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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 fourteen-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).

We are fast approaching our 400th-project celebration and, as a group, your editors need to have that not happen quite yet, each for reasons of our own. We're taking advantage of that situation to take on a much larger project than we ordinarily present.

This week, and next week if need be, we will be tackling a big project in South Florida. The entire school and community will benefit from the garden that our teacher plans, this year and thereafter. We do intend to return to more easily-completed projects this month, but I have been quite amazed at the couple of enormous projects we've managed to push to completion these past few weeks. (Remember that DonorsChoose has something similar to a "rec list", and every time we create a flurry of activity on a project, even if the dollar amounts involved aren't large, we can push the project up that list so it gets shown to more donors outside Daily Kos.)

Thank you for humoring us and putting your love and money behind this Florida garden. Our TIP family has done some great things together, and this will be yet another of those!

This Week's Main Project
Project: Donations Thanks To Disney!

Resources Needed: My students need an organic veggies classroom kit, soil and fertilizer to maintain their student made and cared for garden.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Bel-Aire Elementary School, Miami, Florida
Total Cost: $927.46
Still Needed: $463.73  $337.55
Expires: Apr 25, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Ms. P.:

My Students: "Try it you might just like it..." is a phrase I use in our garden and during lectures and guided notes in SCIENCE class.

My students attend a Title 1 school in South Florida. 98% of the students receive free or reduced lunch. We serve limited English proficient students and SPED students. Many students have individualized documented accommodations to meet their academic needs.

My Project: My students are about to learn about plants. This unit requires hands-on activities. Therefore, having plant books, soil, fertilizer and various seeds they will be able to get their hands dirty. They will be able to record first hand observations in their science journals instead of using simulations.

These youngsters will learn how plants grow, how to care for a garden and how the food chain works, as well as how career to work connections interact. I am excited and so are they. We have even discussed having a Chat & Chew inviting their parents to school. Students will reflect on this project and what their take away will be and what call to action will they act upon to ensure other students care for the garden area once they have moved on to middle school.

This project will give students the opportunity to create, make and tend to their very own garden. Since the school does not have a garden, it will be the first therefore all 500 students will be exposed to this environmental service project. Certainly, students lives will be changed for the better by learning about and making healthy, nutritious food choices!

Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!

Our Dollars at Work
Students from Mrs. Spurway's class working with their balsa wood bridge materials, from the project, Balsa Wood Fun!

WOW! Thank you so much for helping fund my project. I want to specifically say how lucky I am to have been chosen by the Daily Kos as the weekly project, as it played a huge role in getting my project funded.

From Mrs. Spurway's thank-you note

balsa 1

balsa 2

There are additional photos at the link.


Last week's big project, I Am A Robot, was completed. Georgia grade-school students will receive a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robotics set, so they can build and program robots. You can see the teacher's thank-you note at the link. Many thanks to all contributors!

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 398!

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. Occasionally, a fully funded project is called off for some reason internal to the school/teacher, and funding is returned. We have no way of knowing why, but DonorsChoose handles those donations in the same way as for expired projects.

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 Mar 02, 2014 at 07:00 AM PST.

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

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