Christopher Columbus Awards

The Christopher Columbus Awards is a national, community-based science and technology program for middle school students.

The program challenges the students to work in teams of three to four with an adult coach, to identify an issue in their community and apply the scientific method to create
an innovative solution to that problem.

Agency - Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2009: In 2009, the $25,000 Stephen J. Moses Community Grant, went to the Ergo-PAD (Ergonomic Posture Alignment Device) team from Carmel Valley Middle School, San Diego, CA, which highlighted the problems of poor body posture when using computers. The team developed the Ergo-PAD, a specialized seat cushion that uses sensory feedback to train people to develop healthy posture while sitting at a computer. The team from St. Philip the Apostle School, Addison, IL, won gold medals and $2,000 U.S. Savings Bonds for each team member for their Recycle Because You Care project to improve local participation in recycling using a community awareness outreach regarding the importance of recycling and supplying free recycling bins to every household. The team from All Saints Catholic School, Manahawkin, NJ, won gold medals and $2,000 U.S. Savings Bonds for each team member for their Call of the Wild entry highlighting the plight of natural habitats being lost to suburban sprawl through a four-pronged plan employing action, outreach, education and political initiatives to preserve the many endangered species identified in the community. Fiscal Year 2010: In 2010, the $25,000 Columbus Foundation Community Grant went to the Arthritis Magic team from Madison Middle School in Madison, MS. Highlighting the problems people with arthritis have gripping objects, making opening doors a difficult task, the team developed Arthritis Magic: a pull system designed to turn a doorknob and open a door when pulled. The team from Learning Without Limits Science Club, West Branch, IA, won gold medals and $2,000 U.S. Savings Bonds for each team member for their Lights Out community awareness program. This outreach project highlights the benefits of retrofitting inefficient T12 lighting systems used in local business with energy efficient T8 or T5 lighting systems. The team from All Saints Catholic School from Manahawkin, NJ, won gold medals and $2,000 U.S. Savings Bonds for each team member for their Kreepy Krawlers community outreach program. Highlighting the problems and damage caused by an increase in the local gypsy moth population, this outreach program educates the community about various ways to control the gypsy moth population. Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

All members of two Gold Medal winning teams are presented with U. S. Savings Bonds.
The grant must be used to further develop the team"s solution to the community issue they addressed in the competition.

The grant team will work with a community partner on the project throughout the next year.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants are teams of three to four students in sixth through eighth grade with a coach, who identify a problem in their community and solve it using the scientific method.

Beneficiary Eligibility

U.S. citizens, middle school students.


No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Application materials may be requested by individuals who meet the eligibility requirements stated above. Entry forms and all competition information are available for download at: or may be requested by calling (800) 291-6020 ext. 3154. Completed entries must be received by February 9, 2009. The program is sponsored by the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and managed by MMS Education, 105 Terry Drive, Newtown, PA 18940, Attn: Stephanie Hallman. Entries are accepted from teams of three to four students in grades six to eight from all 50 states, territories and possessions only. All team entries must include: a Christopher Columbus Awards Entry form (signed by team members and the coach), a team-written section and the visual component. To enter, mail the original and two copies of the team"s community solution to: Christopher Columbus Awards, 105 Terry Drive, Suite 120, Newtown, PA 18940.

Award Procedures

The Christopher Columbus Awards have three judging phases. The teams" entries are reviewed by a regional panel of judges who select 30 semifinalist teams. Another judging panel selects eight finalist teams and their coaches. The finalist teams receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World to attend National Championship Week and compete for U.S. Savings Bonds and the $25,000 Columbus Foundation Community Grant. The finals and the Christopher Columbus Academy are held at Walt Disney Resorts, Orlando, FL, from June 14-18, 2009.


Feb 09, 2009 The deadline is in early February each year.


Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Coins and Fellowship Foundation, Title IV, Section 400-429, Public Law 102-281, 106 Stat. 139-145, 20 U.S.C 5701-5708.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

12-18 months. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: U.S. Savings Bonds are presented following the awards ceremony. The grant is paid in installments upon the approval and under the direction of the Program Manager.

Post Assistance Requirements


Program reports are not applicable.

No cash reports are required.

Interim progress reports regarding the grant project.

Final report on project.

Receipts of all expenses and travel incurred regarding the grant project.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


Not Applicable.


No Data Available.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants (Special)) FY 09 $243,759; FY 10 est $265,000; FY 11 est $275,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$2,000 U.S. Savings bonds
$25,000 Grant.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Judith Shellenberger, 110 Genesee Street, Suite 390, Auburn, New York 13021 Email: JUDITHMSCOLUMBUS@CS.COM Phone: (315) 258-0090 Fax: (315) 258-0093.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

Meticulon, a project of Autism Calgary Association in partnership with the federal government and the Sinneave Family Foundation, operates as a social enterprise that renders high-tech services provided by people with autism, leveraging their natural abilities at requiring attention to detail, repetition, and sequencing.

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