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STEM programs

Children do better in college and later in life if they can begin to prepare for their careers early. With encouragement and exposure to different fields of study, they can begin that preparation as early as grade school if they find an area of study that interests them. That’s why the Westar Energy Foundation supports programs and encourages youths to stay in school to develop to their full potential, promote STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, develop workforce skills and enhance personal development to successfully participate in society and improve their communities.

STEM grants

STEM Grants are designed to support K-12 teachers in their efforts to develop, improve or expand innovative instructional programs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). One - $3,000 grant and five - $1,000 grants will be awarded to support innovative programs that strive to increase student interest and academic achievement in STEM disciplines.

Applicants will be teachers at public or private schools located in the Westar Energy service territory.
  • This grant is intended for resources needed for individual classroom projects. If more than one classroom is undertaking the same or a very similar project, only one grant per school may be awarded.
  • Upon completion of the projects, recipients will be asked to provide a written summary with examples of class work and photographs.
Successful applicants will include projects dealing with science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Requests that incorporate the following components are of the greatest interest:
  • Focus on electricity, electrical production and conservation in Kansas.
  • Designed to improve, advance and enrich student learning while advancing students' interest in STEM.
  • Ensure that students have the core competencies needed to pursue a career or degree in STEM fields.
  • Provide activities that support student application of classroom STEM knowledge to real-life applications.
  • Clearly explain how the items requested for funding are vital to the project's successful completion.
  • Projects must be completed during the current academic year.
  • Resources requested should be integral components of a well-planned classroom project/lesson plan and important to its success.
What is not supported by this grant:
  • Pre-school projects
  • Salaries and compensation for outside speakers, guest presenters or school personnel.
  • School laboratory supplies or equipment for general school use.
  • Media equipment (computers, cameras, DVD players, white boards). 
  • Projects that require multiple academic years for completion.
  • Admissions fees and stipends for conferences, workshops or competitions.
  • Transportation, incentives, meals and refreshments.
  • Previously funded projects from past winners.
Community programs section header photo