Moonshot Grants: Inspiring educators to think radically, dream big, and imagine a better future

More than $1 million will be distributed to test bold ideas

You know that big idea you have? The innovative project you’ve been thinking about that would change the future for your students? Now imagine being given the chance to bring that idea to life. Meet Remake Learning’s Moonshot Grants.

Moonshot Grants give schools and educational nonprofits the funding to see a brighter tomorrow, take on challenges, and improve the way students are learning. The pandemic caused schools to rapidly and drastically change, forcing students to adapt just as quickly. Those challenges and triumphs taught us so much about the resiliency and creativity of not only students, but educators too. Moonshot Grants can build upon this new environment of adaptability and innovation to make education better than it was before.

With this dynamic funding, educators can shoot for the stars, expanding on existing research or testing an entirely new idea, to create an impactful atmosphere that encourages learning and excites the classroom.

These life-changing Moonshot Grants were inspired by last year’s Tomorrow Grants, which awarded organizations with “research and development” style funding. Recipients used their grants to support a wide range of projects, from staff teambuilding activities and extra homework help for students to a middle school makerspace equipped with 3-D printers and even an in-school recording studio, where students can write and produce their own music.

Envisioning a Preferred Future

Though rooted in a similar focus, Moonshot Grants offer an opportunity to take bold ideas to the next level and shape the future of education. After the setbacks and alterations from the pandemic, Moonshot Grants embrace the opportunity to address inequities and totally transform our education systems.

The opportunity draws inspiration from Learning Reimagined: Radical Thinking for Equitable Futures, a report released in August 2020 by Imaginable Futures and IDEO. The report highlights how “historic inequities embedded in our education systems — race, gender, geography, wealth, income, culture — have been further brought to light by the recent seismic shifts in our society.” Shifts that have, undeniably, impacted our routines in learning and education.

It calls on leaders to meet this moment with “brave and radical redesign” and outlines the process of “futuring,” a tool that allows us to build out future scenarios.

In this spirit, Moonshot Grant applicants will be asked to envision what they hope learning will look like ten to twenty years in the future — what we’re calling a “preferred future of learning.” Ideally, this future will be based on early indicators or “signals” of change we see today.

But just as no one can predict the future, there’s no one expected definition of a preferred future.

“When we say ‘Moonshot’ we mean it,” says Tyler Samstag, Network Director of Remake Learning. “This is a time for educators to think outside of the box and test ideas they never thought were possible. These grants are meant to inspire, explore, and break barriers to change the landscape of education.”

In addition, preference will be given to those that prioritize collaboration and center equity and justice by supporting learners of color, learners in poverty, learners in rural areas, girls in STEM, and/or learners with disabilities.

The projects funded by Moonshot Grants will establish a foundation of engaged learning for decades to come. Opportunities that may feel unimaginable are within reach thanks to Moonshot Grants.

There’s No Getting Back to “Normal”

Remote learning has proven to have its challenges and hardships. With the right idea, Moonshot Grants can help break down the virtual barrier and improve remote learning, provide the technology to succeed, and empower education virtually or in-person for the future.

“The pandemic completely restructured the way children are learning. We can grow from this dramatic shift and examine how to improve education. Remake Learning’s Moonshot Grants can boost this creative step moving forward,” added Samstag.

Schools need to rethink old methods and refocus their mindset to test new curricula and bold ideas. No matter the environment, it’s time for schools and educational organizations to explore different ways of thinking, experiment with new programs, and seek a better future.

Those looking to learn more or be a part of this exciting opportunity must first attend one informational workshop and be listed in the Remake Learning network directory. These workshops will help applicants understand the RFP process and shape proposal ideas. In addition to the workshop, open office hour sessions with be available throughout the submission process to answer any additional questions, but attendance is not required.

Applicants may submit a proposal following the first informational workshop on February 18. Proposals will be accepted through April 11, 2021 at Awardees will be announced on May 10, 2021.

Dare to dream big and shoot for the moon. Every student and every educator deserves the opportunity for a brighter tomorrow, and this funding is yours for the taking. The future is yours for the changing.