From: Marc Siegel - NASA K-12 IITA Program <email@example.com>
Subject: 1996 IDEA grants program announcement (fwd)
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 06:35:13 -0700 (PDT)
Hello, 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 ---------- > INITIATIVE TO DEVELOP EDUCATION THROUGH ASTRONOMY IDEA Research Grants Proposal Deadline: 15-October-96 I. PURPOSE: 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. II. ELIGIBILITY: 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. III. PROJECT GUIDELINES: 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: IDEA GRANT PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS ARE EXPECTED TO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE IN THE PROPOSED EDUCATION ENDEAVOR. However, IDEA is not intended to 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. Evaluation/Assessment: 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. ***IMPORTANT NOTE --- PLEASE READ*** 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. IV. PROPOSAL EVALUATION CRITERIA 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. V. IDEAS FOR POSSIBLE PROJECT AREAS 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. VI. BUDGET GUIDELINES Please be sure to follow the guidelines below in preparing an IDEA grant budget. 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 over the prior project. APPLICANTS WHO ARE EXPANDING ON A PREVIOUSLY FUNDED PROJECT MUST INCLUDE A ONE-PAGE SUMMARY WITH THEIR PROPOSAL, NOTING LESSONS LEARNED, PLANNED IMPROVEMENTS, THE EVALUATION RESULTS, AND ANY HUMAN OR FINANCIAL RESOURCES THAT HAVE BEEN LEVERAGED BY THE PREVIOUS GRANT. 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 expenses. Other: 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. VII. HOW TO REQUEST AN IDEA GRANT 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 Suspension. VIII. GRANT PERIOD 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. IX. FINAL REPORTS 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. X. REVIEW OF PROPOSALS 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. XI. PROPOSAL DEADLINE 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: email@example.com AND 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 XII. INQUIRIES ABOUT THE PROPOSAL PROCESS Inquiries about the PROPOSAL process should be made directly to the Space Telescope Science Institute: firstname.lastname@example.org XIII. INQUIRIES ABOUT THE REVIEW PROCESS Inquiries about the REVIEW process should be made directly to the Space Telescope Science Institute's project scientist for education: email@example.com Applicants should check their local FTP sites or the Institute's World Wide Web home pages for any changes to this announcement.