The Captain Planet Foundation was established as a corporate foundation to support youth-led efforts inspired by the show "Captain Planet & the Planeteers," a cartoon program produced by Ted Turner and Barbara Pyle that aired from 1990-1996. In the show, Gaia, the spirit of the planet, assembles a team of five young "planeteers" from nations around the world who are able to summon Captain Planet to help them solve ecological and other global problems "by their powers combined." Although it has been off the air for more than two decades, Captain Planet lives on in the minds of many real-world "Planeteers" as a symbol of environmental awareness and "becoming a superhero for planet Earth."
Today, the foundation supports educators working to facilitate youth-led projects that result in positive environmental impact in schools and communities. To that end, the foundation is inviting applications for its ecoTech™ Grants. Through the program, grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded in support of innovative technological programs that address environmental challenges and efforts to engage children in inquiry-based STEM-related projects, leverage technology, and/or use nature-based design to address environmental problems in local communities. Grants may be used for the purchase of materials and other direct expenses related to the project.
Examples of previous ecoTech™ grant projects include the integration of robotics and sensors to explore water bodies, collect data, and organize clean-ups; the development of aquaponic and hydroponic systems using arduinos and remote sensing; renewable energy design challenges; biotechnology research; and nature-based design applications.
Ideally, projects should be student-led and students should be part of the entire process; at a minimum, students must be responsible for implementing the project.
To be eligible, applicants must be based in the U.S., have an annual operating budget of no more than $3 million, and be tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (including most nonprofits and schools), or have a fiscal sponsor with such status.
See the Captain Planet Foundation website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.