Carnegie Corporation: Grants for Science Education

OVERVIEW: The Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) seeks to affect both the K-12 and higher education systems by making STEM-related disciplines more appealing to all students. It also aims to increase the number of STEM teachers in America's K-12 classrooms.

IP TAKE: Although Carnegie does not have a grantmaking program completely dedicated to STEM education, it is unmistakably a priority. It invests in organizations that view higher education as a means of systemic change in STEM education from childhood on upward. Applicants should keep an eye out for potential revisions to the foundation's K-12 giving, currently under review.

PROFILE: The Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) is one of the largest and oldest foundations in the United States. Founded in 1911 by captain of industry Andrew Carnegie, this foundation remains one of the most known and influential in the country. The corporation prioritizes education and seeks to ensure that all U.S. public education students are equipped with the “knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need to be active participants in a robust democracy and to be successful in the global economy.”

CCNYs annual education grantmaking falls under its Education program. This program has a heavy STEM focus in both K-12 and higher education. Past grantees include public school systems, science teacher associations, policy and advocacy groups, university training and research programs, museums, education nonprofits, and more.

Carnegie also seeks to improve the standards by which students’ progress is assessed. The corporation states that “Fewer, clearer, and higher standards are needed...to ensure that every high school graduate is ready for college and career,” a goal that “requires effective implementation of Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards.”

A significant amount of Carnegie’s STEM funding is a result of its support of the 100Kin10 network. Co-founded in 2011 by then-Carnegie-program-officer Talia Milgrom-Elcott, 100Kin10 seeks to address the shortage of STEM teachers and improve STEM learning. By encouraging more college students to study STEM-related disciplines and bring that knowledge to K-12 classrooms across the country, the initiative hopes to train 100,000 high-quality science, mathematics, and technology teachers by 2021 and do a better job of retaining them. Partners in the 100Kin10 initiative include colleges and universities, museums, foundations, non-profit organizations, and teacher recruitment organizations such as Teach for America.

The sizes of Carnegie grants for STEM education range significantly, generally falling between $15,000 and $500,000. Even though it does not have an education program dedicated exclusively to STEM, this area is a priority for Carnegie, and there are certainly grants available for education nonprofits and providers, both domestic and international.

New grantseekers should review the eligibility criteria under the How to Apply section before sending letters of inquiry (accepted year-round). It is important to note, however, that the foundation does “not seek” and “rarely fund[s] unsolicited grant applications.” For international projects, grantseekers should keep in mind that Carnegie is only able to offer support “for a small percent of funding to be granted to nonprofit organizations based in countries that are, or have been, members of the British Commonwealth.”

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