About the NASA Summer of Innovation Mini-Grant Program

The NASA Summer of Innovation (SoI) program is designed to support student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by strengthening the capacity of organizations or schools that inspire and engage female, minority or high poverty middle school students in STEM content. The SoI focuses on organizations that provide student experiences during the summer and through extended learning efforts designed to keep students involved in NASA-themed STEM activities during the academic year.

Overview of the Mini-Grant Program

The SoI Mini-Grant During the pilot of the SoI in 2010, the SoI Project identified numerous organizations that were interested in partnering with NASA in the Summer of Learning. Many of these organizations were community based, had extensive experience in delivering STEM content to middle school educators and students, but they did not have substantial experience in government partnerships. This lack of experience proved to be a significant deterrent for these organizations to participate in the SoI. Through the SoI Mini-Grant program, these organizations will be engaged in delivering NASA-themed STEM activities via existing summer or afterschool programs. By focusing on smaller organizations across the country the SoI Mini-Grant Program would enable the engagement of a wide range of new organizations in SoI content and themes in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Through the SoI Mini-Grant Program organizations will be able to apply for funding up to $2500 to integrate SoI themes and content into existing middle-school student or teacher centered summer or after school programs. Eligible programs would contain one or both of the following in their application:

  1. The delivery of at least 6 hours of NASA SoI content targeting underserved and underrepresented middle school students in summer or afterschool programs.
  2. The delivery of educator workshops (for certified teachers, pre-service teachers or informal education community) featuring NASA SoI content or themes.

The Soi Mini-Grant Program made 170 awards during the 2011 cycle.

The SoI Mini-Grant Program anticipates making approximately 200 awards during the 2012 cycle.

Due to the tight timeline awards will be made on a rolling basis though July 9th.

Download the Program Flyer


June 7, 2012

Program Announcement
Applications Open

June 29, 2012Applications Due
July 9, 2012Awards Announced on a Rolling Basis No Later Than
Award - Dec 16, 2012Conduct Activities
End of Activity + 30 daysActivity Reports Due


To be eligible to apply for a SoI Mini-Grant program organizations must meet all of the following criteria.

  • Be a small, community based organization. Examples of such organizations include but are not limited to the following: Boy Scout troops, Girl Scout troops, YMCA programs, science centers, museums, libraries, school clubs and any other community or school based organization
  • Serve middle school students and/or teachers of middle school students especially those involved with underrepresented and underserved populations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please vist the program FAQ which aims to answer, in a very clear and concise manner, common questions about the NASA Summer of Innovation Mini-Grant Program.