Student design for a project representing Thanksgiving.

The major objective of the Northwestern Lower MiSTEM Mini-Grant Program is to enhance the quality of educational experiences for our students. The emphasis is on stimulating new teaching ideas and new learning opportunities within the classroom, made possible through the creative spark of the teacher. An additional emphasis is also placed on developing community outreach projects, encouraging students and schools to work with local business partners and community organizations.

Winter 2020

Congratulations to the awardees of the Winter 2020 round! We are excited to announce the awardees:

  • Chris Vandergriff, Bellaire Public Schools
  • Nancy Wind, Boyne Falls Public School
  • Tom McInerney, Buckley Community Schools
  • Donavan Eggleston, Central Lake Public Schools
  • Hilary Stover, Concord Academy Petoskey
  • Michael Tiesworth, Frankfort-Elberta Area Schools
  • Tom Cooper, Traverse City Area Public Schools
  • Tara Denherder, Traverse City Area Public Schools
  • Karen Nelson, Traverse City Area Public Schools
  • Sam Walter, Traverse City Area Public Schools

Fall 2019

The awardees of Fall 2019 MiSTEM Network Mini-Grants are: Tennille Dhaseleer of Charlevoix Public Schools, Dakota Ferguson, Beth Ristow, Samantha Herscher, Hope Roisen, Chris Brown, and Becky Lipchik from Alanson Public Schools. Congratulations to the awardees! These awardees were great examples of STEM in the classroom. We look forward to seeing them enacted in the classroom.

Special Spring 2020 Grant Cycle

This grant cycle the Northwestern Lower MiSTEM Network has decided to do a special spring addition that is a one time only event. We have doubled the awardee amount and those who have applied before may apply for the special round.

ELIGIBLE PARTICIPANTS: The program is open to all K-12 public school teachers in Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau Counties. Team projects from several teachers working together with multiple groups of students are also accepted and encouraged. For the school year 2019-2020, individual teachers and teacher teams are encouraged to work with business and community partners.

FUNDING/BUDGET GUIDELINES: The maximum amount of a grant to be awarded for an individual teacher or several teachers who are teaming on a project is $1,000. Individuals or teams who develop a project which incorporates partners from business, nonprofit, and/or community may be eligible for a grant up to a maximum of $2,000.

The applications should articulate to the grant reviewers what activities and learning will be going on in the classroom and to what standards they align. The activities should all be contained in the 2019-2020 school year and ready to share out to the MiSTEM Network Regional Director by the reporting deadline.

Expenditures for program materials to enhance or extend a regular program or to create a new program are encouraged; they should be beyond the scope of the regular school-line item budget. If a pre-packaged kit is a major activity for your project, indicate how you would supplement the kit and customize it for your program.

SUPPORTS:  Are you interested in applying for the business/community tier of the grant but not sure how to get connected? We are happy to work with you to establish these connections. The purpose of the grant is to build your teaching capacity. We are here to help you.

We also strongly encourage you to reach out to Drea Weiner, Regional Director if you have questions or would like to discuss the development of your project idea.

Apply – Here

SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS: Applicants must complete all the following form and include the following attachments with their application:

  1. Complete the Google Form APPLICATION by 5 pm on March 27, 2020. You may view the questions here.
  2. ACTIVITIES & BUDGET WORKSHEET: Use the attached worksheet document to outline the activities involved with your project, who will carry out each step, and the costs involved. Use the link to access the worksheet. Download the worksheet to use as a template. Please put your name in the document title and project name in the template. Email the budget sheet to Drea Weiner at
  3. Review the evaluation rubric to ensure your project is of quality.

Notification to all awardees will be made on April 3, 2020.

A brief report summarizing results, expenditures, and effectiveness of the project are due no later than May 15, 2020.

All questions may be directed to Drea Weiner, Northwestern Lower MiSTEM Network Regional Director.

AWARDING OF GRANTS/FUNDS: Following the submission of all applications, the Northwestern Lower MiSTEM Network Advisory Panel, which is comprised of regional business representatives, educational representatives, non-profits, as well as community organization representatives, will review them. Winners are determined on a district-wide competitive basis, with awards going to the top-ranked proposals. Factors taken into account in the final decision include adherence to proposal guidelines, the creativity of the project, impact on students and community, and the opportunity the project presents to make a difference in the education of students.

Project Ideas

5th Grade Lego Project

Are you looking at implementing Design Thinking, math, and engineering in the classroom? TCAPS Tom Cooper worked through 3D printing to get students to apply their decimal, reverse engineering, and perseverance skills.