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Diary header banner for Daily Kos Inoculation Project diaries.
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.

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: Time to Bring this Lab to Life!

Resources Needed: aquarium supplies, dwarf frogs, guppies, water plants, water test kit, dissolved oxygen test kit
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Preston High School in Kingwood, WV
Total Cost: $379.07
Still Needed: $145.25 Completed!
Expires: Jul 02, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Murray:

My Students: Yogi Berra once said that you can observe a lot by just watching. After receiving a donated aquarium, my students and I are excited to see how much we can observe by watching. We are on a mission to create a thriving ecosystem in order to bring a little life in to our room and our labs.

At our school, we pride ourselves on the wide variety of available academic and vocational programs. Whether our kids families have lived on the same farm for generations or have just moved to the area, our goal is to provide each of our students a pathway for success. Our students are hard working, creative kids who love to get their hands dirty whether they are in chemistry or carpentry.

During the past year, we have gone from a shared lab space with broken and limited equipment to a new science complex stocked with amazing equipment provided in large part by Donors Choose and our amazing donors. These new resources have helped our biology, chemistry, and forensics programs come to life in a way that we never dreamed possible.

My Project: With the donation of an aquarium and stand by a local community member, we are hoping to put a little life back in the room. We are planning to create a planted tank that will house dwarf frogs and guppies. This tank will not only serve as a relaxing focal point, but also provide several new lab opportunities for my classes. The chemistry classes will be conducting water quality assessments including pH and dissolved oxygen while biology will be studying the genetics of guppy breeding, symbiosis between plants and animals in an ecosystem, and animal behavior. In addition, we will be using the elodea from the tank in our photosynthesis experiments.

Whether kids are 5 or 15, there is something magical about living things in the classroom. Plants and animals provide opportunities for caring, conversation, and curriculum in a way that few other methods can achieve. This project will allow me to literally bring my classroom to life.

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 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: Materials Needed for Science SWAT Team!

Resources Needed:What Mineral Is It? Kit
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Deer Valley Middle School, Phoenix, AZ  
Total Cost: $258.85
Still Needed: $114.73 Completed!
Expires: Jul 15, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Swat:

My Students: Students are expected to just believe everything we tell them. The beauty of hands-on and interactive learning is that it brings science alive! In this day and age, seeing (feeling, testing, and even smelling) is believing!

My students are a diverse group of energetic 7th graders; however, they come with baggage that no child should have to deal with. Most are on free or reduced lunch. School is the place where they come to experience stability and feel safe. With hands-on activities in science, it opens the door of opportunity and experience so they can be given the same school experience as everyone else.

My Project:My students need a mineral testing kit so they may test hardness, luster, cleavage, and streak in order to identify unlabeled minerals. As a new teacher, I do not yet possess all the bells and whistles that make science an unforgettable experience. With the testing kits, they will be able to test the observable properties of minerals and based on their data they collect, they will be able to infer and finally conclude which mineral is which. Instead of giving them the data that others collected, they will be able to host their own experiment and come up with a solution while working together. This project will also make a connection with my special education students where they can do the same testing as everyone else.

With these mineral testing kits, it will develop a connection between the data they collect and the conclusions that they write. With collaboration and questioning their own student-led investigation, the students will forever remember this experience and apply those critical skills later in school.

Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!
Bonus Project #2

Lately, we've had a lot of success and paid for our projects early, leaving no way for latecomers to participate. While that's great, it's also a missed opportunity to help one more teacher. If you arrive and find bonus project #1 finished, please direct your donations to this project. We'll return to it as needed in future diaries.
Project: Helps Us Be Hands-On with Science

Resources Needed: Magnet Activity Lab, Force & Motion Activity Lab, Can Do Motion Discovery Kit, and Plant, Magnets, and Five Senses Instant Learning  Centers
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Rama Road Elementary School, Charlotte, NC
Total Cost: $285.99
Still Needed: $142.99
Expires:Aug 24, 2013

My Project: My kids love to learn but with a high emphasis on reading and math science sometimes gets pushed to the side or forgotten. I want to get these items to enrich their lives through the common core. Everything I am requesting is aligned to the common core. The magnet instant learning station, the force and motion, and the planet are all standards that my students must know for second grade. As well as the five senses.

My project is important because I want my students to have as many hands on activities in the room as possible. Worksheets just don't cut it when it comes to science they need to see it hands on as much as possible!



Last week's main project, Scientific Explorers, was completed. Elementary school students in Texas will get the lens and prism that they need to study light behavior.

The bonus project from several weeks ago, Hands-On Organ Systems, was completed with a heavy Kossack assist. Middle school students in North Carolina will get the fetal pigs they need for their dissection lab.

You can see the teacher' thank-you note at the link above. Many thanks to all contributors!

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.

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 317!

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.


You are welcome to use The Inoculation Project avatar as your DonorsChoose avatar if you wish. If you need instructions for uploading it to your DonorsChoose profile, you'll find them in this diary.

Donors Choose avatar for Inoculation Project readers to use.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to The Inoculation Project on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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