Carnegie Corporation: Grants for Science Education


OVERVIEW: The Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)is one of the largest and oldest foundations in the United States. Its holistic approach to STEM education 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 grantmaking program completely dedicated to STEM education, it is unmistakably a major priority. If you're thinking about higher education as a means of systemic change in STEM education from childhood on upward, your agenda is CCNYs agenda. That said, keep an eye out for potential revisions to the foundation's K-12 giving, which is currently under review.

PROFILE: Founded in 1911 by captain of industry Andrew Carnegie, this foundation remains one of the most known and influential in the country. The Carnegie Corporation of New York has historically been focused on education. This is a concern that continues through to today, as its education program is focused on ensuring that all U.S. public ed 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, and has given to grantees that 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. As the foundation views it, “Fewer, clearer, and higher standards are 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.”

One of Carnegie's biggest forays into STEM is its support of the 100Kin10 network. Co-founded in 2011 by then-Carnegie-program-officer Talia Milgrom-Elcott, 100Kin10 aims 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 bottom line: even though it does not have an education program dedicated exclusively to STEM, this area is absolutely an overriding concern at Carnegie, and there are certainly grants available for education nonprofits and providers, both domestic and international.

The sizes of Carnegie grants for STEM education have ranged significantly, generally falling between $15,000 and $500,000 in recent years.

To get started, review the eligibility criteria under the How to Apply section before sending your letter of inquiry (accepted year-round). Bear in mind that the foundation does “not seek” and “rarely fund[s] unsolicited grant applications.”  

If your project is international, keep in mind that Carnegie support 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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