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Making the Future U.S. After-school and Summer Program Grants

Grants to USA Nonprofits for In-school, After-school, and
Summer Maker Programs to Interest Youth in STEM Disciplines

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Deadline Date:

12/01/17 12:00 Midnight Pacific Time


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Grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to USA nonprofit organizations for in-school, after-school, and summer Maker programs to interest youth in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines with entertaining hands-on learning activities. Making the Future grants are intended to fund instructor fees, tools, materials, and other expenses essential to meeting the needs of the children participating in the program.

Computational making is a particularly fast-growing area within the Maker Movement. Designers, artists, educators and others employ sensors and microcontrollers to operate motors, lights, sound or on-screen displays in handmade works of art, design or hobby projects. Forms of computational making have been shown to be an engaging foray into STEM learning allowing youth to understand basic circuitry and coding, as well as, extend their craftsmanship through designing artifacts.

Typical Making the Future Program Attributes:

Target Audience: Programs can target learners of all backgrounds in pre-K through 14th grade levels that include students at community colleges. There are no specific requirements for socio-economic, gender, or race of targeted children, although our goal is to have at least half of the funded programs to be serving high-need communities, and encourage focusing on girls and minorities, both under-represented in the STEM disciplines.

Skill Level: Because of the computational making requirement the age group will be typically older unless an established early childhood program has incorporated this element. We are targeting programs that build on existing Making skills and are not introductory programs.

Program Duration: The total duration of the program should be 30 to 40 hours per participant to give learners the chance to build confidence in Making and increase the chances of developing a “Maker” mindset. Programs that do not meet this requirement will not be considered. Do not count an entire camp day as Making if you have additional programs during the day. Only count the hours dedicated to Making activities during the program day.

Types of Activities: The types of project activities can be very wide-ranging so as to attract a broad range of children, and may include but are not limited to making electronic gadgets, robots, craft-oriented projects, digital fabrication, software oriented projects, music, hydroponics, food, and clothing / wearable projects.

Program Schedule: A variety of delivery schedules are possible, depending on the needs of the sponsoring organization and the learners they serve. For example, Cognizant has funded after-school programs in the following formats:
- After-school, meeting once a week for 2 hours for 15 weeks
- Week-long winter school vacation week camp, meeting 6 hours per day
- 2 hour program embedded in a summer day camp, meeting for 15 weeks
- A summer-long series of workshops
- A Saturday program, meeting 2 hours each Saturday from October through May
- An in-school program, offered in 40 minute blocks once a week, to an entire grade level for an entire year
- A school-day internship model, meeting for 5 hours twice a week, for 14 weeks

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 142393

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants may range from $5,000 to $25,000, and must be in increments of $500.

Term of Contract:

Grant requests must be for programs that will start in calendar year 2018, but programs may continue over into 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All grants must be issued to a registered public 501c3 non-profit organization. Organizations that do not have 501c3 status must secure a fiduciary sponsor with 501c3 status to be able to receive the grant.

Grants should fund a specific instance of a Maker program (they are not intended to fund a perpetual program or facility). A grant may be for a first time program, or to repeat/ expand a previously offered program. First-time program grant requests may include all the components of the grant (tools and equipment, coach/instructor stipends, materials, and other costs). For those organizations that have previously received a Making the Future grant, or organizations that already have established a Makerspace or Fablab, the grant request should not include the tooling component of the grant unless specific tooling is required for new program activities.

Cognizant requires a computational making component to actvities in the programs it funds.

Cognizant asks that grant recipients consider the following five guiding principles that shape quality Making programs:
- The program must include fun, hands-on, project-based, and engaging activities.
- Learners must make something, versus doing experiments or activities that don’t have a final product.
- Programs can follow a set of planned activities, but should allow for individual creativity, deviation, experimentation, and encourage trial and error.
- Learners should be able to keep the projects they make so that they can share their pride in their accomplishments, re-tell the Making process, and bring Making into their community.
- Programs should be long enough in duration that learners can immerse themselves in a meaningful experience. This refers to both total program duration (30 – 40 hours or more) and session duration (typically 90 minutes or more) Do not submit a grant for less hours than required because of age. If you offer a program for young learners then make the program duration longer to accommodate shorter sessions.

To be considered for a Making the Future grant, applications must address all principles. Grant requests for building a Makerspace, attending STEM competitions, or requesting scholarships for program attendees will not be considered and will be disqualified for scoring.

Pre-Application Information:

See Supporting Documents below for application and guidelines.

Awards will be issued using a two stage process. In the initial stage, organizations interested in receiving a grant should email the completed Making the Future Grant Request Questionnaire (see contact info. below). Cognizant will evaluate each grant request, and then select the organizations that will proceed to the next phase, which involves developing a memorandum of understanding, or MOU. The details of the program will be finalized, and budgets may be adjusted accordingly.

The grant request period will run from October 1 – December 1, 2017. All applications must be received by 12:00 midnight Pacific Time on December 1st in order to be considered. No late applications will be considered. Cognizant will acknowledge receipt of the application, by email, within 48 hours. Cognizant expects to inform organizations by January 15, 2018 if their program has been selected to move on to the MOU stage.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Send completed questionnaire to

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming