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Prize for Teaching Excellence

Awards to USA Teachers to Recognize
Outstanding Career Readiness Programs

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Smidt Foundation - Harbor Freight Tools (HFT) for Schools

Deadline Date:

05/21/21 5:00 PM Pacific Time


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Awards to USA high school educators for innovation and excellence in areas of career readiness and workforce development. Eligible applicants are public school teachers of skilled trades. The purpose of the award is to recognize programs that are focused on hands-on learning, building, maintenance, and repair.

The Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence, started in 2017, recognizes outstanding skilled trades teachers and programs in public high schools in the United States.

Judges are looking for:

  • Strong Evidence of Past Teaching Success and Future Innovation
  • Thoughtful and In-Depth Application
  • Positive Data and Results
  • Inspirational Storytelling
  • Active Engagement with Learning Modules
  • Passion. Creativity. Leadership.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 186059

Number of Grants:

Grand Prize: 3 Winners; Prize: 15 Winners

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Grand prize winners will receive $100,000, with $70,000 going to the public high school skilled trades program and $30,000 going to the eligible individual skilled trades teacher or teacher team.
- Prize winners will each be awarded $50,000, with $35,000 going to the public high school program and $15,000 going to the eligible teacher or teacher team.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Prize for Teaching Excellence is open to skilled trades teachers who are current faculty members at U.S. public high schools. Eligible applicants are those who teach skilled trades classes that emphasize the expert use of tools and materials to build, repair and maintain products and structures. Most applicants will come from the following broad fields of trades education in public high schools:
- Agriculture Mechanics
- Carpentry
- Construction
- Electrical
- HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)
- Manufacturing
- Plumbing
- Transportation mechanics and repair
- Welding

Teachers at district career and technical education centers serving both high school and post-secondary students may apply if they are members of their school district’s high school faculty.

For ineligible applicants, see

Pre-Application Information:

- The prize application window opens on Wednesday, March 24, 2021.
- Round 1 Applications: Friday, May 21, 2021 5 p.m. (Pacific Time)
- Finalists will be announced on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
- Round 2 Applications: Wednesday, August 4, 2021 5 p.m. (Pacific Time)
- Winners will be announced in October 2021.

No teacher may apply more than once for the 2021 prize. In addition, teacher teams are not eligible to apply in one application like they have been in previous years.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Log- In to Apply:

Teachers at career and technical education centers not on a high school faculty, please email

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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