Meeting the demands of 21st Century STEM Education can be thrilling, but it can be a challenge to find funding for your programs. Whether you are developing an early childhood robotics program with VEX 123 or VEX GO, or starting a competition team with VEX IQ or V5, there are grants available for you! In this article, you will find a table of potential US funding opportunities to help you get started. 


US Funding Sources

Title Purpose Eligibility Resources
Federal Funding Sources
CARES Act: The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) I & II To provide emergency funding to K-12 schools, including including educational technology and summer learning and supplemental programs Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) can request funds from State Educational Agencies (SEAs). ESSER FAQs
ESSER I & II Fact Sheet
State Contacts for Information
Title 1: Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) To provide funds to ensure students meet state educational standards, including STEM education. LEAs can apply for funds, which are especially helpful for districts with low-income families. Guidance from Department of Education
Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) Funds can be used for:
  • The development of pre-college enrichment activities in science
  • Tutoring and enhancement of research skills in science education for students
  • Faculty training to develop specific science research or education skills
  • Curriculum development in STEM fields
  • Renovation of STEM labs/classrooms
  • Any other activities designed to address specific barriers to the entry of minorities into STEM disciplines
Institutions of Higher Education Non Profits Application Information
21st Century Community Learning Centers This program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. Awards are made to SEAs. Local education agencies (LEAs) and nonprofit organizations may apply to states for subgrants. Program Information State Contacts for Information
The National Science Foundation (NSF) This program supports both students and faculty to make studying and teaching STEM accessible. NSF offers grants to schools across 24 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Search ‘STEM’ on the NSF Funding page to find funding sources for your program. Proposals and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
Grants.gov Grants.gov is a resource for finding grants offered through government agencies including the National Science Foundation, NASA, Department of Commerce, and more. Search ‘STEM’ in the Search Grants page to access a wealth of grant applicant resources. Grant Eligibility
How to Apply For Grants
Foundation Funding Sources
Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in STEM fields by providing significant initial equipment and operational support for regional partnerships and/or school districts committed to full implementation of sustainable VEX Robotics Competition teams in a given geographic area. These grants are intended for schools and organizations that are not currently participating in one of our programs: VEX IQ Challenge, VEX Robotics Competition (VRC), and VEX U. VEX IQ Challenge grants are for elementary and middle schools (grades 3-8). VRC grants are for middle and high schools (grades 6-12). Grants Page
Applying for a Team Grant
NEA Foundation STEM Grants
  • Growing the number of existing promising STEM practices within the district
  • Increasing the number of high-need students receiving a high-quality STEM education
  • Emphasizing cross-curricular, project-based learning
  • Giving educators a key role in designing and implementing district-wide STEM initiatives and curriculum
  • Developing partnerships with key members of the community and work with partners to expand STEM activities within and beyond the district
NEA Foundation STEM Grants provide resources for districts to build and expand their STEM programs and professional learning for educators to lead them well. About NEA Grants Grant Resources
STEMgrants.com STEMgrants.com provides a free guide to STEM grants that is organized by deadline dates. This list is kept up-to-date and includes grants with an ‘open’ or ‘rolling’ deadline. Varies by grant STEM Grants for K-12 and Nonprofits

A lot goes into grant applications, and we’re here to help the process. To get tips on grant writing and editable letters to help you get started, view this article.

All grant information is correct at time of publication, but the nature of grants is always changing and while we endeavour to keep this updated we cannot guarantee information will be current on external links.

For more information, help, and tips, check out the many resources at VEX Professional Development Plus