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Money, Money, Money – A Step By Step Guide to Grant Applications

Money, Money, Money – A Step By Step Guide to Grant Applications

Stacey Wheeler, Senior Science Technician at Mounts Bay Academy, Penzance, brings over a decade of experience. As a STEM Learning Associate Facilitator, she established a Cornwall-wide community of Technicians, offering free CPD training, equipment sharing, and building confidence through regular face-to-face meetings.

As a Science technician, I consider myself incredibly fortunate. My role allows me to work in a school without the added responsibilities of planning lessons, marking student work, or dealing with the grading exam papers at the end of each term. Instead, I get to work behind the scenes, focusing on preparing practical science activities and creating solutions. I constantly look for fun and inspiring lessons to teach the next generation of scientists.

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During the summer term or end-of-term exams, I find myself with a bit more free time, which led me to explore ways to raise funds for the department. To my surprise, I discovered numerous opportunities available to bring in money for the school. It just takes some time and effort to explore these possibilities fully. While I recognise my good fortune in managing science practical requests, I am aware that many prep rooms face challenges due to being understaffed and underfunded.

This is all the more reason to see science technicians a coveted species and highlights the importance of acknowledging science technicians as invaluable contributors. Our unique skills and talents are not only essential within schools but also extend across various industries. If you have a technician on your team, it is vital to make an effort to retain them, provide proper training, and appreciate the true value of their job and what it entails.

I have found a way to expand my role by actively applying for grants, and I am delighted to share that my efforts have been recognised in my place of work, all the way to the top of the food chain.

Beyond simply enhancing our knowledge, applying for grants allows us to build character and introduce new ideas into the school environment.

For those who don’t have a science club yet, applying for a grant to start one is a fantastic idea. Likewise, if you desire a Polytunnel in school or want to delve into coding, seeking out suitable grants can make your dreams a reality!

Admittedly, applying for grants can be time-consuming and competitive, but the satisfaction of winning one is genuinely rewarding.

My passion for this job stems from wanting to provide as many opportunities as possible for our students during their time with us. I firmly believe that their experiences in school can have a profound and inspirational impact on their lives.

For those considering applying for grants, here’s a helpful step-by-step guide:

  1. Plan ahead – Clearly define what you want to achieve, why it’s important, and how you intend to reach your goals.
  2. Create a detailed budget – Outline precisely how you’ll spend the grant money, including items like chemicals, beakers, polytunnel covering, coding robots, etc. Provide accurate pricing to calculate the total cost effectively.
  3. Give your project a captivating name – Whether it’s “Science Club,” “Potion Practice,” or “Growers Tunnel,” a catchy and unique title can make your application stand out.
  4. Dedicate sufficient time – Preparing grant applications requires time and effort, but having all the necessary information and plans in place will make the process more manageable and efficient.
  5. Provide relevant details – Be ready to share your charity number and pupil premium information, and compellingly explain why your students deserve this valuable opportunity.

By following these steps, you can significantly increase your chances of securing grants and further enriching the educational experience for your students.

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