Need Money for Chapter Activities? We Have a Grant for That!

One thing we love about working with ACS student chapters is that many of you are involved with activities that benefit your local communities. Many of you inspire a love of chemistry through demos, convey knowledge through tutoring, and benefit your campuses through your activities, many of which go above and beyond what’s expected of you as undergraduates.

We know that you work hard to make these activities happen, and we want to support you as much as we can.  To accomplish this, we have developed two grants, the Community Interaction Grant and the Innovative Activity Grant, to fund your activities. Both of their due dates are approaching, so as you read, ask yourself if your chapter could benefit from them. If so, get your applications ready!

Community Interaction Grant

It goes without saying that not everyone in this country has the same opportunities to receive science and math education, and unfortunately that division falls along racial and economic lines. As Inside Higher Ed notes,

A constant theme of reports about math and science is that the United States will have a large enough supply of scientists only if it does a better job of attracting black and Latino scientists — and not just relying on Asian American, white and foreign talent. Many of these reports note that large shares of black and Latino high school students don’t receive the kind of preparation they should in math and science.

While your chapter certainly can’t solve all of our nation’s inequalities, we encourage you to do what you can with the Community Interactions Grant.  This grant is designed to support projects and interactions that help improve the science learning experience for African American, Native American, Hispanic/Latino and Pacific Islander students, as well as economically disadvantaged students*, in grades K-12.

What does this look like?  Well, students at Xavier University used the grant to support Science Saturdays, which introduced middle and high school teachers to an activity based teaching style for math and science.  In another case, The University of Arkansas at Little Rock used their grant to facilitate science demos and serve as judges at local science fairs. Big or small, there are lots of places you can put your grant to good use. You could even use it to expand programming in which you’re already taking part.  Does your chapter perform chemistry demonstrations for local elementary schools? Do you already have a chemistry tutoring program? Use this grant to do even more.

*Economically disadvantaged students are defined as those in schools with US Department of Education Title 1 status for the purposes of this grant. See USDE website for more details and definition.

Innovative Activities Grant

Do you have a great idea that you’re not sure how to fund? We sympathize. Experimental or innovative events can be difficult to fund, and thus we have the Innovative Activities Grant, which provides up to $500 of matching support for activities that your chapter has not tried before.
We’re reluctant to define this grant any further, because we don’t want to limit what you can do. But the main requirement, besides being an active ACS chapter, is that matching funds are secured. We require you have some other source of funding or your application is considered invalid. But short of that, the sky’s the limit.  You can inspire high school and community college students to take chemistry classes, like the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor’s ACS student chapter did, or promote science based social clubs like the ones Northwestern University established. Or you could do what Bard College’s chapter did and start a middle school science fair. Like we said, we don’t want to limit you; as long as the idea is new, we’re interested! For more information, refer to this month’s InChemistry magazine pages 16-21.

Have any questions or concerns? Let us know. You can either email Chris Zeigler, our colleague in charge of grants, or leave us a comment and we’ll address it as soon as possible.
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