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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.

This Week's Main Project
Project: A Vivarium For School

Resources Needed:ReptoFilter Filtration System, MicroPump, ReptoFilter In-Tank Filter, Repit-Clean Filter & Replacement Cartridge, Harcourt Science by the Grade - Grade 4
School Poverty Level: High
Location:   Gateway Environmental K-8 Learning Center, Homestead, FL
Total Cost: $282.69
Still Needed: $121.35 Completed!
Expires:  Feb 28, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Alfaro:

My Students: My students begin each day by turning on the lights of their classroom pets. They say good morning to their Bearded Dragons, Leopard Geckos, and turtle. They love their classroom pets and have learned how to care for them by researching the websites and the books in the classroom library.

Our school is in a suburban area and the students are of low income families. The percentage of students on free or reduced lunch is 95%, so most of them cannot afford to have pets. They enjoy watching their own classroom pets so much that I would love to begin another Vivarium in the lobby of our school. The other students from other grades love to come in to my classroom to observe our pets, so it would be a magnificent opportunity to provide them with a larger Vivarium. This Vivarium will allow all the students the opportunity to interact with some pets at the school and learn about the care of them.

My Project: The students will use the materials requested by incorporating them into the Vivarium. The filters will be used in a 75 gallon tank which has been donated to my classroom. I decided the best place for the tank would be the lobby of our school. Since our school is an environmental school, it will be the perfect way to continue the theme of it. They will build the tank once we return from winter break in January.

The turtle docks will be placed on one side of the tank and the lights will provide the necessary UV light they need for proper growth. It will be part water and part land so it is a necessity for the students to have the filters in the water for the fish which will be added to the Vivarium.

The students will learn how animals interact with each other in an ecosystem. They will clean the filters, feed the animals, and observe their growth.

This Vivarium project will make a difference in the lives of all students, all personnel staff, and all the parents. It will bring together a learning community for all who see it. I have observed my students grow in the first half of the school year just by learning to care for the pets we have now. Imagine what they can learn from the Vivarium in the lobby of their school.

Please move on to the bonus project.
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: Science in Second!

Resources Needed: Ant Farm, Lady Bug Land, Motorized Solar System, Solar System Puzzle
School Poverty Level: High
Location:  Rocky View Elementary School, Gallup, NM
Total Cost: $167.72
Still Needed: $122.72 Completed!
Expires:   Mar 01, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Dashner:

My Students: My students are begging for more science lessons in our classroom and more science is what I want them to have!

My students are from rural New Mexico and come from low socioeconomic homes. They are eager to learn and excited to do well in school. Unfortunately some of our students haven't had many experiences outside of our rural town and lack the vocabulary they need to be successful in science.

My Project: My students will be able to observe, discuss and write about the live ant farm and lady bug land. They will be able to experience the solar system in a very engaging and exciting way. My students will gain meaningful experiences from these four hands-on science materials and will learn new vocabulary to help them be successful in future academic settings.

This project will help my students gain the science vocabulary they need and will help my students be engaged in a valuable learning project. My students need experiences and I want to provide them with many exciting experiences and opportunities in our classroom.

Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!


Last week's main project, Insects: Living Jewels Of The Natural World, was completed. Middle school students in Durham, NC will have the praying mantis kits they need to study the insect's life cycle.

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

As of Saturday night, this project from last week remains open:

Project: The Great Solar Race - Continues!
Still Needed: Completed!
Expires: May 12, 2014

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 393!

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.

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.

Originally posted to The Inoculation Project on Sun Feb 02, 2014 at 07:03 AM PST.

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

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