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Scroll down for this week's project. On tap this week: Last Child in the Classroom

Reminder: Look for "The Inoculation Project" every Friday afternoon!

The Inoculation Project: Math & Science in Red State Schools

Solid science education is the best inoculation against ignorance.

The objective of this weekly 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 we focus on funding a single small-dollar project in a traditionally red state classroom. These are projects whose funding requests are expiring within the next week. If the projects are not funded by their expiration date, they die.
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This Week's Project

Project: Last Child in the Classsroom
Resources Needed: a variety of 9 field guides and all weather science journals for their scientific investigations and naturalist career exploration projects
School Poverty Level: Low
State: Idaho
Total Cost: $407.60
Still Needed: $64.39 FUNDED! See bonus project in comments below.
Expires: Jul 04, 2011
Click to Donate

Teacher's Comments:
My Students

How do you view the world? Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods opened people's eyes to the dilemma faced by children today. This project is designed to get my students engaged in the natural world through inquiry and exploration from a naturalist viewpoint. Help me, help them, help the world.

Even though Idaho is a rural state, my students come from an inner city community in the heart of the Treasure Valley. We are an arts integrated charter school with a diverse student population. A majority of my students qualify for free and reduced lunch. Despite our strip mall location we interact with the natural world as much as possible through trips to the local wetland reserve behind our school. However, our resources are limited, and access to specialized books and materials for scientific inquiry often prohibits us from exploring valuable subject matter deeper. This group of energetic 7th and 8th graders possesses a love for learning and is especially interested in scientific investigation. Their interest in the natural world is as diverse as they are, so having a large selection of field guides is tremendously important to this investigation.

My Project

Think about the first time you were truly inspired to learn. What lit the spark that led to your career choice? Or perhaps you still don't know what you want to be when you grow up. As adolescents career exploration can ignite a passion that drives a desire for learning far beyond their middle school years. It is this kind of passion that projects like Last Child in the Classroom have the potential of producing. Having access to professional resources and scientific tools brings a level of sophistication to a kid's classroom experiences. This naturalist project will give my students an opportunity to choose their topic of exploration, research process, and method of demonstrating their learning. Research shows, with choice comes by in and enduring understandings. What will it be, botany, entomology, ornithology, zoology? The choice is all theirs.

Loren Eiseley said "The journey is difficult, immense. We will travel as far as we can, but we cannot in one lifetime see all that we would like to see or to learn all that we hunger to know". I say life's too short to not give it a shot, so why not start now? Be a spark. You never know. It might inspire the next Jane Goodall, Rachel Carson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, or James Audubon.

Please consider rescuing this project by making a small donation to it. Small dollars make a big difference.
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Good News

Last week's project, Future Scientists in the Making, got funded!

Here's what the teacher had to say:

I can't express enough the joy and gratitude to each person who gave to our project. My boys and girls will be so excited to have so many new hands-on materials and books to read. Learning science will be much more gratifying once the students are actually touching and doing science experiments instead of just talking and hearing about them. Once again, thank you so much for making a difference in my students' educational careers, by providing us with the classroom materials we need to fully understand and create science experiences.

With gratitude,
Mrs. C.

We also gave the bonus project, "Attractive" Learning, a big boost on its way to getting funded!
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Projects Funded So Far

Our list of successfully funded projects has gotten so huge, I gave it its own separate diary!

We're up to 114 funded projects.

Go check it out! (And be sure to click on the links for pictures of the kids working with the resources we provided for them.)
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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 Inoculation Project on Fri Jul 01, 2011 at 11:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech.

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