Let's get the community to help make your classroom the place where students turn ideas into reality. As a teacher or administrator you have access to a variety of online tools to help you get funding.
The following are some programs that may help you gain funding for your classroom:
This article has some additional tips for how to get free materials for your classroom.
Once you have chosen a funding platform you will need to set it up. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to help make this process as easy as possible.
1. Some platforms require you to choose a category. For example, Donors Choose asks you to choose between "My Students" and "My Project". If your goal is to get 3D printers for your classroom, you will want to choose the project category.
2. Write a headline that catches attention. Try not to be geographically specific so that folks from around the world are attracted to your campaign.
Here are some suggested headlines:
1. 3D Printers Build Better Students
2. 3D Printing Makes STEAM Real
3. Bringing The Future of 3D Printing to Our Classroom
3. Create a great tagline for your project. This is the sentence that is usually presented along with the headline when the project is shared on social media. Keep this tagline as clear and concise as possible.
Here are some suggested taglines:
1. My students need 3D printers to learn how to build the future and grow their self confidence.
2. My 3rd grade students need the STEAM tools of the future to be better prepared, please help our class.
3. My 8th grade students need 3D printers for our project lead the way robots.
4. Describe your classroom and students so that as many people as possible can connect with your request. There are several different approaches you can use to help others understand why your classroom is the right place to invest.
Here are some things you may want to highlight:
1. Students show promise and are ready to move beyond the traditional cirriculum.
2. Students and parents have been asking for 3D printers and the school system doesn't have the funds.
3. Students lack access to the STEAM tools that will help them be successful.
5. Next, you need to describe to potential funders what you plan to do with the items or money you are requesting. It is important to be very clear in what your objectives are for the purchased materials. Quantifying your plan shows donors that they are maximizing their impact.
Here are some examples:
1. A teacher asked her donors for ten 3D printers and explained that each 3D printer would result in 10,000 hours of student use (6 hours per day of an 182-day school year for 10+ years).
2. A teacher asked her donors for fifteen 3D printers and one hundred spools of filament, then explained that each 3D printer would enable students to make 7,500 ideas real (15 printers used by 5 classes a day to make 10 prints a year for 10+ years).
6. Before you submit your campaign, you will also need to include some great images. A picture is worth a thousand words and first impressions are made in seconds, so you will want to ensure your images and videos leave an impression on viewers. We also recommend including images of the items you are requesting. Lastly, it is important to include a thank you image at the end of your campaign to thank potential donors. Some examples of a thank you image could be a picture of a hand-written thank you note or of your students holding up a thank you banner.
If you need help creating or editing images for your campaign, check out some of these online tools:
7. The final step is to get the word out! You will want to take advantage of your social network, so use facebook and ask your colleagues, parents and students to share the campaign. Sharing the campaign on social media is quick, easy, free, and very effective. You may also want to send out an email letting your network know there is a new project posted. Include a link to the project, and if there is a match offer make sure to clearly spell out the details. We also recommend sending the request to your local community via news outlets, libraries, museums, gymnastic centers, and other places where education is a big focus. Finally, email firstname.lastname@example.org a link and we will help you get the word out!