GEF accepts grant applications from District 34 educators for innovative ideas they would like to implement in their classrooms and schools.

Since 2001, GEF has awarded over $2,000,000 to District 34. 

GEF Grant in Action:
Maker Modules, April 2022 Update

Applying for a Grant



The spring grant application is closed. Thank you to all who applied. 


For assistance with the application process or fine-tuning your grant idea, contact your school liaison or email

GEF Grant Liaisons are available to help:


GEF funded an exciting expansion of the Maker Modules into the middle schools in the Spring of 2020. Now that most pandemic-related restrictions on the use of the equipment and distancing are lifted, Springman and Attea students are hard a work rebuilding a maker culture of creativity and inquiry using the five Middle School Maker Modules: construction, robotics & coding, circuitry, design & production, and entrepreneurship. 

Almost daily students are using the WhisperRoom professional Recording Studios to create original content like podcasts, commercials, public service announcements, and radio shows for classes such as Modern Media (a new encore class), Spanish, social studies, and English language arts. A Springman student, Graham, noted, “I had a great time using the podcast studio and I thought it was super fun. I’m looking to create another podcast in the studio!" Jacob, a student at Attea, said, “In the past we’d crowd around an iPad to record. In the studio the audio is professional quality which makes it so nice.” 

Modern Media students have also filmed with our new GoPro high definition cameras, Canon video cameras, and DJI video drone. The drones have also been used at other District 34 schools to film a “We Belong” event at Lyon School and “Rainbow Day” at Pleasant Ridge. Middle school STEM class students have been using the Flash Forge 3D printers for problem solving design projects all year. 

Teacher Dina Grammas reflected on the future for the Maker Modules: “As the Modern Media literacy and design classes continue to evolve, we are discovering ample opportunities for our students to discover and grow as learners. Students have handled challenges balancing creation and production.” 

Two previous GEF grants, Entrepreneur Makerspace and Virtual Reality (VR), have been integrated into the Maker Modules this year as well. Social studies students at Springman have used the Oculus VR headsets to learn about World War II through immersive experiences of the Normandy landings of D-Day as well as a virtual tour inside the Secret Annex where Anne Frank and her family hid in Amsterdam. STEAM Club members at Attea grew basil and lettuce varieties from seed using the Fork Farm hydroponics system in the library and plan to harvest and sell the plants any day now as a fundraiser. The Maker Modules are now inspiring student-initiated projects across 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classrooms, providing new opportunities for independent learning and discovery.

GEF Funded Grants

Below are some some of the grants funded by GEF over the years. For more information on any grants funded by GEF, please contact  us at


Learning Spaces & Resources

Fine Arts


At Risk