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​PAsmart Grant Toolkit: Helpful Info and Resources

​General

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​Will there be an informational webinar?

The Pennsylvania Department of Education will host a live webinar for Targeted Grant applicants on:

  • Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 8:00 a.m.
  • Monday, December 16, 2019, 8:00 a.m.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education will host a live webinar for Advancing Grant applicants on:

  • Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 8:30 a.m.
  • Monday, December 16, 2019, 8:30 a.m.

Register for a PAsmart grant webinar.

Whom can I contact with questions?

Email PAsmart@pattan.net with questions. Please note that commonwealth staff are not able to answer any PAsmart funding opportunity questions that are communicated to them directly.

​Targeted Grants

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What are Targeted PreK-12 Computer Science & STEM Education Grants?

As part of the innovative PAsmart initiative, Targeted Grants help meet the needs of local education agencies (LEAs) and schools with few to no offerings in computer science (CS) and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). LEAs that did not receive Targeted Grant funding in 2018-19 can apply for funding to provide educators with high-quality professional learning to expand access to CS and STEM in their schools. Targeted Grants also provide for participating LEAs to develop a comprehensive planning tool for computer science education.

How are Targeted Grants different from Advancing Grants?

There are two competitive grant programs within the PAsmart Expanding Computer Science and STEM Education Initiative: Targeted Grants, and Advancing Grants.

Targeted Grants are structured to meet the needs of local education agencies (LEAs) and their schools that have few or no CS offerings and did not receive Targeted Grant funding in 2018-2019. The purpose of these grants is to build educator capacity and expand student access, opportunity, and inclusion in computer science from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. These grants have a low-risk entry point for applicants and aim to help schools build the infrastructure to establish strong CS & STEM pathways.

For Targeted Grants, the eligible applicants are limited to LEAs, the award amounts are more limited than for Advancing Grants, and there is structured support throughout the grant activity period to provide professional learning to grant recipients.

What are the award amounts?

Each eligible LEA may receive a maximum Targeted Grant award of $35,000.

When is the Targeted Grant application due?

Friday, December 20, 2019, by 11:59 p.m. (eastern).

Who is eligible to apply for a Targeted Grant?

Any local education agency (school district, career and technology center, charter school, cyber charter school, intermediate unit) that did not receive a PAsmart Targeted Grant in fiscal year 2018-2019 in Pennsylvania is eligible to apply for a 2019-2020 PAsmart Targeted Grant.

Only one application will be accepted from each LEA. The application may include educators from more than one school within the LEA.

How do I apply for a Targeted Grant?

  1. Determine the person within the LEA who will fill out and submit the application, which is accessible only through eGrants, an online grants management system.

  2. Submit a brief online form[1] providing the name and basic contact information of the designated person, which will enable them to access the application in the eGrants system. Please allow one week after submission of this form to obtain access.

  3. Review the application questions and coordinate within the LEA and with any partners, if applicable, to answer the application questions. Applicants are strongly advised to write application responses in a separate document before filling out the application in eGrants.

  4. Attend the webinar for additional information about the grant and application process.

  5. Direct any questions and requests for technical assistance to PAsmart@pattan.net.

  6. Submit the completed application in eGrants by 11:59 PM on Friday, December 20, 2019.

[1] The form for Targeted Grant applicants is available at: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=QSiOQSgB1U2bbEf8Wpob3odpKZ6qbVdMuTNkQ0Ku38xUM1lSMlZGSFFISVBDSDJESjMyUDg0MzkwTy4u

Do I have to apply through eGrants?

Yes; for all 2019-20 PAsmart Expanding Computer Science and STEM Education Grants, applications must be submitted through eGrants in order to be considered.

How long is the application?

The Targeted Grant application is designed to be simple and accessible. There are 27 questions along with the submission of a budget all to be completed in eGrants. It is encouraged before submitting the application in eGrants to complete each question including the budget in external files. Visit education.pa.gov/PAsmart for a template. 

​Advancing Grants

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What are Advancing Computer Science & STEM Education Grants?

As part of the innovative PAsmart initiative, Advancing Grant s support broad, cross-sector partnerships that  use ecosystem and networked approaches to advance efforts to:

  • Expand access to computer science (CS) / science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and promote inclusion (especially for historically underserved students and communities) through learning experiences such as integrative CS/STEM experiences, standalone CS/STEM courses, out-of-school learning, dual enrollment, industry credentials, work-based learning, internships, and apprenticeships, and

  • Expand and diversify the number of CS/STEM educators at all education levels.

How are Advancing Grants different from Targeted Grants?

There are two competitive grant programs within the PAsmart Expanding Computer Science and STEM Education Initiative: Targeted Grants, and Advancing Grants.

Advancing Grants support partnerships that operate on a larger scale than Targeted Grants, and provide quality CS/STEM experiences to learners of any age—early childhood, preK-12, postsecondary, and adult learners—as part of a high-level strategic approach to CS/STEM workforce readiness. The purpose of these grants is to:

  • Give regions a chance to leverage or expand CS/STEM ecosystems;

  • Grow partnerships between LEAs, postsecondary institutions, businesses, libraries, afterschool organizations, and other CS/STEM-focused organizations;

  • Improve access to CS/STEM experiences for learners of all ages, including historically underserved populations and adult learners; and

  • Expand the pool of highly qualified CS/STEM educators at all levels of Pennsylvania's education system.

What are the award amounts?

Eligible applicants may request up to $500,000.

When is the Advancing Grant application due?

Friday, January 10, 2020, by 11:59 p.m. (eastern).

Who is eligible to apply for an Advancing Grant?

  • LEAs (school districts, charter schools, cyber charter schools, CTCs, and IUs);
  • Early childhood learning centers;
  • Postsecondary institutions;
  • Public libraries;
  • Community-based organizations or institutions (out-of-school time providers, etc.);
  • Local workforce development boards;
  • Businesses and chambers of commerce;
  • Labor organizations;
  • STEM Ecosystems;
  • Trade associations;
  • Non-profits; and
  • Economic development entities.
Any of these organizations can be a lead applicant, or a partner. Lead applicants are encouraged to generate a cross-sector proposal and apply as a consortium.

Can one organization apply for an Advancing Grant on its own?

No. For a proposal to be considered, it must have a lead applicant, a fiscal agent, and a partnership. Lead applicants are encouraged to partner with multiple entities.

How do I apply for an Advancing Grant?

  1. Determine the person within the LEA, postsecondary institution, or public library who will fill out and submit the application, which is accessible only through eGrants, an online grants management system.
  2. Submit a brief online form[1] providing the name and basic contact information of the designated person, which will enable them to access the application in the eGrants system. Please allow one week after submission of this form to obtain access.
  3. Review the application questions and coordinate with partners to answer the application questions. Applicants are strongly advised to write application responses in a separate document before filling out the application in eGrants.
  4. Attend an applicant webinar for more explanation about the grant and application process.
  5. Direct any questions and requests for technical assistance to PAsmart@pattan.net.
  6. Submit the completed application in eGrants by 11:59 pm on Friday, January 10, 2020.

[1] The form for Advancing Grant applicants is available at: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=QSiOQSgB1U2bbEf8Wpob3odpKZ6qbVdMuTNkQ0Ku38xUQVVTQzNKWlFXUUZWMVAzREVOTDdIMzhBNy4u

Who can submit an application in eGrants?

To expedite the contracting process, proposal submission is limited to those entities that have access to eGrants:

  • LEAs (school districts, charter schools, cyber charter schools, career and technical centers (CTCs), and Intermediate Units (IUs);

  • Postsecondary institutions; and

  • Public libraries.

Organizations not listed above are welcomed and encouraged to initiate a proposal and serve as lead applicant. They will then need to collaborate with one of the organizations above in order to submit the application.

Do I have to apply through eGrants?

Yes; for all 2019-20 PAsmart Expanding Computer Science and STEM Education Grants, applications must be submitted through eGrants in order to be considered.