STEM Special Event Grant

Sponsored by Danaher Foundation

Monetary Amount: Up to $3,000

Deadline: April 11

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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. 


  1. 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.  

  2. Each library, regardless of the variety of constituents it may serve, is limited to submit one application.

  3. 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.

  4. Private, parochial, independent, and home schools are not eligible. Charter schools can apply if they are publicly funded.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.


  1. Grant applicants must identify the National School Library Standards (NSLS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) addressed by the project (NSLS/NGSS Crosswalk).

  2. Events must occur during the first semester of the 2023-2024 school year.

  3. 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.

  4. 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:

  1. The quality of the benefits this grant will bring to the community.
  2. A project plan that includes a timeline, budget, and clarity of purpose.

  3. 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