Future Innovators Fund

Total Donated


Current Balance


Gifts Given


Fund News

About the Fund

Almost every innovator and engineer can point to an experience when they were young. This often happens in school — hence our “Be the Classroom they Remember!” slogan — but often it happens elsewhere.  Whether a teacher, mentor or friend inspired them by sharing a robot, a workshop, or a visit to a place,  a student got to use their hands and mind, together, leaving a lifetime impression of around a new interest.  

Parallax’s community-supported Future Innovators Fund ships hardware directly to a student in the US at no cost. The goal is to further a student’s interest and potential which might otherwise be hindered by social or economic circumstances, or who has outpaced what’s available at school or at home.

How did this start? An anonymous East Coast donor inspired us to scale and formalize something we’ve always done — support disadvantaged or inspired students who want to learn by putting our hardware in their hands. Chuck Gracey, father of Ken and Chip, always strove for Parallax to be able to return our success to more students, so here we are. 

Nominate a Student

To nominate a student, fill out the form linked below. Your application will be reviewed by an internal team, and you will be notified of results by email.

Donate to the Fund

Send a check to Parallax Inc, 599 Menlo Drive Suite 100, Rocklin CA 95677; note Future Innovators Fund in the memo line. Or, donate by PayPal below.

How it works

  • Nominators are adults familiar with both Parallax hardware and with the needs, interests, aptitude, and potential of their student recipient may specify hardware for a recipient in the gift request. Teachers, family members, mentors, academic advisors, and neighbors are all examples of nominators.
  • Gifts: Nominators request Parallax shop items of their choice, totaling $25 to $300 retail value,  selected based on the recipient’s experience and interests. We trust that you’ll know whether a student should start with MakeCode and a micro:bit module or the Propeller 2 Multicore Microcontroller when making these requests. Each gift will be invoiced to the nominator for $0, and shipped directly to the student recipient; gifts may not be given anonymously. 100% of Fund’s value is applied to provide hardware and to the USPS/UPS domestic shipping costs at our rate.
  • Recipients are US middle school or high school students who have had an initial experience with some coding or electronics and are very keen to continue learning, but are in need of hardware to do so. Recipients will need their own access to a computer and the internet to use the gift. Recipients must live in the United States (this restriction exists to avoid using funds on expensive shipping and customs fees, and allow us to serve the highest number of students).
  • Donors fill the Fund with cash gifts towards the purchase of hardware gifts; donors may remain anonymous or identify themselves. Parallax Future Innovators Fund is not presently a 501(c)(3) so donations are not tax-deductible.  Parallax will apply a 20% discount to the hardware grants to make the donated funds stretch farther. All donations, fund balance, and distributions will be noted on this website to maintain transparency unless otherwise requested.
  • Distributions: Nominations will be reviewed and gifts awarded monthly based on the availability of donated funds and the anticipated benefit to the recipients as described in the applications.

Recent Recipients

Read what Nominators wrote about the Recipients when requesting their gifts:

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