atmospheric scientific research.
The online application for the 2020 season will open on November 1. The deadline to submit applications is November 30, 2019.
Ocean Exploration Trust Science Communication Fellowship
The Ocean Exploration Trust’s Science Communication Fellowship Program immerses formal and non-formal educators in the Nautilus Corps of Exploration and empowers them to bring ocean exploration – specifically in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) – to a global audience via the Nautilus Live website. Science Communication Fellows bring their expedition experience back to their own classrooms, organizations, and communities in the form of engaging lesson plans and activities centered around their time at sea aboard Nautilus and other vessels. Applications are due January 10, 2020.
Shelburne Farms is a nonprofit organization educating for a sustainable future. That means learning that links knowledge, inquiry, and action to help students build a healthy future for their communities and the planet. Its home campus is a 1,400-acre working farm, forest, and National Historic Landmark. Shelburne Farms’ school programs staff support student learning and educator professional development by offering experiences that inspire deep connections to community and a commitment to a healthy future.
Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI) is a nonprofit that builds leaders to drive climate solutions. For over 20 years, SEI’s focus has been on building capacity to create sustainable communities through scalable programs and models. Its flagship programs (Energize Schools, Energize Colleges, School of Environmental Leadership, and Climate Corps) integrate climate education, training, and career development. From young students to emerging professionals to communities, SEI programs engage local talent to directly address their community’s sustainability goals by leading projects with measurable environmental, economic, and social benefits.
Susan Santone is an internationally recognized educator with over 20 years of experience in curriculum reform, educational policy, and sustainability. Through her nonprofit Creative Change Educational Solutions, Susan has led teacher education and curriculum reform initiatives with clients ranging from K-12 districts to universities to the United Nations. Susan offers facilitator training to prepare school and university teams to lead professional development in their own settings; leadership development and strategic communication to advance understanding of sustainability and social justice, and consultation services for schools, universities, and other entities.
Learn more about these services and upcoming events.
Learn more about online courses that Susan has developed in partnership with Kappa Delta Pi: Introduction to Sustainability and Introduction to Social Justice.
Teach Earth Fellowship from Earthwatch Institute
Teach Earth is built upon the principle that every individual can contribute to a sustainable planet, regardless of scientific background or skill. Each year, Earthwatch Institute selects talented teachers from all subject areas to participate in a 7-14 day immersive learning experience, working side-by-side with world-class scientists on field research expeditions around the world. From the edge of the Arctic to the coast of Maine, these teachers collect data on climate change, ecology, wildlife, and more. Teachers have an opportunity to learn the scientific process first-hand and help to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Teachers return to the classroom with new perspectives and knowledge, invigorated and inspired to share the experience of real discovery with their students.
Visit Earthwatch’s Institute website to learn more about qualifications and award details and to fill out an interest form. 2020 Fellowship Applications are due January 10, 2020.
Teaching Our Cities Practice Toolkits
Teaching Our Cities, a project of Common Ground, is creating a collection of toolkits that share best practices that are working at partner schools. Toolkits include videos, blog-style reflections, resources, and practice descriptions. Current toolkits cover teaching a sense of place, learning expeditions, green exhibitions, environmental leadership portfolios, and magnet theme days.
Teaching Biomimicry in the Classroom Related Resources
Biomimicry and Science: Applying Nature’s Strategies
Co-authored by the Biomimicry Institute and EcoRise Youth Innovations, Biomimicry and Science: Applying Nature’s Strategies introduces students to eco-literacy and design innovation concepts through project-based learning methodologies and by emphasizing real-world applications. At a time when we need sustainable solutions to solve many pressing local and global challenges, researchers are finding that solutions to many of these problems already exist in nature. Biomimicry is the practice of looking to nature for strategies to solve human challenges. This course for grades 9 – 12 reinforces core content in chemistry, physics, and biology, using striking examples from nature and bio-inspired design as a framework to capture student interest. The curriculum is aligned to Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
The Biomimicry Institute is the world’s leading nonprofit dedicated to innovation inspired by nature. Biomimicry offers an exciting project-based approach that helps teachers blend STEM and environmental education in creative, hands-on lessons students love. The Biomimicry Institute helps educators and organizations bring biomimicry into their teaching by providing curriculum and training, networking opportunities, and content development support. Learn more about our services and visit the online library, AskNature, for the resources and information you need to bring biomimicry into your teaching practice.
Biomimicry in Youth Education: A Resource Toolkit for K-12 Educators
Biomimicry in Youth Education: A Resource Toolkit for K-12 Educators is a digital flipbook indexing over 80 biomimicry education resources, selected to assist teachers working with students from kindergarten through high school. The collection includes quality lesson plans, curricular units, digital media, and more, gleaned from a broad survey of available materials. For educators new to the subject of biomimicry, the toolkit also offers a thorough introductory section that contains an orientation to biomimicry core concepts and suggested strategies for communicating those ideas to students (the introductory content from this publication was updated and enhanced in a newer resource, Sharing Biomimicry with Young People – see below). Note: you will need to sign up for a free account with Ask Nature to download this resource.
Biomimicry Resource Handbook: A Seed Bank of Best Practices
The Biomimicry Resource Handbook: A Seed Bank
of Best Practices contains
over 250 pages of our most current biomimicry thinking, methodology, and tools
for naturalizing biomimicry into the culture. We believe there is no better
design partner than nature. But biomimicry is more than just looking at the
shape of a flower or dragonfly and becoming newly inspired; it’s a methodology
that’s being used by some of the biggest companies and innovative universities
in the world. While reading this text you’ll be immersed into the world of
Biomimicry the “verb,” you’ll gain a competitive edge, and a fresh perspective
on how the world around us can, does, and should work. After reading the text,
you’ll be well on your way to thinking in systems, designing in context,
identifying patterns, and most importantly seeing the millions of organisms
The text is directly applicable to designers, biologists, engineers, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, but has also proven valuable to students, educators, and a wide variety of other disciplines.
Developed by the Biomimicry Institute, this toolbox provides an orientation to biomimicry and introduces a set of tools and core concepts that can help problem-solvers from any discipline begin to incorporate insights from nature into their solutions. The toolbox was assembled to support individuals and teams participating in design challenges organized by the Biomimicry Institute and/or their affiliates but can be used to support classroom lessons as well.
Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge
The Biomimicry Youth Design Challenge (YDC) is a free, hands-on, project-based learning experience that provides classroom and informal educators with a framework to introduce biomimicry as an engineering design strategy, to integrate relevant purposeful STEM experiences, and to provide engaging instruction aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. Working in teams with an adult coach, middle and high school students design bio-inspired solutions to address a local sustainability problem that affects the global climate. Registration for the 2019 – 2020 Challenge opens on November 1.
Engineering Inspired by Nature
Engineering Inspired by Nature is an award-winning, standards-aligned engineering curriculum that teaches students a broad range of engineering topics and skills through a nature-inspired approach. Two versions are available: one for grades 3 – 6 students and one for middle/high school students. The curriculum was developed by the Center for Learning with Nature and is available for free for individual public school teachers.
Sharing Biomimicry with Young People
This publication was created by the Biomimicry Institute to help K-12 educators establish a general foundation in biomimicry and provide ideas for introducing this way of thinking and problem-solving to their students. It includes an introduction to the “what” and “why” of biomimicry, a section on core concepts, and suggestions and resources for introducing these core concepts to K-12 students. Note: you will need to sign up for a free account with Ask Nature to download this resource.
Grants and Awards
2020 KidsGardening Youth Garden Grants
The 2020 KidsGardening Youth Garden Grant is designed to support school and youth educational garden projects that enhance the quality of life for students and their communities. Any nonprofit organization, public or private school, or youth program in the United States or U.S. Territories planning a new garden program or expanding an established one that serves at least 15 youth between the ages of 3 and 18 is eligible to apply. Twenty-five programs will be awarded grant packages. Winners are selected based on demonstrated program impact and sustainability. Applications are due by December 16, 2019.
Annie’s offers Grants for Gardens donations to schools and other educational programs that help build school gardens. The Fall 2019 application period is open through November 1, 2019. Learn more about eligibility requirements, funding, and how to apply on Annie’s website.
Captain Planet Foundation ecoSolution Grants
The Captain Planet Foundation’s ecoSolution Grants (previously called “Small Grants”) have been the defining basis of the organization’s work over the last 25 years. The Foundation has funded over 2,100 projects that have impacted 1.2 million youth around the world – actively fulfilling its mission to build the next generation of environmental stewards and change agents.
ecoSolution Grants range from $500 – $2,500 and are intended to support solution-oriented, youth-led projects that result in real environmental outcomes. Visit the website to learn more about eligibility and restrictions and to fill out an application. The deadline to submit applications for the current grant cycle is January 15, 2020.
Captain Planet Foundation ecoTECH Grants
Originally developed in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and with ongoing support from Voya Financial, ecoTech Grants are specifically offered to engage children in inquiry-based, STEM-related projects that leverage technology and/or use nature-based design to address environmental problems in local communities. ecoTech Grants were created to combat the notion that students needed to choose between “the screen” or “the green” and to encourage educators and students to explore the role technology can play in designing and implementing solutions to some of our most pressing environmental challenges. ecoTECH grant projects must:
- Be based in the U.S.
- Integrate the use of technology to address environmental problems (not iPads or other tablets)
- Be project-based
- Be youth-led
- Result in real, demonstrable environmental outcomes
ecoTECH grants are available as cash grants of up to $2,500 and support the purchase of materials and other project implementation expenses. The deadline to submit applications for the current grant cycle is January 15, 2020.
GetEdFunding is a curated collection of grants and awards created by education professionals for education professionals. Its database was designed to be easy-to-use and reliable, and all grant and funding opportunities are updated daily. Users can search by six criteria, including 43 areas of focus, 8 content areas, and 14 twenty-first century themes and skills, including environmental literacy. Once registered on the site, users can save grants of interest and return to them at any time.
Fund for Teachers provides educators the resources and funding they need to pursue self-designed professional learning experiences. Fund for Teachers grant awards support a variety of projects, all designed to create enhanced learning environments for teachers, their students, and school communities. Since 2001, Fund for Teachers has invested $32 million in nearly 8,500 teachers. Applications for 2020 are being accepted through January 31, 2020. Learn more about the application process and what current and past fellows have accomplished.
FY 2020 Farm to School Grant Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will award up to $10 million in competitive grants to eligible entities through the Farm to School Grant Program in fiscal year (FY) 2020. Each grant helps implement Farm to School programs that increase access to local food in eligible schools, providing students with quality meals at a reasonable cost while also supporting local producers. In FY 2019, USDA awarded 126 grants across the United States.
The 2020 Request for Applications includes three tracks—Implementation, Planning, and State Agency. Each track provides funding for a specific range of activities:
- Implementation grants are intended to help schools, school districts, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, small- and medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- and medium-sized agricultural producers, and nonprofit entities working with schools or school districts to scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives. Implementation awards range from $50,000 – $100,000.
- Planning grants are for schools or school districts, state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, small- and medium-sized agricultural producers or groups of small- and medium-sized agricultural producers, and nonprofit entities working with schools or school districts that are just getting started on farm to school activities. These funds are intended to help these entities organize and structure their efforts for maximum impact by embedding known best practices into early design considerations. Planning awards range from $20,000 – $50,000.
- State Agency grants help state agencies seeking to improve access to local food served in eligible Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) by incorporating local procurement and agricultural education activities. Eligible state agencies include any state level agency working to promote farm to CNP activities, such as State Departments of Education, Health, or Agriculture. State Agency awards range from $50,000 – $100,000.
Deadline for application submissions is December 13, 2019.
NSTA’s Shell Science Lab Program
Shell and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) have partnered to recognize outstanding middle and high school programs for their exemplary approaches to science lab instruction utilizing limited school and laboratory resources. The Shell Science Lab Challenge showcases the work of teachers who submit innovative, replicable strategies to deliver quality lab experiences with limited equipment/resources, and award teachers/schools with additional tools, resources, and rich professional development opportunities needed to support high-quality science teaching and strengthen their existing capabilities. To be eligible:
- Applicants may be individual teachers or teams of teachers of science in grades 6-12, in the United States and Canada, representing their schools.
- A teacher is limited to one application per year (whether submitting as an individual or team applicant).
- A school may submit an unlimited number of applications.
Shell Science Lab Challenge national winners will be honored during a black-tie dinner gala at the NSTA National Conference on Science Education. The grand-prize winner will receive a lab makeover support package valued at $20,000.
Applications are due by Midnight EST on January 15, 2020 via online submission.
Salad Bars to Schools launched in 2010 with the mission of donating salad bars to U.S. schools so that every child has daily access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Any district or independent school participating in the National School Lunch Program is invited to apply. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Visit the website to learn about eligibility, award criteria, and the application process.
The Shell Science Teaching Award
A partnership between Shell Oil Company and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), this award recognizes one outstanding classroom teacher (grades K–12) who has had a positive impact on his or her students, school, and the community through exemplary science teaching. The recipient of the Shell Science Teaching Award will receive $10,000, as well as an all-expense-paid trip (along with the two finalists) to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education. All three will be honored at the Awards Banquet. The recipient will also be recognized at the Teacher Awards Banquet. The 10 semifinalists will receive certificates of distinction. Completed applications must be received by December 18, 2019.
Teaching Tolerance Educator Grants
Teaching Tolerance Educator Grants support educators who embrace and embed anti-bias principles throughout their schools. These grants, ranging from $500 – $10,000, support projects that promote affirming school climates and educate youth to thrive in a diverse democracy. Grants fund projects on three levels: classroom, school, and district. Educators nationwide in public or private K-12 spaces, as well as in alternative schools, therapeutic schools, and juvenile justice facilities, are eligible to apply. Applications for Teaching Tolerance Educator Grants are reviewed on a rolling basis. There is no deadline to apply.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2020 Environmental Education Local Grant Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will award up to $3 million in funding to eligible entities through the 2020 Environmental Education Local Grants Program. This grant program supports locally-focused environmental education projects that increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental and conservation issues and provides the skills that participants in its funded projects need to make informed decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment. EPA will award three to four grants in each of its ten regions, for no less than $50,000 and no more than $100,000 each, for a total of 30-35 grants nationwide. Proposals are due January 6, 2020.
Toshiba America Foundation Grants
K-5 teachers are invited to apply online for a $1,000 Toshiba America Foundation grant to help bring an innovative hands-on project into their classroom. With a Toshiba America Foundation grant, elementary teachers can bring their best new teaching ideas to life.
Grant applications are due on October 1 each year. Grants are also available for teachers in grades 6-12 who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging for their students. Applications for grants less than $5,000 are accepted at any time. For grant requests of more than $5,000, deadlines are May 1 and November 1.
Voya Foundation grants are focused on Financial Resilience. We work to ensure that youth are equipped with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) expertise and financial knowledge necessary to compete in the 21st century workforce and make smart financial decisions that lead to a secure retirement.
We accomplish this by accepting year-round grant applications from organizations that:
- Provide innovative and experiential K-8 STEM learning opportunities to promote an early interest in STEM career fields and improve teachers’ capabilities in STEM; or
- Provide financial education curriculum to grade 9-12 students focused on navigating major financial milestones including student debt, credit, home ownership, financial products and services/financial capability, and family needs.