Field Trip Grants
Dive into the wealth of resources available to help make your school field trip dreams a reality.
Field trips can be influential and inspirational, offering students transformational academic and cultural opportunities. However, like many extracurricular events, they can come with a big price tag. In an effort to seek creative funding for these trips, here are some resources around field trip grants to get you started. Remember to carefully read the requirements and guidelines for each grant to ensure that you are eligible and that your field trip fits within the parameters of the grant.
Foundational Grants for Schools
Foundations across the country offer support for educators, and new opportunities continue to arise year after year. There are also a wide variety of more localized grants specific to states or even cities that can help fund field trips, transportation, and project supplies. Check out these offerings below for some of the current field trip grants offered on a national scale.
- The NEA Foundation Student Success Grants The NEA Foundation wants to support educators engaging students in project-based and deeper learning to support the development of skills and dispositions contributing to success and fulfillment in a changing world. Grants between $1,500 and $5,000 are available for a period of 12 months from the date of the award.
- The Beacon and Verizon: Teacher Technology Grant These are field trip grants that will fund projects, allowing students to engage with educational content through the interactive learning experiences of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. Two awards, each $1,000, will be made to provide VR sets for classrooms. Since 2020, virtual field trips continue to thrive and are enhanced with VR equipment.
- Voya Unsung Heroes The Unsung Heroes program has helped thousands of K-12 educators fund innovative classroom and out-of-classroom projects such as field trips. To date, nearly $5 million in grant money has been awarded.
- NASA Title 1 School Discount Program Title 1 Under this program, schools may request funding that subsidizes the price of a field trip ticket. The program provides for field trips to be priced at $5.95 per person, a savings of up to 76 percent off full-price admission. More details are available on their website.
- Civil Air Patrol This includes two grant opportunities and resources for several different programs to bolster K-12 experiences related to flight and aerospace through the partnering Air Force Auxiliary.
- The Road Scholarship Program Offered by the SYTA Youth Foundation, this grant helps to cover travel costs related to field trips and student learning. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel is being more heavily scrutinized to make sure methods are safe. Visit the website for information and to apply.
- Sol Hirsch NWAF Education Fund Grants for K-12 Teachers/Educators This grant is intended for teachers, program directors, school district supervisors, and other individuals proposing to improve the education of K-12 students in meteorology through projects or field trip opportunities.
- State Farm® Community Grants State Farm offers yearly grants that help educators who are committed to helping build safer, stronger, and better-educated communities. These grants can be put toward field trips and other out-of-classroom activities.
- Toshiba America Foundation For those in the fields of science and math, Toshiba America grants help to support teacher-designed projects across a variety of grade levels.
- Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation This grant program is ideal for educators looking to enhance their environmental curriculum, providing support for integrated field activities, classroom teaching and problem solving.
Local and Community Grants for Schools
Many states and local corporations offer field trip funding and grants for local schools. Check with local businesses, non-profits, and community organizations to see if there are any grants available. This can also include places of interest such as museums, zoos, and cultural institutions. You can also branch out and check with associations that are relevant to your subject area, such as the National Science Teachers Association or the National Council for the Social Studies. In addition, be sure to check with your school’s PTA or similar organizations, as they often have fundraising efforts and may be able to provide field trip grants for students.
General and Corporate Grants for Field Trips
There are many websites that list grants available for field trips. One example is Grants.gov, which is a comprehensive database of federal grants. You can also try websites such as GrantsAlert.com, GetEdFunding.com, GrantWatch.com, DonorsChoor.org, or AdoptAClassroom.org, which will allow you to create a fundraising campaign for your classroom to put toward field trips. You can also search for grants on Google by using terms such as “field trip grants for students” or “education grants for field trips.” You can also look for corporate grants, as many large corporations such as Costco, Walmart, and Target provide grants to support education, including field trips.
Another more general funding source for field trips is to look for admission discounts or admission-specific programs for student groups. This may cover a portion or all the admission price and is a great way to help offset costs to attractions of interest.
National Free Days for Field Trips
Be sure to check out special offers for student groups as well as any “free days” happening near you. For local national parks, monuments, or museums, take advantage of National Parks Free Days to explore the great outdoors with students. And under the Every Kid Outdoors program, all fourth graders get a pass for free admission into national parks for the year. This includes family members of the student.
There are countless field trip grants and assistance programs available for educators, ranging from broad in scope to highly specialized. If you plan well in advance and spend a bit of time researching the opportunities that are available, it can reap great rewards for both you and your students. There’s still plenty of field trip ideas to read about in the Student Travel Planning Guide, along with information for faculty to help plan student travel.
By Courtney Lind
Top photo by Andrea Piaquadio
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