Deadline Extended to January 31st: Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists Grant Opportunity

Grant Deadline Coming Up Soon! January 31 on blue background with globe illustration

Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists (YLACES) seeks to develop citizens who can think scientifically, utilizing the environment as a learning laboratory where students conduct inquiry-based research and contribute to a better collective understanding of our changing world.

YLACES is soliciting applications for grants for the 2020/2021 school year. Those working with youth to do research projects through environmental citizen science are invited to submit proposals for support to help acquire the scientific instruments or other necessary data collection tools or materials. The deadline to submit a proposal is January 31, 2021.

To develop critical analysis and thinking skills, young minds need to experience the scientific approach of developing hypotheses, taking careful, reproducible measurements, and reasoning with data. Inquiries should begin early and grow in quality and sophistication as learners progress in literacy, numeracy, and understanding social interactions and society.

While classroom learning will always be important, extending science education into the great outdoors offers unparalleled academic, physical, social, and emotional benefits for students. The environment provides a myriad of topics for research that are within the intellectual grasp of students across a wide range of grades and ability levels, from simple budburst observation to more complex soil composition analysis. Outdoor learning helps students hone their senses, instill a sense of personal responsibility, and acquire a greater appreciation for nature and the need to protect it. For cash-strapped school systems and informal education programs, providing students with opportunities to conduct meaningful scientific inquiry outdoors can occur with modest investments in equipment and technology.

YLACES emphasis is on serving youth in the K–12 grades.  We invite educators working with students both in formal education systems as well as informal education settings such as parks or nature centers, in the United States and globally.

In general, equipment, supplies, or materials available commercially and included in grant awards will be purchased directly by YLACES and shipped to the grant recipient. All equipment, supplies, or materials should be clearly defined in the proposal; if specific models or brands are desired, this should be specified in the grant application along with sources of supply.

Grants will be made in response to proposals up to $1,250 not including the costs for instrument delivery, bank charges, and currency conversions.  

How to apply/register:

To apply for a grant, educators are invited to submit a proposal of no more than two pages that addresses the following questions:​

  • What is the research project being proposed or what types of youth research projects will be enabled by the grant?
  • How will student research be included in curricula or youth group activities?
  • How will the quality of youth citizen science measurements be assured, the protocols documented, and the data reported and shared?
  • How will youth research project results and conclusions be documented and shared?
  • How will participant improvement in scientific ways of thinking be assessed and reported to YLACES? 

In addition to the two-page proposal, please include a resume of the person who is making the request and will be responsible for grant implementation as well as contact information including email and phone number. Also, please include with the contact information a brief description of the proposer’s organization and its website address.​

Grant proposals are due by January 31st and should be submitted by email to

No individual or organization should submit more than one grant proposal at a time.