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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 twelve-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. Each week, we focus on funding a single small-dollar project at a time, in a traditionally red state classroom and preferably in a high-poverty district.
Look for us every SUNDAY morning at 10 AM ET/ 7 AM PT.
Resources Needed: Hands-on activities to make numbers and counting more meaningful and more entertaining than the traditional pencil and paper. School Poverty Level: High Location: Haywood Elementary School, Nashville, Tennessee Total Cost: $178.41 Still Needed:$178.41 COMPLETED! Expires: Dec 03, 2012
Teacher's Comments from Ms. Lincoln:
My Students: Do you remember when you were five and six and you got to play and use hands on learning? I know for me learning by doing was the best way I learned and I believe that is the same with my students. However, teaching in an underprivileged school means I have to fund everything I buy for my classroom.
All of my students attend a neighborhood school where the majority receive two hot meals a day, and that is all that is guaranteed for them for the day. Most are on free or reduced lunch and we, the teachers, provide their supplies. Most of my students never see a beach, or travel on family vacations. Hands on learning like this will provide them opportunities for learning that they would not otherwise get!
My Project: These hands-on materials will help my students be an active part of teaching numbers, counting, and even addition and subtraction by counting on and counting back. The bubble gum magnetic board gives students with special needs a more tactile way of counting and representing numbers. It will also serve my students who do not know english as they count the bubble gum balls.
Not only will these materials help serve my students this year, but it will also be something that can be used year after year in math. With my class being a mix of regular ed students, ESL students and inclusion students, these materials will serve all types. It's like the gift that keeps giving!
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 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.
Resources Needed: A set of Science books. School Poverty Level: High Location: Cook Elementary School, Austin, Texas Total Cost: $320.68 Still Needed:$115.34 COMPLETED! Expires: Mar 25, 2013
Teacher's Comments from Ms. Neaves:
My Students: My students love non-fiction books, but we don't have enough in our library.
My students are the most enthusiastic learners I have seen in the four years I have been teaching. They are really eager to learn, and they enjoy reading a lot. I teach a second grade class of bilingual students in a school with a high low-income population. We don't have enough books in our classroom, and as their need to learn more grows, our selection of books falls short.
My Project: Having more science books in our classroom will help my students understand better the science concepts taught in class. At the same time they will be improving their reading skills. Every time I bring a new science book to my classroom everybody wants to read it. With this collection there will definitely be plenty of science books for all to enjoy.
By contributing to this project you will help maintain the love for learning and reading of a wonderful group of students. You will be giving them the opportunity to expand their world and ask themselves new questions.
Resources Needed: Math materials to build math skills in kindergarten. Students in my class participate in small group centers for math. School Poverty Level: High Location: Quitman County Elementary School, Lambert, Mississippi Total Cost: $212.34 Still Needed:$112.34 COMPLETED! WOO-HOO! Expires: Feb 14, 2013
Teacher's Comments from Ms. Dotson:
My Students: Students are having difficulty mastering math skills. My students will benefit from math games in independent centers that will enrich the skills that are taught beforehand.
My students are 5 and 6 year old kindergarten students at an elementary school in MS. My students love school and come in everyday with a smile on their faces ready to learn. My students are from a low socioeconomic background. So most students may not get everything they need from home. My class consists of 16 boys and 9 girls. Most students ride the bus to school and some of them even ride 20 to 30 miles. Most students were not on grade level when they entered kindergarten and we are all working hard to get our students where they need to be so that they can be successful.
My Project: Students will be able to use these resources during math centers. Students will primarily use the resources to enrich skills that are introduced by the teacher. Students will get extra practice in a center taught by the teachers assistant. Students will participate in matching games: number counting and numbers, shapes and colors, and money. Students will be able to learn kindergarten common core math skills.
Students will appreciate math and have a fun experience learning math skills through play. This donation will definitely impact math learning in our classroom and help us to better master skills. An addition of math supplies to the classroom will greatly impact student learning by allowing students to learn at their own pace and hopefully master skills that have been previously taught.
Last week's main project, Simple Machine Legomania, was completed. Indianapolis third-graders will learn beginning physics with a LEGO Simple Machines kit. From the teacher:
I was blown away this evening when I checked my email to find that some very generous strangers donated to my project because it had been posted on Daily Kos: The Inoculation Project. It brought tears to my eyes to learn that people care so much about science education for my kiddos.
I know that my little scientists will learn a great deal from our new LEGO simple machines, and I can't wait to share my joy with them! It is because of your generosity that we will have such wonderful scientific experiences! Sending a million thanks to all of you!
The bonus project last week, Time for a Heart to Heart, was also rescued with a Kossack assist. Georgia middle-school students will dissect sheep hearts and learn more about their own cardiovascular systems.
Last week's bonus project #2, The Power House, was also completed. North Carolina fifth graders will receive a renewable energy kit to enhance their studies of energy conservation and transfer.
You can see the teachers' thank-you notes at the links above. Many thanks to all contributors!