1) Get in touch. Funding agencies look for strong partnership with educators, and they pay attention to projects that demonstrate an understanding of federal and state standards for science education. Nancy Hutchison, who coordinates the Science Education Partnership at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle, says that scientists with big ideas on how to "fix" the system, without teacher input, fail.

2) Start small. Most large funding agencies won't fund a project without a proven track record. Local donors, however, are often willing to take a risk on small "feel-good" projects, says Rebecca Smith, codirector of the Science and Health Education Partnership at the University of California, San Francisco.

3) Work with what you've got. Write outreach into your grant, suggests Barbara Battelle, a research scientist at Whitney Laboratories at the University of Florida. When she decided to host minority high...

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