Funds for Tech Projects

How to find funds to get zSpace into your school or business

Have you fallen in love with zSpace, but are struggling to figure out how to get it into your school?  Often customers look to us for help finding funding solutions to put a zSpace lab into their school or business.  The following is a list of ideas we have compiled to help you get started.  There are more places to look for assistance than you may know!

Grants

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6 year old using zSpace 3D technology to dissect a starfish.

Starting with a simple Google Search can get you a long way.  Start with simple terms like “STEM grant public school new york”.  Depending on the type of school you work for, you may be able to find quite a few grants to apply for.  I would suggest starting with a Google search for grants using search terms like “STEM grant public school” then adding in things about your school, for example if you have a high population of minority students, are a Title 1 school, are a private school, etc, you may be  able to find specific grants that suit the needs you are trying to meet.

You’ll be amazed at the number of grants you can apply for, from State and Government associations to corporations who want to see STEM skills and tech literacy fostered in schools.

Some links to get you started:

National Grants

http://www.stemfinity.com/STEM-Education-Grants

The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources

http://www.edutopia.org/grants-and-resources

STEMGrants.com

http://stemgrants.com

If you begin writing a grant and need support, we can provide you with some written material you can plug into your existing grants to explain the functions of zSpace and its educational value.

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In studies funded by the National Science Foundation there were 35% increases in spatial reasoning and 32% gains in retention in students who used zSpace to learn.

Crowd Funding

There are many website services available to begin reaching out to members of your community to help you fund projects.  Most charge a small percentage of monies collected.  Once you set up an account you can get the word out through newsletters, mailers, text and email blasts, automated phone calls and Social Media campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, Instragram and more.

For a great comparison of the Top Ten Crowdfunding Sites, visit http://www.crowdfunding.com

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Imran, our Katz service manager, at a University of Florida College of Education zSpace showcase.

Business donations

Another way to reach out for support is to look into businesses in your own community.  Businesses who specialize in tech or scientific research often partner with local schools to help them enrich their resources. Companies of all kinds participate in charity work and donations within their communities and you may find it easy to find a company or companies who want to partner with your school.   Start with your parent base to see the companies your parents own or work for, then branch out to see the types of organizations they may be affiliated with.  Beyond parents, family members and friends of the school may also have great resources to connect you with.

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Nicole Aitken instructing other zSpace resellers how to use CyberScience at October Professional Development Training at zSpace Headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA.

Leasing

Customers also find that leasing is a great option for them. There are two main outcomes:  Lease to own, or Lease to return the equipment.

Lease to own gives the customer the opportunity to get started with a lower initial cost and to be able to pay the total of the equipment over 2, 3 or 4 years rather than in one large sum.  Lease terms can be set in monthly or annual payments.

Lease to return allows customers to lease the equipment for a 2, 3 or 4 years, then return the equipment at the end of the term.  This allows customers to return the existing equipment and begin a lease on newer systems when the term is up.  This option is perfect for customers who want to be up on advancements.

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A fundraising auction at Evangelical Christian Academy in Ft. Myers, Florida.

On-site Fundraisers and Events

We have participated in a number of STEM nights, Back to School gatherings, Open Houses, Fundraisers, Auctions, and awareness events.  Often there is a better “buy in” for supporting your fundraising efforts if your community can see zSpace in action.  From bake sales and spaghetti dinners to non-fundraising school events, we have been able to drum up support of community members who were able to see the value in experiencing virtual reality, 3D hands-on learning for themselves.  We’ve seen anonymous donors fund projects or volunteers step up to lead campaigns after participating in these events.  If you choose the right event and make it a point to invite the most influential, connected or motivated people you know, it becomes easier to get the ball rolling and gain support.

–Nicole Aitken, March 17, 2015