Teams of budding young authors in grades K-8 may submit their fiction and nonfiction picture books to Scholastic, Inc.'s Kids Are Authors contest. The winning books are published by Scholastic and distributed through book fairs. See sample pages from previous winners and get additional entry information at teacher.scholastic.com/activities/kaa. The entry deadline is March 15.
SigTEL, a special interest group for the International Society for Technology in Education, invites K-16 teachers who have made particularly creative use of telecommunications with their students to apply for the Online Learning Award. Awardees are invited to present their projects during a Web poster session at June's National Educational Computing Conference in Philadelphia (travel expenses and registration not included) and receive a one-year standard membership in ISTE and SigTEL. To learn more, visit www.iste.org/sigtel/award. The deadline for entries is March 21.
Teams of high school students are invited to enter the 12th Annual International Space Settlement Design Competition, sponsored by Boeing, NASA, and Honeywell Technologies. During this industry simulation, students prepare designs for an orbiting space settlement. Eight finalist teams travel to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and join forces to design a settlement on an extraterrestrial surface. Check spaceset.org for detailed application information. Entries are due March 30.
The NASA Ames Research Center's Annual Space Settlement Design Contest is open to students in grades 6-12 (ages 11-18). Individuals and teams compete for prizes and the opportunity to work with NASA scientists to place their space settlement designs on the NASA World Wide Web. Top winners are invited to tour the NASA Ames Research Center. Application information is available at lifesci3.arc.nasa.gov/SpaceSettlement/Contest. The deadline for applications is March 31.
The Tech Museum Awards, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., recognizes innovators who use technology to benefit humanity. Five winners (one per category) are each presented a $50,000 cash award. Nominations are accepted online, and candidates can self-nominate. For more information, visit techawards.thetech.org/index.cfm. The deadline for nominations is April 4.
High school juniors are invited to participate in the 2005 Idea of America Essay Contest, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The author of the best essay will be awarded $5,000. Five runners-up will each receive cash prizes of $1,000. All six winners, accompanied by a parent or guardian, will attend an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in October, and the top essay will be published nationally. This year, students are asked to research and write about totalitarianism. More information is available at www.wethepeople.gov/essay/index.html. The deadline for entries is April 15.
Tip of the Month
While you want to be proactive about gathering letters of support, memorandums of understanding, and partnership letters, wait until you have developed an initial draft of your proposal. Share this draft with the people and agencies who will be writing letters for you, highlighting text that relates directly to them. This ensures that you and they are in agreement about their proposed contributions to the grant and may even provide opportunities to expand their support.
Before writing a new technology-based grant, you may want to make sure your ideas are alligned with the national focus for technology use in schools. When the National Education Technology Plan was released in January, the U.S. Department of Education launched a Web site that includes the plan, success stories, and more. You'll find seven recommended action steps for school districts along with numerous supporting resources.