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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.
10:57 AM PT: H/T to Glen The Plumber in the comments: Mrs. Adams just posted a thank-you note with the following message:
Enter the code INSPIRE during checkout and donors choose will double your donation through 11/26! Thanks to all who have donated!
Resources Needed: shovels, rakes, and peat to tend their garden and to attract wildlife so they can study life cycles, food chains, ecosystems, and sustainability. School Poverty Level: High Location: Palo Alto Middle School in Killeen, TX Total Cost: $234.20 Still Needed:$234.20 $38.20 Expires: Apr 16, 2013
Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Adams:
My Students: Returning to our Roots. Our students do not have the basic outdoor experiences that only a couple of decades ago could be taken for granted. We want to turn that around by getting their hands in the dirt and putting to practice what we study.
Our low socioeconomic, neighborhood school serves the local Army base and surrounding community. Because the students tend to move from place to place frequently, many do not have the outdoor experiences with plants and animals that we had as children.
My Project: Our garden is integrated with the curriculum throughout the school year.
Instead of just learning about life cycles from a book, our students will watch a bird build its nest, lay eggs, and hatch and feed its young, using the birdhouses and birdfeeders requested here.
Instead of just studying the parts of a plant, they will GROW plants from seeds using the Jiffy pods.
When asked, "How Does Your Garden Grow?" our students will answer that question with personal knowledge and experience from preparing the soil to planting to cultivation to harvesting.
Along the way they will learn about sustainability through composting, recycling, and water conservation. The garden tools requested will allow our students to work the soil, water their garden, and shovel compost to fertilize their beds.
Our local community nursery was generous enough to donate plants, so now we just need these resources to get planting!
Motivating kids to learn is easy when they have authentic experiences and don't just sit in a classroom. These military kids may move from place to place, but they will never forget their experiences as a scientist in our schoolyard garden.
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: copper chloride, a battery and electrical leads to perform an experiment to demonstrate an electrochemical change taking place. School Poverty Level: High Location: Holbrook Junior High School in Holbrook, AZ Total Cost: $233.20 Still Needed:$233.20 $188.20 Expires: Feb 15, 2013
Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Baloo:
My Students: Reading science in a book, watching a video, or seeing a demonstration is one thing, but to do science is completely different. I want my students doing science!
We are located in rural Arizona, our community is poor. Our school district is 1500 sq. miles. Some students ride the bus 100 miles each way to school and home. Many of my students lack the basic needs like running water and electricity. Our district has about 80% free and reduced lunch.
My Project: I want my students to see chemical change taking place. My students learn better with a hands on approach. These kids need to see and do, not sit and watch. I am requesting batteries, alligator clips, and copper chloride so that my students and isolate the copper from the copper chloride through electrolysis. This project will allow my students to not only isolate copper but will allow them to make their electrolysis apparatus as well.
By donating to my project you will help students understand chemical change and how it differs from physical change. The alligator clips and batteries will be used in another project as well. My students learn so much better when they can touch and create and do science.
Last week's main project, Marvelous Math, was completed. Elementary school students in a high poverty area of Nashville, Tennessee will receive hands-on activities to make numbers and counting more meaningful and more entertaining.
The first bonus project last week, More Non-Fiction Please!, was also rescued with a Kossack assist. Second-grade bilingual students at a high-poverty school in Austin, Texas will have a new set of science books in their classroom to help them understand science concepts while also improving their reading skills.
Last week's bonus project #2, Creative Math Centers, was also completed. Kindergarten students in a high-poverty area of Mississippi will receive materials that will enable them to participate in matching games: number counting and numbers, shapes and colors, and money.
You can see the teachers' thank-you notes at the links above. Many thanks to all contributors!