2016 Westar Energy STEM Innovation Awards

Westar Energy, in partnership with the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) and Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), announces the third round in the Westar Energy STEM Innovation Award.

These awards are designed to support K-12 educators and school leaders in their efforts to develop, improve or expand innovative project-based instruction in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  Three $3,000 awards will be granted this year to support innovative programs that strive to increase student interest and academic achievement in the STEM disciplines as applied to electrical energy. A selection committee, composed of personnel from Westar Energy, KASB and KSDE will select the winning applicants. 

You can read more about last year's recipients here.

Successful applicants will be teachers or administrators in KASB-member districts.
  • This award is intended for resources needed for individual classroom projects, or projects sponsored by school-affiliated, STEM-themed clubs and organizations.  If more than one classroom is undertaking a similar project, only one grant per district may be awarded.
  • Upon completion of the projects, recipients will provide a written summary with samples of class work and photographs to Westar Energy and KASB.  Curriculum and instructional materials will be property of both Westar and KASB.
  • Further, recipients will present their project during a session of the annual KASB conference in Wichita in December 2016. (See below for last year's presentations.)
Successful applications will include projects dealing with science, technology, engineering or mathematics in the context of the generation, transmission or distribution of electrical energy.  Requests that incorporate the following components are of the greatest interest:
  • A focus on electricity, electrical production and conservation in Kansas.
  • Designed to improve, advance and enrich student learning while growing their interest in STEM.
  • Designed to spark interest in STEM disciplines among students from non-traditional or underrepresented groups (i.e. ethnic minority and female students).
  • Provide activities that support student application of classroom STEM knowledge to practical applications.
  • Clearly explain how the items requested for funding are vital to the project’s successful completion.
  • Clearly articulate a plan to complete the projects during the coming academic year. 
What is not supported by this grant:
  • Salaries or compensation for outside speakers, guest presenters or any school personnel.
  • School laboratory supplies or equipment for general school use.
  • Media equipment (computers, cameras, DVD players, white boards).
  • Projects that require multiple academic years for completion.
  • Admissions fees and stipend for conference, workshops or competitions.
  • Transportation, incentives, meals and refreshments.
  • Previously funded projects from past winners.

Westar Energy, the leading electric utility in the Midwest, is dedicated to developing human capital within the communities we serve.  Specifically, we are developing partnerships that allow us to invest in our workforce – both current and future.  As a part of this effort, we have partnered with the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) to create the “Westar Energy STEM Innovation Award.” 

2016 Award Timeline

  • May 27, 2016 – RFP issued
  • July 15, 2016– Proposal deadline
  • July 29, 2016 – Awards announced
  • September 1, 2016 – Award checks presented to recipients
  • December 1, 2016 – Preliminary report due to Westar Energy and KASB (includes presentation at annual KASB conference Dec. 2016 in Wichita, Kansas)
  • December 1, 2017 – Summary Report due to Westar and KASB (includes presentation at annual KASB conference in December 2017)

Download the interactive pdf application form HERE or click image below:


Please note: KASB may take photographs of participants, attendees and guests during the KASB Annual Conference for use in marketing or promotional materials or news publications. This includes publication of the photograph with names on the kasb.org website and through the Association's social media accounts. It is the responsibility of the school district to notify KASB in writing if a student's picture and/or name cannot be released. Please send notification to Carol Pitts, KASB Assistant Executive Director for Marketing and Public Relations, cpitts@kasb.org

2015 Westar STEM Curriculum Innovation Awards were recognized during the KASB 98th Annual Conference

Read about the recipients here.