The Inoculation Project: Science & Math in Red State Schools
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 ten-year-old organization rated highly by both Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau.
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. A recent Seattle Times editorial endorsed DonorsChoose, along with the efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to gain visibility for it in the Seattle area.
We're no Gates Foundation, but each Sunday, we focus on funding a single small-dollar project in a traditionally red state classroom, preferably in a high-poverty district.
Look for us every week on SUNDAY morning at 10 AM ET/ 7 AM PT.
Resources Needed: basic dissection materials and sheep's brains School Poverty Level: High Poverty Location: Northline Elementary School, Houston, Texas Total Cost: $257.31 Still Needed:$128.65 Completed! Expires: May 08, 2012
Teacher's Comments from Ms. Hodgson:
My Students: My students are so passionate about learning more about their brains and how they work. They love science and would want to run a dissection lab before they get to middle school! Please help them reach this amazing goal and sponsor a future biologist, neurosurgeon, psychologist, or cognitive scientist.
My students attend a very high poverty school, where there is an emphasis on hands-on science instruction but with extremely limited equipment especially for student centered and engaging instruction. They own their education, have taken charge, came up with this idea entirely on their own, and asked me to help them get the materials they need and teach them how to do it of course. How could I say no? They are enthusiastic about everything they do and even more so when they own it from beginning to end.
My Project: Providing these students with the dissection materials, sheep organs, and therefore, the opportunity to explore something so vital and important to understand at such a young age will only set them up for success in their middle school, high school, and college science courses. They will enter a dissection lab in the future with the confidence and skills necessary to lead their partners or teammates to success.
This project is so important because the students themselves have designed and requested it. I am always telling them to advocate for themselves and take charge of their education. This project is them becoming leaders and expressing what they want and finding a way to get it!
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 back 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.
Resources Needed: a K'NEX bridge building kit School Poverty Level: High Location: Eastmorland Elementary School, Joplin, Missouri Total Cost: $290.09 Still Needed:$70.05 $45.05 Expires: May 01, 2012
Teacher's Comments from Ms. Spieckermann:
My Students: We drive over bridges everyday, but have you ever thought about the science and math that went in to designing them?
I teach both sections of 5th grade science and social studies. My students are hardworking and love anything interactive. They have had a rough year due to an EF5 tornado that destroyed part of our city, but they are making great strides in focusing on the future!
My Project: My 5th graders will love studying the design of bridges around the world and then creating replicas of them with the K'NEX bridge building kits. After completing the study of bridges, we will have a bridge building contest. Students will try out their new-found knowledge of geometry and engineering to design a bridge. We will then test out the bridges with weights and see which design was the most successful!
As a fifth grade teacher, I am constantly looking for activities that are educational AND fun. My students have a wide range of interests. It is up to me to find things that meet those interests so that my students will continue to seek out learning opportunities in the future. Who knows-- this project may inspire a few students to become engineers!