Toshiba America Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: Toshiba America Foundation supports mathematics and science education in U.S. by providing grants to teachers and teams of teachers who design innovative learning projects for their own students.

IP TAKE: The Toshiba American Foundation supports K-12 education in the U.S. through small grants for innovative teacher-led projects in math and science. This foundation does not fund schools or nonprofit organizations; teachers and teacher teams are encouraged to apply for support through the foundation’s online system.

PROFILE: Founded in 1990 by the Toshiba Corporation and the Toshiba America Group Companies, the New York City-based Toshiba America Foundation prioritizes “helping classroom teachers to make mathematics and science learning fun and successful for students in U.S. school” and funds “the projects, ideas and materials teachers need to innovate in their math and science classrooms.”

Beyond the broad goal of innovation in K-12 math and science education, the Toshiba America Foundation does not outline specific initiatives or areas of interest. It runs separate grantmaking programs for grades K-5 and 6-12 , encouraging projects that appeal to students’ natural curiosity, require critical thinking, and involve the expertise of community partners. A team of elementary school teachers in Minnetrista, Minnesota used a grant to help students build a weather station at their school and use math and science skills to monitor, describe, compare and predict weather conditions in their community. In Seabrook, New Jersey, an advanced placement biology class at Cumberland Regional High School performed gel electrophoresis to separate and analyze fragments of DNA.

Toshiba awards K-5 grants in amounts up to $1,000. For grades 6-12 applicants may apply for grants of up to $5,000 or over $5,000. Applications for K-5 grants are due on the first business day in the month of October, with decisions on grantees made by November 11. For grades 6-12, grant applications for less than $5,000 are accepted on an ongoing basis, and applications for over $5,000 are accepted on May 1 and November 1. Profiles of K-5 and 6-12 grantees are posted on the foundation website. Unlike other foundations, this funder does not support schools or nonprofit organizations, but teachers or teams of teachers who design classroom projects for their own students.

The Toshiba America Foundation’s application process begins with an online questionnaire. Potential applicants are invited to call the foundation to discuss their project and the foundation’s grantmaking guidelines at 212-596-0620.

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