Today I spent some time working on a grant application to begin a mentoring program as part of my school’s Academy of Engineering. Here’s the project description so far:
Patterson High School’s Academy of Engineering (AOE) would like to begin a multi-level mentoring program for our students. We plan to bring in outside engineers from industry to work with our students at every grade level. We’d also like to have several of our seniors and juniors mentor the students just entering our program, at the ninth and tenth grade level. The mentoring setup will include a once-monthly meeting, to include 1 industry mentor, 1 peer-to-peer student mentor, and 6 mentees. The meeting will vary month to month, but will include STEM-themed hands-on activities, discussions of what it takes to succeed in AOE, discussions of what it takes to succeed beyond high school in the engineering field, tips for college applications, advice on student innovative projects, and a luncheon / awards ceremony.
Any advice, things to add, things to change?
With budgets being cut more and more each year, it seems like grant writing is becoming a bigger and bigger part of my life. Last year I applied (either individually or with another teacher) for four grants: PLTW Innova Grant, NACME STEM Innovation Grant, AIAA Educator Grant, and SME-EF CIM Upgrade Grant. We received funds from the latter three, which helped pay for a bus, supplies for STEM Competitions, a rocket launcher, and upgrades to new equipment for my CIM course.
Still, even with these grants, we are working with a smaller budget than ever before. With declining enrollment at the school (though the engineering program is still growing), and education cuts across the board due to the economy, we have less money budgeted to support our programs than years prior. And, so, we’re looking for grants to apply for, like the one above. Any great ones out there that I should know about?
Speaking of fundraising and grants for classroom projects, there are only three days left to donate to my Mustaches For Kids Donors Choose page. On it, I’ve selected several grant proposals from my school and from other Baltimore City Schools that I think are important and worthwhile. The fundraising drive ends with the month of November. Please give today, whether it’s $5 or $25, to support my mustache and our kids’ education.