Dreaming of the day your school will have the cutting edge technology of a laser in its hands is one thing, but figuring out exactly how your school will fund it, is another.
Lasers and STEAM
Deemed “The Ultimate STEAM machine” a laser cutting machine has the potential to add dozens of hands-on learning opportunities into your school’s curriculum. Because students can turn any idea into a reality with the help of a laser, it’s no wonder schools across the U.S are doing everything they can to bring this versatile piece of equipment into the classroom.
Because most schools rely on state funding, it’s not surprising that an innovative piece of equipment like the AP Lazer can be a challenge to fund. However, with a little creativity and effort, funding a laser is possible, no matter your unique limitations.
Here are five creative ways your school can fund a laser:
It may seem that traditional financing options are only available to businesses looking to invest in equipment, but schools can also benefit from flexible financing programs. If a laser is not in the budget this year, you can finance it and pay for it with next year’s budget.
Many leasing companies offer many leasing options and flexible terms ranging from 12-72 months. When leasing a laser for your school, you can get the laser in the hands of your students right away instead of delaying until the funds are available.
We work with the best leasing agencies to ensure you’re in qualified hands when making the choice to finance a laser system.
Hold a Community Fundraising Event
Magical things can happen when communities come together for a good cause. Take All Saints Episcopal School in Tyler, Texas for example.
Every year, Mike Cobb, Head of School for All Saints, along with his leadership team, host a “Fund-a-Need” gala and invite their community to come alongside the school to raise money for school enhancements, like new technology. Thanks to solid cooperation among the school’s administration and trustees – as well as high engagement and buy-in from their community – All Saints were able to raise more than thirty-five thousand dollars in a single evening to fund their AP Lazer.
When introducing something as cool as a laser, parents and those in the community are usually just as excited as the students are about the new technology. It can be very easy to get everyone on board and raise the money needed for your school’s laser.
Read more about how All Saints is connecting education and innovation with an AP Lazer in this case study.
Run a Student Fundraising Project
What better way to get your students involved in the process than to have them run their very own fundraiser to pay for the laser?
For example, a single brick fundraising event has the potential to pay the entire cost of your laser machine. Donors love seeing a custom message or name engraved on a brick of their own. And ideal locations for displaying these bricks are all over your school: an athletic field, an auditorium, or a landscaping feature to name a few.
A 4” x 8” brick costs roughly $2. Charge donors $150 for their name or message on a brick, and with just 200 donors, you could raise $30,000. A brick fundraiser has the potential to keep generating funds for your school for years to come. AP Lazer happens to be the perfect laser machine for brick engraving.
Other creative fundraising ideas may be things like personalized mug engraving with the school mascot engraved onto them, or a donor wall made of laser cut wood or laser cut acrylic as a focal point in the school adorned with names and meaningful messages.
Here’s the icing on the cake: with an AP Lazer, you can put these types of fundraising projects straight into the hands of your students, providing them a unique, hands-on, real-world learning experience.
Apply for Grants
In today’s world, technology is becoming an essential part of learning. Unfortunately, most technology comes with a hefty price tag.
Ed tech grants can help with this. There are dozens of grants available for ed tech initiative and with a little research and dedication, you may be able to collect enough money to pay for your AP Lazer system.
Many schools have taken advantage of the Carl Perkins Grant, which acts as a principal source of federal funding to states and discretionary grantees for the improvement of secondary and postsecondary career and technical education programs across the nation. Find out how you can apply for the grant here.
A few other grants worth mentioning are:
Try Your Hand at Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is a way for people, businesses, and schools to raise money. It works through individuals and organizations who donate small amounts of money that add up to larger sums.
Crowdfunding can be a great asset since it gives you a platform to share your story and spread the word about your cause to raise funds for your CO2 laser cutter. Often, parents and others in the community are just as excited about the learning possibilities with a laser, they are eager to donate.
Although budget constraints may be holding you back from your dream of incorporating a laser into your school, don’t let that discourage you. There are many creative funding options that are worth exploring. From Financing options to various fundraising opportunities and crowdfunding efforts, your laser may become a reality sooner than you expect!
Ready to get a laser in the hands of your students? Our representatives are ready to help!