MiSTEM Regional Division 13


The major objective of the Northwestern Lower MiSTEM Classroom 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.

2023-2024 Grant Cycle


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 2023-2024, individual educators and teacher teams are encouraged to work with business and community partners.



The amount of a grant to be awarded for an individual educator or several teachers who are teaming on a project is up to $1,000. Individuals or teams who develop a project which incorporates partners from businesses, nonprofits, and/or the community may be eligible for a grant of up to $2,000.

Key Dates

Application Deadline:

  1. September 15, 2023, 5 pm
  2. October 20, 2023, 5 pm
  3. January 26, 2024, 5 pm
  4. March 1, 2024, 5 pm

Awardee Notification: 

  1. September 22, 2023, 5 pm
  2. October 27, 2023, 5 pm
  3. February 2, 2024, 5 pm
  4. March 8, 2024, 5 pm

Grant Reporting Deadline:

  1.  May 3, 2024, 5 pm

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 2023-2024 school year and ready to share with the MiSTEM Network Regional Director by the reporting deadline. It would also be of benefit to know that if you submit between deadlines, your application will be considered for the next cycle.


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.



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. Here is an example of a previously awarded grant for your reference in the application process.


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


If you are a TCAPS educator, please reach out to Heidi Skodack to ensure that the materials you are purchasing will be supported by the district.

Grant Cycle Application



Applicants must complete all the following forms and include the following attachments with their application:

  1. Complete the Google Form APPLICATION by 5 pm. You may view the questions here.
  2. BUDGET WORKSHEET: Use the attached worksheet document to outline the costs involved. Use the link to access the worksheet. Download the worksheet to use as a template. Please put your name, project title, and date submitted in the document title. Email the budget sheet to Drea Weiner.
  3. Review the evaluation rubric to ensure your project is of quality.

A brief report summarizing the results, expenditures, and effectiveness of the project is due no later than May 3, 2024 via a Google form. Activities and funds are required to be initiated and completed within the school year they are awarded. Reimbursements will be paid once the follow up report is completed. All questions may be directed to Drea Weiner, MPA Regional Director.



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 the 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 using a 3D printer as a tool to inspire students to apply their learning around decimal, reverse engineering, and perseverance by reverse engineering a lego. It taught the students critical thinking and problem-solving skills while it also gave them ownership over their learning.

Suttons Bay Maker Space

The Mini-Grant supports our entire elementary school, and will allow us to encourage our learners with hands-on experiences that build their self-efficacy. At Suttons Bay, we see a huge connection between science and student ownership, because students who learn to study, observe, and experiment in their world begin to understand that they are capable of impacting their own experiences. 

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