Motorola Opens $5 Million PreK-12 STEM Grant Program


The Motorola Foundation this week kicked off its Innovation Generation Grants program for 2009. The funding is aimed at supporting programs for preK-12 students designed to spur interest in science, technology, engineering, and math--including after-school programs, science and math clubs, and other initiatives.

The Motorola grants are focused on programs serving groups that are highly underrepresented in STEM careers, particularly "girls and underrepresented minorities," according to the foundation. Last year's program awarded $4 million in grants to 92 schools and organizations in the United States. This year's program will award $5 million in grants, with a limit on individual grant requests of $75,000. At least 25 percent of the funding will be earmarked for new programs that are not merely extensions of existing programs.

Criteria for funding priority in the 2009 grant process include:

  • Programming that engages students and teachers in a hands-on way;
  • Programming that teaches creative problem-solving skills;
  • Programs that focus on girls and underrepresented minorities; and
  • Online programs or programs that otherwise have a national reach.

Motorola said programs that "take place in communities where Motorola has an employee presence in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas" and "engage Motorola employees as volunteers" will also receive funding priority.

The deadline for applications to the 2009 Innovation Generation Grants program is Feb. 15. All non-profit organizations are eligible to apply, including schools and school districts. Applications and further information can be found on the Motorola Foundation's site here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .