STEM Special Event Grant

Supported by Danaher Foundation

Monetary Amount: Up to $3,000

Currently closed


Students who are engaged in STEM curriculum may understand the subject but making a real-life connection to college and career application is a step not presented to all students. Similarly, students who are not engaged with their school’s STEM curriculum may become engaged when it is presented in real-life application and career advancement. Everyone belongs in the school library, so when a school librarian connects the safe and open space of the school library to STEM, the possibilities become wide open.

The STEM Special Event Grant program supports a special event to increase student engagement. The goal is to provide direct assistance funding to middle or high school libraries for special short-term projects or events that would engage students to promote STEM education and promote student interest in a career in the STEM field. Grants could be used for collaborative projects with classroom teachers, engagement events with local community businesses or organizations, STEM career and college days, development or expansion of STEM makerspaces, and other projects or events that engage middle or high school students with the resources of the school library and school librarian. The desired impact of the grants is to expand an understanding of STEM and STEM careers for learners and the school community, especially underserved students or students in geographic areas that lack resources for STEM-Career programming.

The fund is $48,000 per annum.  The direct assistance is capped at $3,000 per grant. 


  • The applicant must be a publicly funded middle or high school, grades 6-12, and have an existing campus library.  For schools that serve more grades (e.g. K-12) the applicant should explicitly describe how the event and grant funds will serve only grades 6-12.  
  • Each library, regardless of the variety of constituents it may serve, is limited to submit one application.
  • The grant is awarded to individual schools, not to districts; all schools in a given district are welcome to apply if they meet the criteria, but each school must submit an application that is specific to their needs.
  • Private, parochial, independent, and home schools are not eligible. Charter schools can apply if they are publicly funded.
  • The public middle or high school library must be located in the United States, with one staff position being held by a certified school librarian.
  • Institutions represented by STEM Special Event Jury can be eligible to apply, but committee members must recuse themselves from the discussion and voting or decline if they have a conflict of interest.


  • Grant applicants must identify the National School Library Standards (NSLS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) addressed by the project (NSLS/NGSS Crosswalk).
  • Events must occur during the first semester of the 2023-2024 school year.
  • Recipients will submit a grant report no later than December 15, 2023.  The required data and feedback fields will be given to recipients as part of the grant notification.
  • Recipients must agree to share their event with the AASL community through one or more of the following during the 2024 calendar year (January 1 - December 31, 2024) - Knowledge Quest article, KQ Website blog post, webinar, conference proposal (or participate in panel/group presentation with other recipients).

Special Considerations

The following are points of information that may receive special consideration during the grant review process.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to ensure any of these points that apply to their application be included:

  • Title I school
  • Percentage of FRL student population
  • EDI profile - AASL is dedicated to equity, diversity, and inclusion to ensure we serve and represent the entire community. Consider any information AASL may want to consider when looking to meet this core value. Such areas may include but are not limited to, ethnicity, gender or sexual identities and expressions, religion, disability status, nationality, immigrant/refugee/new American, etc.  Consider including both personal information as well as community served.
  • Replication- The STEM Special Event Grants have been established to offer school librarians the opportunity to add or expand STEM resources and activities in the school library, but also to offer the larger school library community a pool of ideas and programs to replicate in their own school libraries. Applicants should include a short description of how their special event could be adjusted for a little or no budget option. 
  • Community Engagement- AASL considers 'community' broadly and may include other educators in the school/district, local organizations or businesses, public libraries, and/or community colleges/universities.


The STEM Special Event Fund Jury will evaluate the applicant based on the following criteria:

  • The quality of the benefits this grant will bring to the community.
  • A project plan that includes a timeline, budget, and clarity of purpose.
  • Rankings based on a rubric that correlates with the ratings sheet.

Download Criteria & Rating Sheet

Download a Copy of Application


Allison Cline email icon
Deputy Executive Director


Year Recipient School Project
2023 Sarah Appel, District Librarian  Moriarty High School, Moriarty, New Mexico  "Innovation Station" STEM Makerspace
  "The Moriarty High School Library is proud to accept the STEM Special Event Grant supported by the Danaher Foundation. The funding provided will help establish the high school's first STEM program. The MHS Library Innovation Station will give students access and experience to a real-world, future ready, practical application of problem solving using the Design Thinking Process. I am excited to see the students at Moriarty High School work through inquiry, creation and design processes!"
2023 Rebecca Caufman, School Librarian Radford High School, Radford, Virginia STEM Makerspace Careers and Activities
  "We are thrilled to be awarded an AASL STEM Special Event Grant! Our exploration into STEM and STEM careers will begin on the first day of school with MakerSpace crafts, passive programing, and weekly career talks inspired by one of the strands of STEM. We hope that our school library’s focus on STEM activities and careers help students make a real-life connection to STEM and it will increase student engagement and interest in the field."
2023 Stephanie Charlefour, Media Specialist Westmoreland School, Westmoreland, New Hampshire "Bulldog Bytes" 
  "Westmoreland School is so grateful to be selected as a recipient for the STEM Special Event grant. We will be hosting a family STEM night during which our middle school students will demonstrate different STEM activities for our elementary students including coding robots and we will be adding high quality titles into our science collection. Thank you for supporting our small, rural school."
2023 Carrie Friday, Media Specialist Melbourne High School, Melbourne, Florida STEM-based Career Skills
  "Melbourne High School is so grateful for this opportunity as we transition to a model of using STEAM materials to host classes for engaging lessons that are reflective of the curriculum of each class while developing maker skills that will help allow our students an opportunity to explore STEM-based careers and build their college and career resumes by having chances to tinker, code, make, and craft in a creative way to show what they know."
2023 Deborah Hoover, School Librarian/ Technology Coach Northeastern Middle School/Shannon Oliver Northeastern School District, Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania "I Could Be A...." Career Research Project
  "Thank you so much for selecting our proposal for the AASL STEM grant. We received the notification and wish to express how much we appreciate the support that will allow us to create several mobile Green Screen studios at our building. Our event will be one where students can showcase skills to the community along with increased opportunities for them to use the technology for their end products."
2023 Tatanisha "Tiki" Love, School Librarian Southwest Academy, Woodlawn, Maryland "Full STEAM Ahead"
  "I gladly accept the AASL STEM Special Event Grant and look forward to sharing information (background, activities, results, etc.) with others."
2023 Mitzi Mack, Media Specialist Young Middle Magnet, Tampa, Florida Makerspace and Hydroponics Garden
2023 Diane Mokuau, School Librarian Molokai High School, Hoolehua, Hawaii "Mess and Maker's Project"
  "Molokai High School is so thankful to be awarded an AASL STEM Special Event Grant! Our Library Makerspace will now have sewing, jewelry, circuitry making equipment and supplies so our students can showcase their creations at our 1st "Mess & Make" Family Night. Thank you so much for supporting our small rural high school."
2023 Mary Randall, District Media Specialist Manchester Jr/Sr High School, North Manchester, Indiana STEM Resource Collection and Career Exploration
2023 Joanna Sargent, School Librarian Lady's Island Middle School, Lady's Island, South Carolina Engineering STEM Makerspace Night
  "I am excited and honored that our school library was chosen to receive funding from the AASL Special Event STEM Grant. It is exciting to be able to provide this special STEM event at our Title I school that will impact our students and community to give them a better understanding of the school library makerspace and how it can connect to future STEM careers."
2023 Nathan Sekinger, School Librarian Gayle Middle School, Fredericksburg, Virginia STEM 3D Designs Projects
  "On behalf of all the makers at Gayle Middle School in Stafford, Virginia, I gladly accept this grant. Thank you to AASL and the Danaher Foundation for your generosity."