A Guide to Finding Funding
Space Explorers is committed to making our space science curriculum part of every classroom. The challenge with that goal is not every school has the funding to pay for the full cost of the programs. There are several ways listed below you can use to gain funding to participate in Space Explorers, Inc.'s educational programs:
Thanks to generous sponsors throughout the United States, partial funding is available for schools wishing to participate in Space Explorers programming. Through Space Explorers' unique partnerships with schools, government agencies, and outside organizations, teachers can receive financial support to bring these multidisciplinary activities and curricula into their classrooms. Apply for a matching grant today.
Sponsors and affiliates from across the United States have generously donated their time and resources to help schools join the Space Explorers family. The efforts of these organizations have benefited thousands of classrooms in improving their proficiency in science, math, technology, and reading. Learn more about our sponsors and affiliates.
School District Funds
Talk with the science supervisor or other subject supervisor to determine if any district funds are available to purchase Space Explorers products. Our staff will be happy to assist you by reviewing the programs with a district representative if they have some questions about what the funds would be used for.
Community and Education Foundations
If there is a community or education foundation in your area, you can request a copy of their annual report, and read to find which types of programs they have funded. If you submit a proposal/application, make sure you turn it in well before the deadline because their agendas often fill up quickly. Air Force Association, for example, has provided funding opportunities for many teachers to participate in Space Explorers, Inc.'s educational programming.
Your local library will have foundation directories where you can look up foundations in your state and learn which ones are interested in supporting science, technology, and math. After you narrow your options, begin contacting the individual foundations and ask to speak to a program officer or the person who manages the application process. As you speak to that person, explain your situation and ask for an honest assessment of their interest before submitting an application or proposal to them.
Companies ranging from banks to restaurants often give out grants in exchange for public recognition of their giving. To make a request, many corporations have an application of some kind to submit. A face to face presentation or writing a letter with that application can increase your chances of gaining their support.
Many teachers have found success by presenting Space Explorers' products to parents. Sharing your ideas for how you plan on using the product can get the parents excited and often increases your chances a PTA, or similar organization, will help support the program.
Active chapters in organizations such as Kiwanis, Junior League, Rotary, etc. can be excellent funding sources. If any parents in your school or members of your school board are members, your chances of receiving funding are very good if you work through them to make a request.
Students selling candy, magazines, wrapping paper, etc. can generate a lot of community support to obtain the necessary funding and get people excited about the Space Explorers, Inc. products you will be using. This also helps get students excited about the program as they raise money to get it into their classroom. There are many vendors out there, so be selective, choose a product line that will provide the most money, and find one you feel comfortable working with.
For example, the Wisconsin Bright Idea Fundraiser provides your school or organization with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Energy Star qualified compact flourescent light bulbs.
Congress has implemented several programs that provide funding for innovative teaching programs that increase the science and math knowledge of American students. The following websites contain more information and applications for their funding:
One effective way to get assistance is to draft a letter to your state representative and receive your superintendent's approval to have him/her sign it. Then persistently contact the legislator's office to see if further information is required, remind them how much you would appreciate some funding, and find out when a decision will be made.
Other Creative Solutions
Talk to parents of your students and let them know you are looking for funding to implement the Space Explorers programming. Many parents are very well connected and can either put you in touch with someone who could fund the program or we have even had some parents pay for the program so their student can participate. Be creative and take advantage of whatever resources you have available to gain assistance to provide your students with Space Explorers outstanding products.