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 The Inoculation Project: Science & Math in Red State Schools

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Solid science education is the best inoculation against ignorance. The Inoculation Project, founded in 2009 by hyperbolic pants explosion, is a group of Kossacks who gather weekly to combat the anti-science push in conservative America by providing direct funding to science and math projects in red state classrooms. Our conduit is DonorsChoose.org, a ten-year-old organization rated highly by both Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau.

Here's a little introductory video about DonorsChoose:

DonorsChoose.org allows you to make direct contributions to specific, vetted projects in public school classrooms, resulting in tremendous and immediate impacts from small dollar donations. A recent Seattle Times editorial endorsed DonorsChoose, along with the efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to gain visibility for it in the Seattle area.

We're no Gates Foundation, but each Sunday, we focus on funding a single small-dollar project in a traditionally red state classroom, preferably in a high-poverty district.

♦◊♦◊♦◊♦◊♦

Look for us every week on SUNDAY morning at 10 AM ET/ 7 AM PT.

Special note: We will be off on Christmas and New Year's Day. We wish all our wonderful Inoculation Project supporters a lovely holiday and the best new year ever!

nomandates has kindly agreed to post on January 8.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).


This Week's Main Project
Project: Energy and Food Chain Lab!

Resources Needed: 2 mallow plants and a replacement set for our butterfly kit
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Port St Lucie High School, Port St Lucie, Florida
Total Cost: $173.89
Still Needed: $144.48 Completed!
Expires: Jan 19, 2012

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Miller:

My Students: With unbelievable budget cuts, I'm finding it harder and harder to fund the amazing and exciting labs I do each year.

Our area is seeing the economic crisis every day. Unemployment is huge, and education budgets are gone. Students are lucky to get their own personal school supplies donated, and the teachers are left picking up the rest. Some of the more exciting and expensive labs are the ones left out of the curriculum... just because of money.

My Project: The butterfly lab I do is awesome. We separate the larvae and weigh them every day. Why is it that nothing goes in or out of the cup, but it weighs less every day? Shouldn't the caterpillar eat the food and take on the mass? And how is it that a butterfly is so light? In this lab, we don't just add butterflies to our environment (bonus!), we explore the laws of thermodynamics, energy transfer, and primary productivity. I get to cover so many topics with just one lab!

The students LOVE butterflies. Who wouldn't? By using them to teach such a huge range of topics (we even touch on pollution and impacts), they get so excited. Most even ask how they can set up butterfly gardens at home and watch all summer. Please help inspire!

Donate Here
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!

We try to focus on the main project until it is completely funded, and then move on to the bonus project. If a project doesn't meet its funding goal by its deadline, it dies and any donations to it are referred back to their donors to be moved to another project. For that reason, we don't like to split our sometimes limited resources between two open projects. Of course the choice of project to which you donate (if any!) is entirely yours.


Bonus Project #1
When the main project is finished, let's work on this one.
Project: Making Cells Come Alive

Resources Needed: a Plant and Animal Cell Model Activity Set
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Parkside School, Baileyton, Alabama

Total Cost: $241.45
Still Needed: $132.62
Expires: Jan 16, 2012    

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Knop:

My Students: Do you remember what it was like sitting in a classroom just doing book work? I want my students to be able to have hands on life experiences. I believe students learn more and better when they are engaged in their learning experiences. I believe visuals in the classroom encourage engagement.

My students are hard working students that do not have any hands on manipulatives or visuals. We are located in a rural community in Alabama that was recently hit by the storm that occurred on April 27, 2011. We had several students that lost everything they had and some students lost family members.

We have a high rate in free and reduce lunches. We are an elementary and junior high school. We have three fifth grade classrooms and all the teachers teach their subjects. Our students are high achievers and appreciate what they have and what they get.

I have asked for animal and plant cell models so my students have the visualization to look at what we are talking about. This is one of the item specs that is taught on our state assessment that the students scored poorly on. I want my students to be able to look at the cells and remember what I taught them and be able to answer the questions with confidence. I want to engage my students in their learning activities.

Being able to have these cells in my classroom will engage my students in the 21st century classroom and will make my students faces shine. This is a struggle on state testing and I want us to overcome this struggle.

Donate Here
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!
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Our Dollars at Work
Students from Mr. B's class working on their architectural models from the project, Introduction to Architectural Modeling.
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Students from Mrs. G's class working on one of the science activities from the project, Hands-On Science Library.

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There are additional photos at the links.


Housekeeping

Last week's main project, Weird Science and both bonus projects, Preserving The World Around Us: A Lesson In Conservation and Hands-On Mathematics, were completed. Your generosity will enable these three teachers to offer their students new resources and opportunities.

You can see the teachers' thank-you notes at the link above. Many thanks to all our supporters!

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 155! Please note, we count any project that we (Kossacks) have donated to and has been completed as a success.

When projects are not fully funded by their expiration date, donors are contacted by DonorsChoose and asked to choose another project to which to redirect their donations.

More information:
DonorsChoose.org main page
DonorsChoose.org blog
DonorsChoose.org donor FAQ
All DonorsChoose.org math & science projects search results

We are in no way affiliated with DonorsChoose.org, or any of the classroom projects presented for funding.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to The Inoculation Project on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Dream Menders, J Town, and SciTech.

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