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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 thirteen-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: Earth As A Living Environment; Without It Where Would We Be?

Resources Needed: Lab equipment, like 8 Seismograph Models, hand lenses, Fluorite specimens and more, to study rocks, minerals, and plate tectonics.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Easley High School, Easley, South Carolina
Total Cost: $536.98
Still Needed: $176.98  COMPLETED! Please see bonus project!
Expires: Nov 14, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Mayer:

My Students: Science isn't about memorizing facts; it's about solving problems and thinking analytically.

This fall I will be teaching environmental and earth science to at risk students. It is important for their graduation success that they are engaged and interested in the classes they are taking at school. My curriculum this year has been designed to engage these students with hands-on learning and real-life problem based units.

My Project: Your donations will allow me to expand my small personal collection of rocks and minerals I am bringing to share with my students to gain hands-on experience identifying and classifying. In the larger scope, students will use their ability to identify minerals in a project based unit to determine if an alleged diamond is really a diamond or another mineral with similar properties. The unit ends with students discussing mined verses manufactured diamonds and their relative values.

Since the 1960's our country has been producing nuclear power. We have yet to create a long-term nuclear waste storage facility. Students will use the seismographs during our Plate Tectonic Unit to learn the potential hazards an earthquake can pose to nuclear waste storage facilities. After studying plate tectonics, and the role of earthquakes and volcanoes play, students will analyze data from three sites, one of which is Yucca Mountain, and determine which is best for long-term nuclear waste storage.

With your donations, my students will be engaged with hands-on learning. Their analytical abilities will be developed with a real-life problem to solve in every unit. This will keep them interested in what they are learning.

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: Making Mountains Out of Molehills

Resources Needed: A digital microscope, so that as a class we can observe the microscope structures and functions of living or once living things.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Carver Middle School, Leesburg, Florida
Total Cost: $179.53
Still Needed: $89.77  $68.77
Expires: Jan 04, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Barnhart:

My Students: Do you remember the first time you looked at a bug through a magnifying glass? Perhaps you remember the first time you looked at something through a microscope. Many students have not had this experience, simply due to lack of proper equipment.

My students come from a large variety of backgrounds, ethnicities, races and learning styles. Our school is an at-risk, Title I school in central Florida. I have students that struggle to read and think they hate science, students that excel in reading and are even moderately scientifically literate, and students that do their best with a modicum of interest in their subjects. But they all share one thing: they are naturally curious about the world around them.

My Project: With this digital microscope, I can project images seen through the microscope onto the class screen for the entire class to see. We will be able to observe the replication of some larger cells, view the inner structures and functions of insects, plant parts and anything else we are curious about.

So many students have never seen the cubical shape of a grain of salt as viewed under a microscope. They have no idea that the surface of a dragonfly's eye has an actual texture, or that a plant cell has rigid walls. The purpose of scientific literacy is to ensure that we all understand the natural world around us.

Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!

Our Dollars at Work
Students from Mrs. Huckaby's first grade class working with their new laboratory supplies, from the project, What Does a Scientist Do? We Want to Know!

boy examines leaf with hand lens

girls do color changing milk experiment

There are additional photos at the link.


Last week's main project, Now You See It, was completed. Fifth grade science students in Florida will receive microscopes and sets of slides. You can see the teacher's thank-you note at the link AND the teacher, Cathy Rudd, also joined Daily Kos so she could come and thank us in the diary! If you see her in the threads, be sure to say hello.

The bonus project, Every Action..., was also completed with a Kossack assist. A Michigan middle school class will receive six Newton's Cradles.

Be sure to check out the project pages for notes from the teachers. Many thanks to all contributors!

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 368! 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.

How is the poverty level defined at DonorsChoose.org?
Poverty level refers to the percentage of students at a given school who qualify for free and reduced lunch, which is considered a measure of economic need. To be deemed eligible for free lunch, a student's family income must be within 130% of the poverty line (a max of $29,055 for a family of four). For reduced lunch, the family income must be within 185% of the poverty level (a max of $41,348 for a family of four).

Schools with 10%-39% of students receiving free/reduced lunch are denoted as "moderate poverty" while schools with more than 40% of students receiving free/reduced lunch are denoted as "high poverty". For projects submitted from a school where free lunch rate data is unavailable or unreliable, "Poverty Data Unavailable" will appear. (from DonorsChoose.org)
More information:
DonorsChoose.org main page
DonorsChoose.org blog
About DonorsChoose.org
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.
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Originally posted to The Inoculation Project on Sun Nov 03, 2013 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by J Town, SciTech, and Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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