1996 IDEA grants program announcement (fwd)

From: Marc Siegel - NASA K-12 IITA Program <marc@quest.arc.nasa.gov>
Subject: 1996 IDEA grants program announcement (fwd)
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 06:35:13 -0700 (PDT)

This is a grant program in which real scientists (not us scientist
wanna-bees) can get up to $6K (or $20K) for developing innovative K-12 stuff.
But they have to work with teachers to be successful.
If you are burning with an idea, perhaps you can identify a local
astronomer/scientist and work with them to get the cash.
The due date is October 15.  Now, I'm only sending this out
because I know you wouldn't let it interfere with your LFM energy.

And if you do score, don't forget my 5% finders fee.
Yours, Marc

---------- Forwarded message ----------
IDEA Research Grants
Proposal Deadline: 15-October-96
The public, especially children, is fascinated with astronomy.
Astronomy's broad appeal provides publicly-funded astronomers with an
opportunity and a responsibility to use their expertise to enhance education 
at all levels, from kindergarten students to adults.
Through the IDEA grants program, astronomers with innovative education 
methods can improve science education at all levels, especially 
pre-college. The IDEA program is one component of NASA's Office of Space 
Science (OSS) Education and Public Outreach Strategy to improve science, 
mathematics, technology, and literacy in the U.S.
Administered by the Space Telescope Science Institute, the IDEA program is 
funded by NASA's Office of Space Science Education Directorate.  To apply
for an IDEA grant, scientists must be professionals in astronomy and
astrophysics. Strong preference will be given to proposals that include the
active participation of NASA-supported science investigators.  Astronomers 
at ANY institution, including NASA field centers and industry partners, 
are eligible for this program.
IDEA grant applicants must follow these guidelines.
Emphasis on Collaboration: 

Preference will be given to proposals that include teachers or education 
specialists as co-creators, participants, or evaluators.  Astronomers are 
urged to contact teachers or education universities, community colleges, 
science museums, planetariums, aerospace or telecommunications industries, 
publishing companies, educational radio or television stations, or 
professional science and education organizations.
Astronomers at universities and colleges are strongly encouraged to 
collaborate with science education faculty, graduate students in science 
education, or education undergraduates. If their institutions are part
of a NASA Space Grant Consortium, applicants should, at least, notify 
institution officials of their proposals.
Intended Audience:
Most of the grant proposals will target public audiences or kindergarten
through twelfth grade teachers and students.  However, some consideration 
will be given to innovative proposals that strengthen introductory college 
courses in astronomy or math and science. In particular, proposals
targeting undergraduate or graduate students training for careers in
kindergarten through high school education are encouraged.
Researcher Involvement/Links to Research:
support projects that place researchers in the role of substitute teachers. 
All projects must have an astronomy focus and be related to NASA space 
astronomy. Inventive projects are welcome, particularly ones that place
astronomy in an interdisciplinary or multicultural context, including
efforts that reach beyond the physical sciences to the arts, social
sciences, history, and mathematics.
Links to Active Learning and Education Reform:
A large body of educational research has demonstrated that passive 
education is relatively ineffective. "Tell me, I forget. Show me, I 
remember. Involve me, I understand." Preference will be given to IDEA 
projects that contain meaningful hands-on exercises related to space 
astronomy research. The projects should be centered on the concept of the
teacher/student as scientist, explorer, and discoverer.
For proposed educational activities involving teacher training or 
enhancement, applicants are encouraged to include teachers who participate 
in science education reform and/or who would share their experiences of the 
grant project with their colleagues. National organizations devoted to 
science education can help to identify such teachers in an applicant's 
area. Project activities that address formal education should follow 
national or state education standards.
Innovative Approaches:
The IDEA program is intended to fund pilot projects that explore innovative,
effective, and non-traditional methods for improving the public's 
understanding of science, and for science, mathematics and technical 
education. Therefore, proposals that use NASA science research results in 
imaginative ways and create inventive partnerships to accomplish project 
goals are highly desirable.
Multiplier Effects and Dissemination:
Each IDEA project should have the potential for multiplying its impact 
beyond its direct audience. This goal is most likely achieved through 
partnerships with the professional communities in education and 
communication, or through broad distribution.
For example, an astronomer could work with a science museum director or a
producer of educational television on a project that will help teachers 
and the public. Another possibility is to create an education project and 
collaborate with experienced professionals to broadly distribute it. One 
way of achieving a broad distribution is through the Internet.  Fifty
percent of U.S. public schools now have Internet access, an increase
of 35 percent from a year ago (National Center for Education Statistics 
"Advanced Telecommunications in U.S. Public Elementary and Secondary 
Schools 1995," February, 1996).
Sharing a project's methods and evaluation (see section below) directly 
with professional colleagues also is strongly encouraged.
All IDEA proposals must have a clearly described plan for evaluating their 
effectiveness.  A thorough evaluation can be a time-consuming process. 
IDEA grant recipients must only provide a simple analysis of their project. 
To do this, grant applicants must define testable goals, and the methods 
they will use to determine success. Some examples are: giving pre- and 
post-tests of science knowledge, collecting questionnaires from participants, 
and keeping track of time spent in the classroom and with 
teachers.  Applicants also must demonstrate that the proposed activities 
adhere to national education standards.
Reporting and Project Descriptions:
Each IDEA grant recipient should create a Web page that contains key 
project personnel, the participating institutions, contact persons, and a 
brief description of the activities. The Institute will create hypertext 
links to the projects upon notification of the Web page's existence.
These links will be accessible through the Institute's IDEA project forum.
Project recipients must provide final reports to the Institute that 
describes their successes and failures and includes an evaluation summary 
(see later section for the desired format of this report). The Institute 
will make excerpts of these reports available to other research astronomers
who are looking for ways to begin exploring their roles in educational 
outreach.  These reports will be disseminated by the Institute through the
Web IDEA project forum.
Finally, the Institute will periodically arrange for IDEA sessions at AAS 
meetings so that IDEA recipients can exchange information, share lessons 
learned, and discuss successful strategies.
Educational Activity  vs. Educational Products:
NASA policies prohibit astronomers from using the grants to create 
potentially marketable products, such as videos, slide sets, or computer 
software. Experimenting with an educational ACTIVITY must be the emphasis 
of an applicant's proposal. Projects may involve the development of an
educational product, but it must be part of an educational activity.
Applicants whose projects involve writing scripts or developing 
audio-visual materials should guarantee that these products are part of an 
educational activity. Teachers or other appropriate professionals should 
assist astronomers in developing and testing these products to ensure that 
they are suitable for science curricula.
Consistent with these project guidelines, all IDEA grant proposals will be 
assessed according to the following list of evaluation criteria. All of 
these factors are important and will be considered in the evaluation of 
each proposal.
1)  Collaboration with teachers or education specialists as co-creators,
participants, or evaluators.

2)  Researcher involvement

3)  Links to NASA research

4)  Links to active learning and knowledge of science education reform

5)  Innovative method or approach

6)  Impact beyond direct audience

7)  Evaluation plan

It is highly desirable for IDEA projects to contribute to the education
and training of underrepresented groups.
Any innovative proposal - subject to the above guidelines and evaluation 
criteria - will be considered. The following areas are of particular 
interest, but applicants should not feel confined by these. [A directory of 
information on the 1995 grant projects is available upon request, or can be
found on the World Wide Web at:  http://ftp.stsci.edu/ftp/pubinfo/education.]
1) Astronomy workshops for teachers and/or for teacher interns: Workshops 
should inspire teachers to creatively incorporate astronomy into their 
regular classroom curricula. IDEA will fund workshops for teachers at any
grade level. Preference will be given to workshops that develop 
age-appropriate classroom activities for elementary school teachers. If 
possible, workshops should offer continuing education or professional 
development credit.
2) Innovative projects involving women and underrepresented cultural groups:
Projects could include activities such as special "astronomy days" (or 
nights) for students and their teachers, or activities that send astronomers 
(including post-doctorate, graduate, or undergraduate students)
to schools with large "minority" enrollments. Multicultural and
nontraditional (e.g. wilderness experiences) approaches to astronomy also 
are encouraged.
3) Use of interactive, educational software involving space astronomy data:
Astronomical science relies heavily on computers for the storage, transfer,
and analysis of astrophysical data. Consider projects that can translate
modern astrophysical data into interactive electronic formats that are 
useful and accessible to astronomy teachers at all levels. Any educational 
software grant recipients create as part of their project will be made
available for unrestricted use and distribution.
4) Educational writing or consulting that uses astronomy to improve public 
understanding and appreciation of science: Serve as a consultant to a 
television or radio broadcast/series or develop/write materials for use in
informal science education settings, such as science museums and planeteriums.
5) Master teachers: Plan professional development teacher workshops.
Please be sure to follow the guidelines below in preparing an IDEA grant 
Maximum Awards:
The spirit of the IDEA grants program is to encourage all research 
astronomers to devote a small fraction of their total efforts toward 
experimentation with educational projects. Thus, it is preferable to fund 
many small pilot projects, facilitating the participation of many
astronomers in education, rather than funding fewer large projects.
IDEA proposals may be made in either of two categories: small projects or 
large projects. Awards in the small projects category is limited to $6,000 
each. IDEA program coordinators expect that most of the grant awards will be
made to projects in this category. Applicants for large projects may 
request between $6,001 and $20,000. Programs in the larger awards category 
must be of greater scope. In general, a principal investigator may submit 
no more than one proposal per category.
Applicants who have received a prior IDEA grant or an Astrophysics Grant 
Supplement for Education (AGSE) may apply to the 1996 IDEA grants program 
for a NEW project.  Expansions or enhancements to existing projects may be
proposed if they represent new innovations or significant advancements 
Salary Support:
The program's purpose is not to subsidize astronomical research. Applicants
may request salary support for hiring individuals to help bring projects to
fruition, including undergraduate assistants, school teachers, and teachers
in training. But this is the exception rather than the rule.
Salary support to astronomers may be funded if the proposal clearly 
demonstrates that it is essential to the educational project's success.
Computer Hardware:
Because of the limited funds available for this program, computer hardware 
requests will unlikely be accepted. In particular, grants cannot be used 
to purchase computer hardware that will be used for purposes other than the
direct support of an IDEA education project. Applicants also must certify 
that the computer hardware will continue to be used for educational 
activities once the project is completed.
Other Equipment:
Requests for the purchase of major equipment (e.g., telescopes, software, 
etc.) will be evaluated individually.  Past experience, however, has shown 
that such requests will unlikely be approved or recommended by the peer 
review panel. As a guideline, remember that the program's purpose is to 
involve the researcher as a collaborator in the educational process. The 
program's goal is not to purchase equipment for general use in schools, 
museums, planetariums, or other institutions.
Materials and Dissemination:
Applicants may request funds to purchase project materials or for the costs
associated with disseminating project information to science museums and 
planetariums. Local educational resources should also be investigated.
In order to achieve maximum leverage from IDEA funds, remember that the 
Institute has numerous resources available electronically. In addition, 
some NASA centers and other institutions, such as science museums, 
planetariums, and libraries, may be willing to distribute the information.
The Institute can provide more information about NASA distribution sites. 
Consider other distribution methods (e.g. NASA television, SpaceLink, and 
the Internet) to obtain access to educational products and to disseminate
IDEA project results.
Travel, Honoraria, Refreshments:
Grant funds may be used to pay local travel expenses or stipends for 
teachers participating in workshops. It will be more difficult to make a 
convincing case for long distance travel, honoraria for speakers, or other 
large expenditures for single individuals. Travel support for an astronomy
researcher who will attend a workshop or conference to learn about 
effective educational outreach and/or science education reform is 
acceptable, as long as it does not dominate the budget request.
Refreshments or meals may not be funded by this program, although the 
special value of social events held in conjunction with outreach activities
is well recognized.  Applicants should seek other sponsorship for these
It is impossible to foresee all possible types of budget requests. Any 
items not covered above will be considered individually, subject to legal 
restrictions, NASA policy, and the spirit of the IDEA grants program.
Institutional Overhead:
In many cases, IDEA grants will build upon a base of much larger federally 
funded research activities conducted by IDEA grant investigators. Since the
grants are quite small and are intended to stimulate outreach activities
that are of direct social benefit, IDEA program coordinators will give
strong preference to proposals whose administrative costs are waived or 
reduced below 20 percent of the proposed amount. 
The proposal process is kept as simple as possible, requiring only the 
information the review panel will need to critically evaluate a grant 
request. Follow the format below. PLEASE CONSTRAIN PROPOSALS TO THREE TO 
FIVE PAGES, plus cover pages, budget pages, and special forms.
Proposals should be submitted electronically. Three hard copies (one 
original and two copies) also should be sent.
Proposals should include the following sections:
1) Cover page: This must be a single page that contains the proposal's 
title; the name, title, and affiliation of the principal investigator and 
co-investigators; the education collaborator's name; the principal 
investigator's mail and e-mail address; the amount of money requested; and 
a 150- to 200-word abstract of the educational project. The abstract
should list one of the following proposal categories.  (Although the 
project may involve several from this category, choose the one that 
represents the major part of the work.)
                 Teacher/Student Workshop
                 Curriculum/Product Development
                 Internet/Software Usage/Development
                 Multicultural Programs/Outreach
                 Public Outreach/Public Understanding of Science
                 Student Outreach
                 Student Research Opportunities
                 Teacher Resources and Training
                 Informal Science Education
                 Other (please specify)
Applicants also should provide the SIGNATURES OF APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS AT 
THEIR INSTITUTIONS (e.g. authorizing officials and administrative authorities).
2) Project Description: Applicants must describe their proposed projects. 
They must clearly and explicitly address the PROJECT GUIDELINES and 
EVALUATION CRITERIA described above. Applicants must identify their 
intended audience and show how their collaborators will help effectively 
reach that audience.
3) Budget Narrative: Applicants must justify each budget item, paying 
close attention to the BUDGET GUIDELINES above. They should include, if 
applicable, a statement indicating a waiver or reduction of institutional 
overhead. They also should mention the possibility of matching funds, 
in-kind contributions, or other funding sources.
4) Budget Page: Applicants must attach budget itemization tables to their 
budget narratives.
5) Curriculum Vitae: Brief curriculum vitae of the principal investigators 
and, if appropriate, key co-investigators must be included.
6) Special Forms: Two special certification forms must accompany the three 
hard copies (the original and two copies) of a proposal. Both are available
at local contracts and grants organizations. The certifications are:
Certification of a Drug Free Workplace and Certification of Debarment and 
The performance period for 1996 IDEA grants will end one year after 
recipients receive the grant money. Extensions will be granted for 
educational activities that require phasing with the academic year. 
The IDEA grants program is experimental in nature. In order to evaluate the 
program's success, each project recipient must provide a brief (one to two 
pages) final report, submitted by e-mail in ascii format to idea@stsci.edu or
sent as an HTML document. Reports should include:
a) The principal investigator's name, position, and institution, and sources 
   of other NASA support ( if applicable).
b) The original IDEA proposal abstract.
c) A brief description of any fundamental changes that project recipients 
   made to their original plans and the reasons for those changes.
d) A list of the positive and negative lessons learned from the project.
e) A quantitative estimate about the human and/or financial resources that 
   have been leveraged by the IDEA grant activity.
f) Key points that grant recipients want included in the IDEA project forum.
g) The results of a project's evaluation.
If project recipients have developed an educational project, send copies to:
                    IDEA Program, OPO
                    Space Telescope Science Institute
                    3700 San Martin Drive
                    Baltimore, MD  21218
Project recipients also are encouraged to send well-labeled photos or 
illustrations of their activities. Selected reports and pictures will be 
presented on the IDEA project forum.
A review panel, composed of educators, astronomers, and NASA representatives, 
will evaluate the IDEA grant proposals. The Space Telescope Science 
Institute will provide the oversight and approval authority for the 
review process, though concurrence on final selections will be provided 
by NASA officials. The panel will consider each proposal's merit in 
light of the guidelines and evaluation criteria listed above.
IDEA grant proposals are required by the close of business on 15-October-96. 
Decisions should be announced about 10 to 12 weeks later.
Send proposals (including the unsigned cover page, project description, and 
budget sections) electronically (ascii format) to: idea@stsci.edu
Send the original and two complete hard copies (including the SIGNED cover 
page and the appropriate special forms, as well as the project description 
and budget sections) to:
               IDEA Program, OPO
               Space Telescope Science Institute
               3700 San Martin Drive
               Baltimore, MD  21218
Inquiries about the PROPOSAL process should be made directly to the Space 
Telescope Science Institute: idea@stsci.edu
Inquiries about the REVIEW process should be made directly to the Space 
Telescope Science Institute's project scientist for education: idea@stsci.edu
Applicants should check their local FTP sites or the Institute's World Wide 
Web home pages for any changes to this announcement.