Grant Details
Type of Grant

Product + PD/Support

Eligible Institutions

U.S. organizations focused on out-of-school time

Minimum Students

30 studnets served

Implementation Timeline

Spring and/or Summer 2021


The OST (Out-of-School Time) STEM Gaming Microgrants are being made available through funding from the Overdeck Family Foundation. Our product, Tyto Online, is currently used primarily in schools/districts, and now we’re seeking to expand to additional out-of-school contexts through making it available for free for Spring/Summer 2021 to selected OST partners.

The benefit for the OST partner will be a free, engaging product that can be used to deliver STEM programs during programming, which could be particularly helpful during COVID19 challenges. Our purpose of making these grants available is to learn and figure out what additional modifications or supports are needed to use Tyto Online in OST contexts. We’ll therefore be true partners in these microgrants: in addition to PD and coaching/support, we’ll help with curriculum ideas, create teacher guide modifications/suggestions, etc. based on the needs of our partner organizations.


Benefits to the Grantee

Tyto Online is used to empower students to be authentic science problem solvers. Students solve a food shortage using genetics, or figure out that animals are sick from microplastics by examining the ecosystem and collecting data.

During COVID19, we’ve seen that educators are overwhelmed trying to create engaging content that can work in remote/hybrid settings, or even in-person without being able to share materials. Having “minds-on” learning where students actually use science & engineering skills to directly engage in science has been challenging, and we can support educators in deploying ready-to-go content that’s designed for deep, culturally relevant learning, even when you’re remote. We align with middle school (grades 6-8) Next Generation Science Standards.

Specifically, the OST STEM Gaming Microgrants will include:

  • Tyto Online access for your STEM students and educators;
  • Professional development via our online self-paced course and live online sessions;
  • Participation in a cohort of brilliant educators starting together in January and in our online community + live sessions;
  • Extra-level support with recommendations for your program, modified teacher materials, etc. as-needed to help you be successful;
  • Ongoing coaching for success from our dedicated Implementation Manager;
  • We’ll seek out grant funding to continue to offer free access for 2021-2022 school year and beyond, but if not can commit to a 25% discount from our own organization to help with continued usage, should your organization be interested.

Empower students to be authentic science problem solvers, using science and engineering practices as they work through phenomenon-based storylines — all set up within a video game.


Responsibilities of the Grantee

The primary responsibility of the grantee is to use the product as part of normal program delivery practices; we will work with you to understand your needs and help define what this looks like together. For example, it might be that students play independently and then you do related activities and discussion via Zoom, or live activities together as they play and work through problems collaboratively — or both! The only additional ask outside of using the product will be around data collection. We will be finalizing IRB (research board) approval, and will make data collection super simple with online links your program can hand out to students for collecting specific surveys and measures:

  • Before Using: Science & Engineering Practices
  • After Using: STEM Mindsets + Science & Engineering Practices
  • Ongoing: Educator + Student Feedback Surveys
  • From Grantee: Provide student demographic data


We will use this data to answer research questions, such as whether Tyto Online equally supports students from various backgrounds (thus the request on demographic data), and if increased usage results in increased improvements in Science & Engineering Practices or STEM Mindsets. All of your organization’s data can be provided specifically on request, and the final report of our aggregated learning will be shared with all grantees, so that you can also use it in your own impact reports.


Eligibility Requirements

For this grant, we’re seeking organizations that focus on out-of-school time in the United States (including territories). We don’t have a lot of specific requirements, as we’re looking to see Tyto Online implemented and supported in a variety of settings. A couple things to keep in mind:

  • The minimum number of students who should be served per organization is 30.
  • Priority will go to organizations who serve middle school (grades 6-8) and have underserved student populations.
  • You need to have technology available for your students to use the product. We currently support Chromebooks (with 4+ GB of RAM), Windows, and Mac devices. We are not available on tablets/mobile phones. If you have any questions about compatibility, feel free to use the live chat on this page.


Implementation Process + Timeline

We are seeking partners interested in using Tyto Online an be modified to fit the grantee’s needs, as long as it’s used during the 2020-2021 school year.

  • Dec/Jan: Grantees Awarded + Agreement Distributed
  • January: Kickoff with PD Introduction + Baseline Data Collection
  • February – May: Regular Tyto Online Usage and Support/Coaching
  • May-June: Post-test towards the end of the school year



We’re currently seeking partners through our network and research into OST programs. If you would like to discuss a partnership, please use the live chat or email