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The Inoculation Project: Math & Science in Red State Schools

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. 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 present a few of the most urgent DonorsChoose.org math and science projects from red state classrooms ("red" as defined here). These will be relatively small dollar 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 every red state math and science project, but we can make an immediate, tangible difference in these classrooms. You give, you save the projects, and you help protect our future.

The Projects

Project: What's in "Ewe" Brain?
Resources: 15 sheep brains
School Poverty Level: Moderate
State: Georgia
Total Cost: $177.46
Still Needed: $74.21 $0.00 (Funded)
Expires: Nov 01, 2009

Teacher's Comments:

We are becoming "brain-iacs" this year in our class! The 1st through 5th grade students in my gifted classes are delving into a study of the brain, learning, and wellness.

The students main request has been to see a real brain (even if it does belong to a sheep). Dissecting sheep brains will allow the students to explore the physiological links between brain systems and identify the general structures representative of mammal brains without having to recruit a volunteer donor:).

Being able to participate in a hands-on experience in which the students see and touch a real sheep brain will make the connections needed for the students to remember what they have learned about this amazing organ - our brain!

As much as I would love to provide this hands-on opportunity for my students the current economic situation prevents it. Learning about this wonderful organization and the possibilities of obtaining funding from donors interested in providing enriching opportunities for students will allow my classes to have a real-world experience in learning not obtained through regular classroom opportunities!

Project: Fill Our Display Case!
Resources: 5 models of cells and other microscopic organisms
School Poverty Level: Moderate
State: Utah
Total Cost: $541.22
Still Needed: $188.85 $133.85
Expires: Nov 04, 2009

Teacher's Comments:

Our display case is NAKED! Next year I will be teaching 7th grade science, a course that is strictly focused on "life" sciences. My students are from an area of moderate poverty, and have little opportunity for hands-on science experiences. We have few microscopes to share and even fewer slides.

I have quickly realized that teenage students learn best if they can see and touch the thing they are learning about. But how can you show a single plant cell to 210 students? Or a DNA double helix? And where can you put all these so that students can see them all year?

I am asking for models of a DNA double helix, a virus, plant and animal cells, and an atom. I plan to pass these items around while teaching the concepts, but more importantly I want to fill my old display case with these models so that students can see them ALL year. I truly believe this is key to having students memorize important information.

Your donations will make it possible for my students to understand how microorganisms work, and to be able to recall and remember that information every time they pass our class display case.

Project: Wrapping Up Math Facts and Saving A Tree
Resources: A classroom set of Multiplication Learning Wrap-Ups
School Poverty Level: High
State: Kansas
Total Cost: $281.55
Still Needed: $256.71
Expires: Nov 02, 2009

Teacher's Comments:

My students want to throw out the pencils and paper and use these Wrap-Ups to practice multiplication facts in a fun, exciting, hands-on way.

I teach 3rd grade in a high-poverty school. Our district is limiting funds this year due to budget issues.

After closing a smaller school in our district, many students will be changing schools next year. I want to provide all my students with hands-on activities to help them all succeed. I am also looking for ways to reduce/eliminate the need to make copies of worksheets.

My students need these Multiplication Wrap-Ups to give them immediate access to practicing multiplication facts without the need for pencil and paper. The Wrap-Ups are self-checking. The students will master their facts and have fun at the same time. No need for paper or flashcards. And if they each have their own set, then there will be no waiting until a fellow classmate is finished.

Your donation with help ensure my students success not only in 3rd grade but throughout their schooling. The better they know their facts, the easier math will be in the future. Put these Wrap-Ups in the hands of my 3rd graders and they all will be excited to master those facts.

Please consider rescuing one of these projects by making a small donation to it. Small dollars make a big difference.

Helpful Links

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

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with DonorsChoose.org, or any of the classroom projects presented for funding. I'm just volunteering my time and pixels to make a difference.

Originally posted to The Hyperbolic Pants Explosion on Fri Oct 30, 2009 at 11:34 AM PDT.

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