Science Kits for Public Libraries Grant Application deadline January, 19, 2020

Big tip for libraries (or potential library partners!!) from the Minnesota Library Association…

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Science Kits for Public Libraries (SKPL) Grant is offering up to $2,000 in funding to public libraries in the Midwest for the creation of circulating math and science collections). The grant seeks to be a catalyst for educating students about how math and science are used for the benefit of humanity and to provide seed money for the creation of a science kit collection that will make a lasting impression on the community.

Past grants have allowed several Midwestern libraries to develop science kit circulating collections and give students access to prepared experiments and science materials that they might not encounter in the traditional classroom. Additionally, these libraries have created educational programs that allow students to conduct experiments at the library with the guidance of a librarian. This is a program of IEEE-Region 4 .

Visit for application forms, grant criteria and to learn about the successes of past grant recipients. Send your completed application to:

Dr. Douglas De Boer, P.E, IEEE-Region 4 SKPL Grant Application Chair Science Kits for Public Libraries project

Partner with a MN Library – Girls Who Code 2019-2020

Let’s get this going in rural areas around Minnesota. Contact your local library as a potential partner!

State Library Services is partnering with Girls Who Code (GWC) this year to bring free computer science learning opportunities to your community.

Girls Who Code Clubs are free after-school programs for girls in grades 3–5 or grades 6–12. Please note, this program targets, but is not limited to, girls.

Participants will join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models and use computer science to change the world. Participants learn not only hard coding skills and computational thinking, but also project management skills, collaboration, bravery, resilience, how to positively impact their community, and so much more.

Apply now with the brief GWC Clubs Application through our partnership! When you start a GWC Club, you’ll gain access to free resources, flexible plug-and-play curriculum, funding opportunities, ongoing support, alumni opportunities for your young learners, and more! There’s no computer science experience needed to get started; GWC is there for you every step of the way.

Target Incubator looks for good ideas to nurture – deadline Dec 2

Have you got a good business idea you’ve been working on? Target is looking for a few good ideas to grow. The deadline is coming up very quickly – but I can’t be the only non-sporty member of a football-happy family looking for something to do once the turkey is served and football games are turned on. You might as well look. They are looking for people who are beyond ideation – but the application isn’t too onerous if you have been thinking about and/or working on your idea for a while.  Here’s info from the Target Incubator site..

Target incubator.

An opportunity for the next generation of innovators, change-makers and leaders to learn and grow their businesses that are better for people or the planet.

what is target incubator?

An immersive program that provides exclusive access to talented mentors and leaders across Target to help you and your business grow. You’ll walk away with skills in negotiations, branding, pitching and more, as well as a network of like-minded entrepreneurs and mentors. …

apply until

december 2.

The 2020 program runs April 27 through August 7.

Smart Rural Community Grant – deadline Dec 31, 2019

Rural Health Info Hub has info on a Smart Rural Community Grant…

The Smart Rural Community Grant provides funding to support the development and implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to support rural commerce, healthcare, public safety, economic development, education, energy, and other community-oriented initiatives.

Telco members of the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association are eligible to apply.
Up to $5,000.
Application Process

Links to application instructions and frequently asked questions are available on the program website.

Completed applications should be mailed to:

NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association
Smart Rural Community Grant
4121 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1000
Arlington, VA 22203

Applications may also be emailed to; however, an original signed copy must also be mailed in and postmarked by the deadline date. [Update Nov 11: deadline moved to Dec 31]

OPPORTUNITY: Apply for a Digital Skills Microgrant

From MN Library Services…

Following up on two successful Grow with Google events held at Minnesota libraries in mid-October, Google is funding microgrants for Minnesota public libraries that incorporate Google tools and resources into their digital skills offerings.

The microgrants are available through an ALA/PLA initiative called Libraries Lead with Digital Skills.

Applications for the $1000 microgrants are now open to public libraries in Minnesota. Check out Grow with Google resources, and if you are interested, apply for a microgrant. The priority deadline is November 27.

Become a Digital Inclusion Trailblazer – deadline Nov 15

An opportunity from NDIA

Digital Inclusion Trailblazers is a public inventory of local government initiatives promoting digital literacy and broadband access for underserved residents. NDIA first launched this effort in 2016 as an advocacy tool for local, state and national digital inclusion leadership, and as a handy database of examples for communities interested in taking similar steps themselves.

The digital inclusion field, and local governments’ roles in it, have grown and changed a great deal over the past three years. To reflect those changes, NDIA is launching a new, annual Digital Inclusion Trailblazers designation process.

With support from Google Fiber and help from a Working Group of our affiliates, there are now six indicators for a Digital Inclusion Trailblazer:

  1. The local government has, or directly funds, at least one full-time staff dedicated to digital inclusion initiatives, policies and/or programs.
  2. The local government has a digital inclusion plan or is in the process of developing a plan.
  3. Representatives of the local government participate in a digital inclusion coalition.
  4. The local government has conducted or plans to conduct and publish survey research on Internet access and use by your residents.
  5. The local government directly funds community digital inclusion programming.
  6. The local government is taking steps to increase affordability of home broadband service.

We invite any local government that fits one or more of these indicators to apply to be a 2020 Digital Inclusion Trailblazer. The application form provides a check list and documentation requirement for each indicator. The deadline for applications is midnight Friday, November 15, 2019.

2020 Digital Inclusion Trailblazers will be announced in January, 2020.

GigaZone Gaming Championship Set for November 2

So exciting! We learned about the GigaZone Gaming Championship at the MN broadband conference last month and now it’s nearly here…

Largest Esports Stadium Style Gaming Event in Northern Minnesota with over $5,000 in cash and prizes

(Bemidji, MN) (September 23, 2019) – The 4th annual GigaZone Gaming Championship is set for Saturday, November 2 at the Sanford Center George W. Neilson Convention Center. The event features free gaming on various console and arcade games, numerous tournaments, virtual reality, door prizes, and more.  All the fun is free.  Over 3,500 attended the event last year.

This one of a kind regional gaming event showcases Paul Bunyan Communications’ IT and web development team which custom built and integrated much of the online technology and leverages the speed of the GigaZone one of the largest rural all-fiber optic Gigabit networks in the country. The entire event is run off a single residential GigaZone Internet connection.

This year’s main stage tournament will feature Super Smash Brothers: Ultimate on the esports stadium style stage in the GigaZone Championship Arena.  In addition to the main stage, there will be tournaments of Overwatch, Fortnite, Mario Kart 8, Madden 20, Magic the Gathering Booster Drafts, and more.  Registration for all tournaments will start at the Sanford Center November 2 at 10 a.m. and go until full.

“There is a large gaming community in our area and GigaZone Gaming Championship not only showcases some of the region’s best gamers but it gives everyone a chance to get in on the action!” said Gary Johnson, Paul Bunyan Communications CEO/General Manager

“Our cooperative continues to expand one of the largest rural fiber gigabit networks in the country and that brings many advantages to our members.  The GigaZone provides extreme speed and low latency which are critical for the best online gaming experience and the GigaZone Gaming Championship showcases just that,” added Leo Anderson, Paul Bunyan Communications Technology Experience Manager.

“There is no other gaming event like it anywhere I’ve seen. It’s unique to our area and we are very proud of our team for making it happen. There is no catch, everyone and anyone gets to game for free!” added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

This Paul Bunyan Communications event includes the talents of many local partners including NLFX, Accidently Cool Games, Northern Amusement, the Sanford Center, as well as support from several regional and national partners.

For more information on the GigaZone Gaming Championship visit