Inspiring Australia Maker Project grants are now open! Australian schools and community organisations can apply for funding of $2,000 to $20,000 to supoport projects that encourage practical skills, creativity and entrepreneurial thinking.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews announced applications for the Coalition Government’s Maker Projects grants will open on Thursday 8 November. Funds worth $1 million are available in the Maker Projects program, supporting the development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills among Australia’s youth.
“Mathematics and science skills are essential for our economic prosperity and the jobs of the future, and the Coalition is working to encourage more students, particularly girls and young women, to study these subjects,” Minister Andrews said.
“We know that 75 per cent of future jobs will require these skills, and this program introduces young people to STEM, allowing them to learn useful skills that can lead to rewarding careers.”
Who can apply?
Maker Projects fosters creativity and learning in Australian schools and communities through the creation of maker spaces in schools, such as creative hubs and mobile innovation labs, where students can develop and apply their STEM skills, like problem-solving and creative thinking, in a hands-on way.
Grants are offered through two streams.
- Maker Projects Stream A Grants are for primary and secondary schools, where they can access grants of between $2,000 to $5,000 to establish maker spaces.
- Maker Projects Stream B Grants are for community organisations partnering with industry to run STEM-related events and education activities for Australians under 18.
Funding for the program comes from the $29.8 million Inspiring Australia science engagement program, through the Coalition’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, aimed at harnessing science, research and innovation as long-term drivers of Australia’s economic prosperity, jobs and growth.
What kind of programs get funded?
Maker activities can include electronics, design, coding and 3D printing – anything that encourages audiences to develop practical skills, creativity and entrepreneurial thinking.
To apply for Stream A, schools must demonstrate evidence that they will use the funds to establish creative zones where students can tinker, play and build things using technology, innovation and imagination to solve real-world problems.
In past rounds, Maker Projects grants have enabled schools to purchase 3D-printers, scientific measurement tools, portable maker toolkits, and furniture such as benches and tool chests to establish full-time collaboration spaces.
To apply for Stream B grants, applicants need an industry partner and access to a community space that can provide public access to your maker activities.
Grant funds can be used to cover events, activities and education programs targeting people under 18 years of age and delivered in community settings. One objective of this funding is to promote young people’s participation in science, technology, engineering and maths – the STEM disciplines.
Libraries, museums and galleries as well as youth centres and community organisations with access to a space are encouarged to apply.
The CORRIDOR project, the lead organisation of the Orange Cowra Cabonne Science Hub, was successful in securing a $20,000 grant in June 2017. The group has used these funds to purchase equipment including a 3D printer, microscopes and telescopes. It now delivers a regional program of activity led by STEM professionals with support from lovcal copuncils and in partnership with regional museums.
Grants are awarded on a first in basis until funding is exhausted and we expect demand to be high – in previous years funding has been exhausted within hours.
Applications can be submitted online from Thursday 8 November 2018 and close once the annual allocation of funding is exhausted.
Maker Projects grants are highly competitive and applications will be assessed in the order they are received. Full information about how to apply for the Maker Space grants are available at business.gov.au