Grants to Support STEM Education

Valuing Innovation and Encouraging Real-World Experience

Recognizing the significant disparities in achievement between white students and students of color, and between low-income and higher-income students in measures of proficiency in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), the Protolabs Foundation will make grants to organizations focused on transforming students’ interest in STEM fields into a demonstrated ability to succeed in a STEM career, as well as to organizations providing assistance to parents and families to support a child’s STEM education.

The Protolabs Foundation values innovation and wants to encourage real-world experience using STEM to drive innovation.

Who is Protolabs and The Protolabs Foundation?

Protolabs is the world’s largest and fastest digital manufacturing source for rapid prototyping and on-demand production. Our mission is to help companies accelerate innovation, reduce risk and optimize their supply chain by providing prototype and on demand manufacturing services at unprecedented speeds. Protolabs is a high growth, technology enabled digital manufacturer and we are a leader in the Manufacturing 4.0 revolution. To continue to be successful and to help our customers be successful requires the manufacturing industry can attract and retain the brightest young people to our field with interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Protolabs Foundation is one of many way Protolabs gives back to our community while at the same time furthering our mission to help manufacturing companies attract and retain awesome young talent to the STEM careers.


The Protolabs Foundation will consider proposals of up to $25,000 for general operating support and program-specific funding in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area, the Triangle area of North Carolina, and in Nashua, New Hampshire. Proposals for funding will be evaluated based on the following criteria (non-exhaustive):

  • Number of low-income and/or students of color in grades 6-12 reached and number of contact hours with students.
  • Alignment with academic standards in disciplines supporting STEM education.
  • Evidence of previous success or a high likelihood of success supporting measurable student outcomes in STEM education. We value innovation, as well as doing more of what is clearly working.
  • Program design that is innovative, applied, engaging for students, and focused on extending students’ interest in STEM fields into demonstrated ability and career readiness.
  • Level of support provided for families to contribute to their child’s STEM education.
  • Sustainability of programs considering current and future anticipated funding sources.


All applications are submitted through the Minneapolis Foundation’s grant portal. The application is currently closed.


Applications will be accepted online starting on Friday, July 19, 2019. All applications must be submitted online by the deadline at 12 p.m. Central Time on Friday, August 16, 2019. Grants will be awarded in early November 2019.

There will be no competitive grant round in 2020. The grant round will open again in 2021.


Individuals; conference registration fees; memberships; direct religious activities; political organizations or candidates’ fundraising efforts; conferences, events, or sponsorships; financial deficits; replacement of public sector funds; emergency/safety net services; capital projects; and, re-granting/loans. Other restrictions may apply. Contact Alyssa Hawkins at if you have any questions.


Resources are available to organizations that serve the public without discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, or national origin. It is expected that facilities will be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Questions and Application Preview

For technical questions about the application process, contact Nancy Cerkvenik at or 612-672-8665. For questions about your project proposal, contact Alyssa Hawkins at or 612-672-3865.

We recommend downloading a preview of the application questions to prepare for the online application.