Guide to the Alabama Power Foundation's Classroom Grant Program​

If you are looking at introducing or expanding 3D printing and design for your school, then Makers Empire can try to help you achieve funding for such a program through the Alabama Power Foundation’s Classroom Grant Program.

Grants of up to $1,000 per school are available to public elementary, middle and high schools to purchase materials, supplies and other resources to enhance learning in the classroom. 

The grant program will remain open for the remainder of the school year. Grants are awarded to eligible recipients on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds are exhausted.

Makers Empire provides schools with all the tools for a successful 3D printing and design program. This includes 3D printers, easy to use 3D design software, lesson plans aligned to standards, professional development and teacher management tools.


Grant Aims and Objectives

Since its creation in 1989 with funds donated by shareholders, the Alabama Power Foundation has supported Alabama communities, educational institutions and nonprofits through more than 20,000 grants and scholarships, using non-ratepayer dollars.

Teachers often have to pay for class materials out-of-pocket. The Classroom grants seek to solve that problem by awarding grants up to $1,000 for materials to better the classroom environment, and in turn, enhance a student’s ability to learn. Funding may also be used to support COVID-19 relief efforts such as technology support, cleaning and sanitation supplies, as well as mental health needs for students and educators.

The program focuses on improving and expanding educational opportunities at schools throughout Alabama. This year, the program has expanded to meet additional needs, such as technology support to enhance virtual learning, which has become commonplace as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Examples of uses for Classroom grants include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Supplies for the betterment of the classroom. For example:
    • Classroom library
    • Basic school supplies like crayons, pencils, paper, scissors, etc.
    • Classroom décor like bins, bean bags, rugs, etc.
    • Other educational materials
  • School Library materials. For example:
    • Headphones
    • Multimedia equipment
    • Books and/or book jacket covers
    • Other educational materials
  • COVID-19 related support. For example:
    • Funding mental health support to address the social and emotional needs of educators, students, and students’ families.
    • Adapting curriculum to support distance/virtual learning and instruction.
    • Supporting virtual learning equipment and support. Ex.: laptops, Wi-Fi access, etc.
    • Addressing students’ learning loss resulting from extended school closures.
    • Providing educational enrichment to support student learning.
    • Strengthening educators’/schools’ engagement with families and communities to meet student needs.
    • Funding for sanitation supplies to keep areas clean and safe for students. Ex.: backpack sanitation sprayers, air purifiers, etc.

Grant Fit with Makers Empire

We have highlighted the ways Makers Empire fulfils the grant requirements above.

Additionally, Makers Empire is designed to work both in the classroom and with remote learning – teachers can set student curriculum-aligned design challenges via the Teacher Dashboard and have them appear remotely in their students’ devices as a notification.

The possibilities for engaging, authentic learning with Makers Empire are endless.

What could my school receive with the Classroom Grant?

The Alabama Power Foundation’s Classroom Grant Program.allows schools to get up to $1,000  in funding towards classroom programs. With this grant, schools could fund one medium-sized 3D printer, filament, online training, Maker Empire 3D design software, endorsed professional development, and  150+ curriculum-aligned lesson plans for one class of students for 12 months.

Most 3D design programs for students focuses solely on the Teaching part of the teaching cycle, which comprises Planning, Teaching and Assessment. Differently, Makers Empire can be used for all three stages, making it an efficient and effective solution for time-poor teachers:


  1. Plan – complete the two hours of accredited professional development, browse 150+ curriculum aligned lesson plans, watch 3D printing video guides, undertake the getting started guide to set up your classes and get ready to teach your first class
  2. Teach – you can set students work both in the classroom or remotely if they are learning at home via the Teacher Dashboard (new design missions or tasks will appear in students’ devices as a notification). 
  3. Assess – built-in assessment tools and rubrics make assessing students’ work simple.




What does my school need to commit to?

To apply for the Alabama Power Foundation’s Classroom Grant Program to get 3D printing with Makers Empire, a school needs to simply request a quote, and submit an application

No financial commitment from the schools is required. The Alabama Power Foundation’s Classroom Grant Program does not require any matching funding, and all the tools for a school to successfully implement 3D printing into the classroom are covered by the grant.

The grant application form is straightforward, Depending on your previous grant writing experience, you can complete the application in a day or two.

Application Process: Suggested Steps

For schools who choose Makers Empire for their grant submission, we recommend the following approach.

Please read over all the steps before starting your application.

Step 1: consider Makers Empire

To learn more about Makers Empire, and see if this is the right solution for your school, please watch this short video.

Our 3D solutions for schools utilize design thinking frameworks as a way of getting students to engage in problem-solving. 3D printing and design are great tools with which to experience design thinking. Plus, they help educators teach students STEM concepts in an engaging way while providing them with a truly 21st-century learning experience.

“This has been a wonderful new way to teach and motivate my students… They are beginning to see real-life implications to what they learning to do in class and how they could develop prototypes of objects that they could develop and then produce to sell…The overall enthusiasm towards school and learning has increased tremendously. Students who are typically reluctant learners have come to life,”
– Robin McGinnis, Teacher
North Elementary School, USA

Step 2: start your application

Start your application at the grant website. You can view a sample application form here

If you decide to apply for Alabama Power Foundation’s Classroom Grant program to purchase a Makers Empire solution, you must request a quote as quotations are required as part of the application.

Step 1 of 3

Step 3: request a quotation

Tell us a little more about your school so we can generate your personalized quotation for you to submit with your Toshiba grant application. We promise never to share your information – see our Privacy Policy.

“We first began designing using Tinkercad, a terrific CAD program and widely accepted by schools. Some of my older students were able to grasp the mechanics of designing things but that’s all it was, designing things. It had no connection to what we were learning and studying in school. It was isolated and, to be honest probably more trouble than it was worth. I hadn’t found a way to connect this great tool to the needs of my students… I had been searching the blogs looking for resources to teach the curriculum when I discovered the Makers Empire software… Clicking on their website and watching a few tutorials I immediately could tell I had found something special. There was something simplistic to Makers Empire’s approach of complex design. The website offered video tutorials, downloadable resources, and an iPad friendly interface… It took me a while, but what I finally realized was that 3D printing and design is not what I am teaching, but rather how I am teaching… Sure, there are technical skills that both the teacher and students need in order to make a design and have it print out correctly but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Makers Empire software allows kids to express themselves and to show what they have learned in other realms of the curriculum.”

Christopher Burdman, STEM Teacher
Tynan Elementary School, Boston

Step 4: Submit your application

We suggest having your application fully prepared in a seperate document so that you can submit it easily online.

Then submit your application online as per step 1 above if you created a grant application account. Make sure to include your school’s quotation for your Makers Empire solution. 

If you need help with your application please email us at info[at] with subject: “ALABAMA POWER FOUNDATION GRANT SUPPORT.”

Good luck!