Special Guest Dr. Suzanne Banas: Tips on How to Get Grants in Education
Originally posted Jan 27, 2021
This week, we interviewed Dr. Suzanne Banas to get her insights on the best tactics to get grants.
1. Make sure to have a needs assessment
Questions that should be answered are: Why do you want this in your classroom? Where do they fit? Why do you use drones? Why do you use virtual learning? Why should we give it to you?
2. Take a look at your demographics, your school, school supplies, where money is coming in
How would you use the grant with your data? Where does this fit? Does it fit the engineering program? Is it innovative? What makes it different from something else? Why do you need it? For example, Dr. Suzanne’s district has a school that’s doing drone racing, so a drone is a need of that school.
3. Look at what you need to have
It’s easier to get grants at $5,000 or less. You have to build on that assumption. What can you get from that $5000? What are you putting into it? For Dr. Suzanne, they don’t put laptops or computers because that’s what the school is giving. You have to know what you are putting into the grant. Very few want to start a program so why not go with it. Have them written in reports. Know your demographics, know your plan then know what you are going to do with that grant.
4. Know how you are going to evaluate it
Are you going to have rubrics? Are you going to have a data sheet? Are you going to produce some videos? What things are you going to produce and how are you going to evaluate that the programs are worthwhile? With Dr. Suzanne’s district, they do a lot of assessing attitudes toward coding before and after. It’s not like pre and post tests. It’s more on how do students feel about coding? What do you like about coding? Do you know how to code before and after? Make sure you have a good assessment and they have to be based on your objectives
5. You have to know the due dates
They typically want them in a short time span. What is your timeline?
6. Make sure it’s innovative
What makes it innovative? If you are looking for a grant for virtual learning, you have to show how virtual learning is innovative. How is it different? Is it global and collaborative virtually?
Strategies in 2021
They have to look at the needs of the school. Does the school have drones? 21st century skill is coding. How can kids learn that? How safe is it? Having students stay at home is a great way that they don’t have to pass the drones back and forth. Most robots have electronics. How do you sanitize something electronically? You can use UV light but it’s a lot of work because you have to take them apart and sometimes it doesn’t clean them enough.
How to set up the computer to set up Zumi remotely? For Dr. Suzanne, kids can control her robot in her classroom. But the question is, with being home quarantined, where would you set up the robots? You don’t want to bring a lot of teachers together to do the setup because that’s a lot of money.
You should know who you collaborate with. For instance, Zoom doesn’t work with kids outside of Dr. Suzanne’s school system so they have to use Skype. Are you going to collaborate virtually with someone else? Are you collaborating middle school to high school in your district or middle school to middle school in another place? That collaboration might be a great way to move forward with it.
Know how you are going to engage kids at home. How do I create things that virtual kids can do? How can you engage virtually? They need to have something physically, not just plain observation as they wouldn’t want to observe all throughout the course.