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Please begin with an informative title:

Today is my 41st birthday.

I fished around for a long time for a personal project I could commit to for my 42nd year on this planet. Last year I tried a daily self-portrait project, but couldn't stick with staring at my own mug for 365 days. This year I wanted to be a little less self-obsessed... so naturally, I thought, "Gee, what really pisses me off, and what can I do to make it stop?"

Well, you know what really pisses me off? The brain-meltingly stupid anti-science, anti-education, anti-competence, and anti-reality movement currently infesting conservative populist politics. I cannot even wrap my head around a bunch of people who genuinely prize ignorance.

I've had enough of this nonsense, and I suspect you have too. To that end, I introduce a weekly diary series:

The Inoculation Project

Intro

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).

Solid science education is the best inoculation against ignorance.

The objective of this project is to combat the anti-science push in conservative America by providing direct funding each week to math and science projects in red state classrooms.

Fortunately, a conduit organization for achieving this direct funding already exists: DonorsChoose.org. If the name sounds familiar to you, it's probably because Stephen Colbert has partnered with them in the past to fund schools with high percentages of military kids. DonorsChoose.org allows you to make direct contributions to specific classroom projects (all vetted), resulting in tremendous and immediate impacts from small dollar donations.

Each week, I will compile a list of the most urgent DonorsChoose.org math and science projects from red state (as defined here) classrooms. These will be projects whose funding requests are expiring within the next 7 days. If the projects are not funded by their expiration date, they die.

We're not going to be able to rescue all these projects, but we can make a dent. You give, you save the projects, and you help protect our future.
.

How It Works

From the DonorsChoose.org "How It Works" page:

Here's how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org. Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class.

Then, you can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that makes your eye twinkle. Once a project reaches its funding goal, we deliver the materials to the school.

You'll get photos of your project taking place, a thank-you letter from the teacher, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. If you give over $100, you'll also receive hand-written thank-you letters from the students.

At DonorsChoose.org, you can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions. We call it citizen philanthropy.

....

How we ensure integrity
Our team is vigilant about providing end-to-end integrity for each classroom project funded through our site. To that end, we:

  • Vet every classroom project request submitted by teachers.
  • Process donor transactions using the most secure and trusted technology available.
  • Purchase the classroom materials, shipping items directly to the school and alerting the principal when the materials are on their way.
  • Provide photos of the project taking place, teacher and student letters, and a cost report showing how every dollar was spent.
.

Helpful Links

DonorsChoose.org
DonorsChoose.org Blog
DonorsChoose.org Donor FAQ
All DonorsChoose.org Math & Science Projects
.

The Projects

Utah (R + 30.768)

Project: Using Calculators Everyday!
Resources Needed: 20 calculators and a calculator pocket chart kit
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $423.17
Still Needed: $212
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Project: Building Bridges and Making Connections
Resources Needed: One classroom set of the K'nex Introduction to Structures, Bridges Set and three sets of the K'nex Real Bridge Building Sets.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $928.80
Still Needed: $414.87
Expires: Oct 05, 2009

Project: That is so MANIPULATIVE!
Resources Needed: A complete set of Stamp and Solve Math Activity Boxes, a set of Build-A-Story Problem flip books, Daily Math Stations for grades 1-6 and Hands-On problem solving books.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $525.61
Still Needed: $262.61
Expires: Oct 06, 2009

Idaho (R + 27.018)

No project requests ending within 7 days.

Wyoming (R + 26.132)

No project requests ending within 7 days.

Nebraska (R + 22.606)

No project requests ending within 7 days.

Alaska (R + 20.946)

No project requests ending within 7 days.

Oklahoma (R + 20.152)

Project: Pre-K Pickin' Pumpkins
Resources Needed: 15 assorted resources, including headphones, a junction box, 2 CD Read-Alongs, paint aprons, a Tote & Play Garden Set, a Growing Things Theme Book Library and safety goggles.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $548.24
Still Needed: $548.24
Expires: Oct 02, 2009

Project: Its A Bug's Life
Resources Needed: 12 Riker mounts and 6 Insect Nets to capture, mount and classify insects.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $340.66
Still Needed: $207.66
Expires: Oct 05, 2009

Kansas (R + 16.892)

Project: Makin' Some Noise!
Resources Needed: A Lapel mic voice amplification system to be able to better hear in the classroom.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $808.62
Still Needed: $808.62
Expires: Oct 05, 2009

North Dakota (R + 16.484)

No project requests ending within 7 days.

Alabama (R + 15.162)

Project: It's a Small, Small World!!!
Resources Needed: 4 Frey microscopes to peer into the microscopic world of the unknown and discover what inhabits that world.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $1,008.22
Still Needed: $998.54
Expires: Sep 30, 2009

Project: "Give Me Math for $1000 Please!!!!!!!!"
Resources Needed: Math classroom jeopardy with Pre-Algebra cartridge to help incorporate Graduation Exam skills and instill life long learning skills needed to become functional, productive individuals in society.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $653.04
Still Needed: $586.44
Expires: Oct 04, 2009

Texas (R + 12.872)

Project: Technology Teaches
Resources: A Toshiba Satellite laptop computer.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $1,098.78
Still Needed: $1,098.78
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Project: Discovering Sounds, Letters and Words in Pre-K!
Resources: 1 alphabet maze, 1 alphabet train floor puzzle, 1 alphabet rubbing plates, 1 activity tree for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom 1 uppercase alphabet & number dough stampers, 1 stamper stand, 1 lowercase alphabet dough, 1 stamper stand, 1 sift & find alphabet shells, 1 syllable set, 1 hopscotch carpet, 1 ducks alphabet box, 1 bees letters Game, 1 wheel alphabet, and 1 ladybug letter game.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $508.54
Still Needed: $508.54
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Project: Look I Come In Steps!
Resources: 8 hands-on Science supplies, including a set of Jumbo Specimen Viewers, 2 bingo games, a Life Cycle of a Frog Specimen Set and a Life Cycles Instant Learning Center.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $309.76
Still Needed: $309.76
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Project: Fun Foldables
Resources: Basic supplies, including colored paper, scissors, scotch tape, glue, rulers, markers, and staplers.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $310.13
Still Needed: $145.07
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Project: Make It Big!
Resources: A document camera.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $952.06
Still Needed: $927.44
Expires: Oct 02, 2009

Project: Watch Us Grow With Math Games
Resources: 2 Budget games, 2 Allowance games and 2 ATM games.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $237.80
Still Needed: $237.80
Expires: Oct 03, 2009

Project: Our Future Mathematicians!!!
Resources: Math, number, and shape sense manipulatives including games, mazes, sorting activities, and pegboards.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $590.24
Still Needed: $590.24
Expires: Oct 04, 2009

Project: You Don't Know What You Got 'Till Its Gone
Resources: 60 copies of the book titled "Enter the Earth (Gaia Girls Series #1" by Lee Welles.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $961.44
Still Needed: $445.26
Expires: Oct 04, 2009

Project: Building Math Skills Block by Block
Resources: 8 Math supplies, including place value activity kits with 4 base ten block sets, 4 addition and 4 subtraction machines and a place value pocket chart kit.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $534.15
Still Needed: $534.15
Expires: Oct 06, 2009

Project: Instant Math Games
Resources: 4 instant math games, including the Pick-A-Pair Place Value Game and the Jungle Jumble Addition Game.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $119.51
Still Needed: $104.51
Expires: Oct 06, 2009

Mississippi (R + 12.766)

Project: Projecting Better Futures
Resources: A new projector for our team SMARTBoard
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $1,167.07
Still Needed: $1,167.07
Expires: Sep 30, 2009

Project: Bring History to Life
Resources: 28 books covering a number of social studies topics, including 3 copies each of U.S. and World Atlases and a number of Eyewitness Series books.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $584.15
Still Needed: $584.15
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Project: Give Us A Hand(book)
Resources: A class set (30 copies) of "Sciencesaurus - A Student Handbook" to enhance their understanding of science concepts, increase their reading comprehension skills, and provide them with opportunities to practice the writing skills taught in their Language Arts classes.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $1,069.51
Still Needed: $1,069.51
Expires: Oct 02, 2009

Project: Help Us Visualize Math
Resources: 1 Math Manipulative Library.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $226.30
Still Needed: $216.83
Expires: Oct 05, 2009

South Dakota (R + 11.920)

No project requests ending within 7 days.

South Carolina (R + 11.230)

Project: If A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words, What is A Video Worth?
Resources: 5 RCA Small Wonder Digital Camcorders.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $754.88
Still Needed: $754.88
Expires: Sep 30, 2009

Project: Criss-Cross-Applesauce...Spoons-in-the-Bowl
Resources: A Sunny Day Learn and Play Rectangle Rug.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $714.17
Still Needed: $674.63
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Montana (R + 9.668)

No project requests ending within 7 days.

Kentucky (R + 9.408)

Project: A Sponge Is An Animal?
Resources: A DVD about sponges, a varied collection of microscope slides and storage boxes for a sponge and cnidarian lab.
School Poverty Level: Poverty Data Unavailable
Total Cost: $554.88
Still Needed: $554.88
Expires: Oct 04, 2009

Project: What's A Sea Squirt?
Resources: A set of preserved specimens for labs in the Animal Kingdom Unit.
School Poverty Level: Poverty Data Unavailable
Total Cost: $395.12
Still Needed: $395.12
Expires: Oct 04, 2009

Indiana (R + 9.398)

Project: Chemistry Games
Resources: 3 Atom Building Games.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $378.05
Still Needed: $378.05
Expires: Oct 04, 2009

Project: Math and Reading: Colliding Curriculum!
Resources: 17 picture books to learn Math concepts.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $198.78
Still Needed: $198.78
Expires: Oct 04, 2009

Project: Dragon Scales
Resources: Four sets of spring scales.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $139.88
Still Needed: $85.24
Expires: Oct 04, 2009

Project: Marbles and Physics
Resources: A Straight Marble Track from CPO.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $132.00
Still Needed: $71.71
Expires: Oct 04, 2009

Georgia (R + 6.814)

Project: Math: That Four Letter Word!
Resources: Shape/color bean bags, number beads, sorting items, pattern books, a cash register, and gel writing boards to practice writing our numbers.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $548.78
Still Needed: $274.22
Expires: Sep 30, 2009

Project: The Next Generation for our KIPPsters!
Resources: Mimio Interactive system
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $1,759.60
Still Needed: $1,639.76
Expires: Oct 02, 2009

Project: Now We Can All See Part Two!
Resources: 1 LCD Multimedia Projector.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $1,025.61
Still Needed: $513.05
Expires: Oct 05, 2009

Project: Soaring Into Space Exploration - We Are On A Quest
Resources: 30 sets of safety goggles, a telescope, 4 Space Sand Classroom Kits and 2 Solar System Activity Tubs.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $503.20
Still Needed: $109.67
Expires: Oct 06, 2009

North Carolina (R + 6.086)

Project: Creative Counting in Kindergarten
Resources: 1 set of counting boxes and 1 set of math match-ups.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $314.63
Still Needed: $314.63
Expires: Sep 30, 2009

Project: Yellow Jackets and the Bean Stalk
Resources: 3 bags of planting soil, 3 digital soil thermometers, 4 bags of pebbles, 6 bags of coarse sand and 1 basic seed set.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $487.80
Still Needed: $487.80
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Project: Math + Games = Fun & Success!!
Resources: 4 place value hands-on games, 3 time games, 2 geometry games, and one graphing center activity.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $364.63
Still Needed: $364.63
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Project: Byrd's Builders
Resources: Literacy items to help them learn and improve their Math and reading skills
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $432.57
Still Needed: $332.57
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Project: We Tote Math Bags!!
Resources: 10 cloth bags, various math manipulatives from shapes to clocks to thermometers, ink and index cards to create problem solving activities to assist us this year and for students in years to come.
School Poverty Level: Minimal
Total Cost: $255.88
Still Needed: $230.88
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Project: It's MAGNIFYING!!
Resources: A document camera.
School Poverty Level: Poverty Data Unavailable
Total Cost: $856.10
Still Needed: $856.10
Expires: Oct 03, 2009

Project: Can I Hear What You See?
Resources: 32GB iPod Touch
School Poverty Level: Poverty Data Unavailable
Total Cost: $574.39
Still Needed: $574.39
Expires: Oct 03, 2009

Project: In Plain Sight
Resources: An ebook digital reader.
School Poverty Level: Poverty Data Unavailable
Total Cost: $434.15
Still Needed: $434.15
Expires: Oct 03, 2009

Project: The Power of Play
Resources: Exciting reading and math games that focus on skills third graders need to master in order to get them more motivated to learn
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $560.98
Still Needed: $560.98
Expires: Oct 04, 2009

Project: Students Need LIFE in the Classroom!!!
Resources: A river tank ecosystem with plant and animal specimens to be able to gain the experience of plant and animal life along a river.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $515.85
Still Needed: $515.85
Expires: Oct 04, 2009

Project: Up High! Down Low! Too Slow? Oh No!!!
Resources: Barometers, thermometers, weather maps, and cloud chambers that will broaden their knowledge, as well as spark their interest, in the weather around us.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $492.68
Still Needed: $492.68
Expires: Oct 05, 2009

Project: Scooping, Sculpting, Measuring and Volume
Resources: A sand and water table set.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $491.46
Still Needed: $491.46
Expires: Oct 05, 2009

Project: SPSS: A Statistical View of the Community
Resources: Five copies of the SPSS software program and five "SPSS for Dummies" manuals.
School Poverty Level: High
Total Cost: $807.32
Still Needed: $403.80
Expires: Oct 06, 2009

Tennessee (R + 5.228)

Project: Lots of Dots Rug for My 2nd Grade Class
Resources: One "Lots of Dots" seating rug.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Total Cost: $888.00
Still Needed: $888.00
Expires: Oct 01, 2009

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to The Hyperbolic Pants Explosion on Tue Sep 29, 2009 at 08:13 AM PDT.

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