The Great Adventure Lab classes: Scholarships

Yes Virginia (and Maryland and DC), we do give out scholarship money!

We know that it’s important to give as many kids as possible access to after school science programs. That’s why we offer scholarship money for every class, when your PTA organizes the class. That’s in addition to offering free tuition to the child of a parent aide, if we agree to accept your aide.


How can my PTA get scholarship money?

It’s easy. When your PTA organizes our class we donate back a percentage of collected tuition

  • 9 percent for Title 1 schools
  •  7 percent for other schools.

(By the way, no other after school science program we know of does this, but hey, now that you know it can be done, ask the other guys what they’ve done for you lately!)



What does organizing a class involve?

Organizing includes all the work your PTA is used to doing for after-school programs:

  • Reserving the room where the class will be taught. (For MCPS schools, we reimburse the ICB charge).
  • Collecting registration information from parents (just type it into a shared spreadsheet that we provide).
  • Collecting money from parents and paying our invoice with a single check in a timely manner.


Do we have to organize your classes?

Only if you want scholarship money. If you’d rather not do the work We can handle everything for you. You still have to pick the day and class you want, but your work ends there.


Bring LEGO Robotics to your school with!How much scholarship money can we get?

Let’s say you’re from a Title I school and you want to run our most popular class, Lego Robotics for beginners. If we accept your aide, the aide gets free tuition for one child. So out of a total of 12 kids in the class, only 11 kids are paying.

  • 11 x $125 (we’ll compute scholarships later) = $1375.
  • Since you’re from a Title I school, we’ll donate back 9 percent of collected tuition : $123.75.

That’s $123.75 you can convert into  scholarships.


Do we have to use the money for scholarships?

No. You can use it for anything that’s important to your PTA.

Another option: Your PTA can waive our donation, in which case we forward the full amount to Montgomery Housing Partners, with compliments of your PTA.


How should we structure our scholarships?

The Great Adventure Lab' scholarship money, explained.

The Great Adventure Lab gives you scholarship money. You decide how to divvy it up.

It’s up to you. Here are some possibilities:

  • one full scholarship– one free ride.
  • two 50% scholarships.
  • three 33% scholarships.
  • four 25% scholarships.

Let’s say you choose to use our donation to offer  33% scholarships. That’s three scholarships for 12 kids. If we accept your parent aide, that makes a total of four kids who get FREE or reduced tuition.  (What are your other after school programs doing for you?).


Do you offer any other scholarship funds?

No, but maybe your parent aide will. Some (extremely civic-minded) parent aides may be willing to waive the free tuition so others can have scholarships. We’ve seen it happen.

If your parent aide does waive the free tuition, s/he pays full price, and your PTA now has another tuition available for scholarship money. Let’s say you decide to split the money in thirds. That’s three 33% scholarships, plus the three 33% scholarships you funded with our  donation. That’s a total of  six 33% scholarships for a class of 12.

Upshot: between our donation and your parent aide’s generosity, you are able to offer significant scholarships for half the students in the class. Not too shabby.

Or, mix and match … Two fifty percent scholarships plus three 33% scholarships, etc. etc. It’s up to you. We give you the money. Your parent aide may give you some, too. What you do with it is up to you.


Should I ask our parent aide to waive her free tuition?

Before you ask, consider this: Whether or not your parent aide waives free tuition, we expect him/ her to be a dedicated helper. If that’s not the case, we will have to hire our own aide during the middle of your session, and we will have to adjust our invoice to your PTA accordingly. We’d rather not do that.

Please don’t pressure or even expect parent aides to waive the free tuition; just let them know it’s a possibility. They’ll volunteer if they’re interested. We only want parent aides who are helpful, who actually want to be in the room and who feel they are being adequately compensated (financially or otherwise) for their time. We don’t want an aide who feels like they are doing us a favor by showing up.

If your PTA can’t provide a suitable parent aide, we will provide one of our own excellent aides, which increases costs (see individual class descriptions for details).


Help me do the math?

Let's do the Math

Let’s do the math …

Sure. We offer scholarship money for each class you organize, and each class is priced differently. Let’s take  Robo Challenge for example. This is our intermediate robotics class. It’s more challenging than our Lego Roboticsclass, which means more kids need help from adults who are experienced with elementary programming.  Instead of leading this class with one instructor and one aide, we provide two instructors.  Tuition is priced accordingly at $130.

Let’s see how much scholarship money your a Title I school can get for organizing a Robo Challenge class. Each class has 12 students, and since there is no parent aide, they all pay:

Collected tuition is

  • 12 x $130 = $1560.

For a Title I school, our donation is

  • .09 x $1320 = $140


Scholarship possibilities include:

  • one full scholarship.
  • two 50% scholarships.
  • three 33% scholarships.
  • four 25% scholarships.


How do you bill us?

After the first class meeting, we will invoice your PTA for the full amount owed, less our donation for any classes you organized. Let’s say you’re running an after school Lego Robotics with a parent aide. That means only 11 kids are paying to be in the class. So you’ll collect:

  • 11 x $125 = $1375.

When you pay your invoice on time, we will give you a credit of .07 x $1375 on your next invoice. That’s $196.

It’s as simple as that.


Any other benefits for my PTA?

Yup. In addition to giving you scholarship money for the hottest science class of the 21st Century … (OK, we suppose a class on pyrotechnics would be even hotter), when you run our after school science programs, we donate one free Basic Robotics birthday party to your school’s silent auction or other fundraiser (Retail value: $215). All you have to do is ask.


I want more kids to have access to The GrAd Lab classes. Where I can I donate?

Montgomery Housing Partners develops affordable housing in Montgomery County, Md.

Montgomery Housing Partners “GRIT team” cleaning up the neighborhood. Photo from

Please consider donating to Montgomery Housing Partners, a non-profit that provides a wide variety of after school programs, including The Great Adventure Lab’s science, engineering and programming classes, to low-income youth in Montgomery County, Md. You can donate to their programs here.

We are working on other giving programs to support low-income children in our communities.
Please contact us with referrals or questions.



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