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Small Grant Competition to Expand Environmental Education

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The Captain Planet Foundation is accepting proposals for grants to give students a chance to make real environmental improvements at their schools or in their communities through hands-on, project-based learning.

Schools and nonprofit organizations, whose annual operating budgets are $3 million or less, are eligible to apply for the grants that range in size from $500 to $2,500.

The Foundation has so far helped finance more than 1,800 environmental education projects that have reached more than 1 million children with programs running before and after school, on weekends and during the summer, as well as part of the regular school day.

The Ko'olauloa Educational Alliance Corporation used its grant for a STEM-based environmental science project at Kahuku High School in Hawaii, where students learned about sustainable agriculture by using computer sensors to monitor an aquaponics system in a greenhouse to maximize food production and minimize water use. 

In northern California, a grant to the Sierra Watershed Education Partnership taught students at fourteen elementary, middle, and high schools why it's important to protect the rivers and streams by having them raise endangered Lahonton Cutthroat trout from eggs to fingerlings and then releasing then into the Tahoe river basin.  

Captain Planet was founded in 1991 by media mogul Ted Turner and named after Captain Planet and the Planeteers, the animated, environmentalist-themed children's television program that Turner created in the early 1990s.  Now run by Turner's daughter, the foundation funds programs designed to educate a new generation of policymakers and business leaders who have the commitment and knowledge to use technology to manage and protect the environment.

The foundation is looking for projects that show potential to continue after the grant year by securing matching or in-kind funding.

The deadline for the next round of grants is Tuesday, September 30, but if you miss that, you have until January 31, 2015 to get in on the competition for the winter projects.

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