Two girls holding a coding robot in STEM lab funded by the CodeFWD grant program.
Two girls holding a coding robot in STEM lab funded by the CodeFWD grant program.

Funding Your Sphero Program

When it comes to incorporating STEAM into the classroom, support can come from a surprising number of sources, and sometimes, all you have to do is ask! That's why we've compiled a list of resources to help drive innovative tech adoption to boost student learning and engagement.

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Funding Sources

There are so many grants out there, but sometimes it’s hard to find ones that fit your unique situation. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of funding sources that Sphero robots & STEM kits qualify for to help you easily find the one that’s right for you and your students.

Grant Writing Application Tips

Grant applications often ask you to describe a specific project or program the funds will help you accomplish. Below you’ll find program and project ideas for you to use as a jumping off point when applying for a grant.

Sample Program Description Language

Below is some sample language that you can emulate for STEM/STEAM grants—just copy & paste then fill in the blanks or use them as guidance for your specific needs:

Teacher using coding robot to teach kids curriculum in a classroom with Computer Science funding.

Computer Science Curriculum & Standards Alignment with Sphero

"My big idea is to purchase [Sphero product] to enhance student learning by incorporating [choose any that apply: STEM/coding/engineering/design thinking/etc.] with [subject you teach]. I would like to give my students an exciting learning experience to become programmers and engineers while exploring [subject you teach]. Sphero impacts student learning by encouraging them to use collaboration to problem solve, creativity to design their project, and learn [subject matter].To accomplish this, I would purchase [specific product name] so my students can [full project description]. This would supplement the [existing tools/initiatives] I currently have for my [number of students] students and enable students to work collaboratively, while allowing me to enhance standards alignment in an experiential way.

Standards alignment includes: [list standards with description].

Kids using littleBits circuits in a STEM lab with funding.

Starting a STEM Lab

“STEM Labs promote exploratory learning through hands-on activities that allow students to acquire science, technology, engineering, and math skills. Our objective is to create and develop a new STEM Lab at [school name]. The STEM Lab will be dedicated to providing our students with project-based STEAM (STEM + Art) learning opportunities aimed at increasing the acquisition of 21st century skills. A critical element of our STEM lab is teaching students 21st century skills through the exposure and implementation of STEAM activities, specifically coding, robotics, and design thinking utilizing [Sphero robots and/or littleBits].

Sphero makes programmable robots and STEAM-based educational tools that encourage exploration, imagination, and perseverance through STEAM and computer science. 21st century skills are more important for students now than ever before, and it is essential that we provide our students with opportunities to learn and acquire these skills. With a lab dedicated solely to STEM, our students will be given ample opportunity to problem solve, think critically, and collaborate through the use of educational robots and other STEAM-based educational tools.”

Students in Makerspace that was funded by technology grants.

Starting a Makerspace

"Makerspaces provide collaborative work space at school for our students to create, explore, and learn using a variety of tools and resources. Our objective is to create a high-tech makerspace within our [elementary/middle/high] school to foster opportunities for exploratory learning through hands-on, project-based learning activities that allow students to acquire science, technology, engineering, and math skills.

Our makerspace will be dedicated to providing our students with project-based STEAM (STEM + Art) learning opportunities aimed at increasing the acquisition of 21st century skills. A critical element of our makerspace is to teach our students 21st century skills through the exposure and implementation of STEAM activities, specifically coding, robotics, and design thinking utilizing Sphero and littleBits.

Sphero makes programmable robots and STEAM-based educational tools that encourage exploration, imagination, and perseverance through STEAM and computer science. 21st century skills are more important to students now than ever before, and it is essential that we provide our students with opportunities to learn and acquire these skills. With a makerspace dedicated solely to creation, collaboration, and exploration using educational robotics and STEAM-based educational tools, our students will be given ample opportunity to problem-solve, think critically, and collaborate."

Sample Project Ideas

Citing a specific project you'd like to accomplish with your students can help the reader understand the impact their grant will have. Our team of former educators has created a wide range of standards-aligned projects for PK–12 students. Check them out below.

Need even more inspiration? Check out the 1000s of free activities available in the Sphero Edu app and littleBits Classroom!

Sample Budgets

When completing a grant application, you'll need to outline a detailed budget to explain where all of the grant money is going to be allocated. Below are sample budgets for implementing an effective STEM and computer science program for PK–12. Each budget can serve around 1-3 classrooms and can be used by a single teacher or shared by a grade level, team, or department.

Young kids using indi coding robot for for STEAM activity in library.
  • 2 indi Class Packs ($2399.98)
    + Virtual Professional Development ($1499.99)
    = $3899.97
  • 2 indi Class Packs ($2399.98)
    + Onsite Professional Development (starting at $4000)
    = $6399.98
Middle School kids using coding robot in a computer lab.
  • 1 BOLT Power Pack ($2649.99)
    + Computer Science Foundations Full Set ($499.99)
    Virtual Professional Development (starting at $1499.99)
    = $4649.97
  • 1 littleBits STEAM+ Coding Class Pack ($3499)
    Virtual Professional Development (starting at $1499.99)
    = $4998.99
High school kid using programming RVR robot in makerspace.
  • 2 RVR Class Packs ($2399.90)
    + Virtual Professional Development (starting at $1499.99)
    = $3899.89
  • 2 RVR Class Packs ($2399.90)
    + Onsite Professional Development (starting at $4000)
    = $6399.90
Educator searching for STEM grants and funding online.

Search for Grants Online

Grants.gov: This behemoth site is dense but comprehensive, listing the grants given by every federal agency. It also has a robust help center for newbies to the grant application process.

GrantWatch: Every type of grant—federal, state, city, local, and foundational—can be found here, and you can easily search by grant category and state.

The Foundation Center: This well-known site has been in existence since 1956 and bills itself as “the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide.” Beyond its massive grants database, it offers helpful tools and tutorials for grant applicants.

Students in science lab funded by the CodeFWD grant using a BOLT Power Pack.

Guide to STEM Funding

Check out our downloadable, printable guide to grants and funding, including:

  • Federal Grants
  • Corporate Grants
  • Organizational Grants
  • Local Grants & Partnerships
  • Crowdfunding