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 The Inoculation Project: Science & Math in Red State Schools

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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 ten-year-old organization rated highly by both Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau.

Here is 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. 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.

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Look for us every week on SUNDAY morning at 10 AM ET/ 7 AM PT.

This Week's Main Project
Project: Citizen Science - Birds, Bugs, Trees, and Dirt!

Resources Needed: binoculars, screen sieve sets, plastic storage boxes, and bug boxes
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Croatan High School, Newport, NC
Total Cost:$1,212.52
Still Needed: $95.26 Completed!
Expires: May 25, 2012  

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Moore:

My Students: "No child left behind" was the catalyst statement for national improvements in education, but my personal mantra is "No Child Left Indoors!"

My students are mainly freshmen, just entering the high school experience with a lot of middle school energy! We attend a high school located conveniently in a rural setting, with lots of nature around us. We live next to a large sound, with both a pine forest and maritime forest within walking distance of our school.

My Project: My students will become citizen scientists. We will examine birds, bugs, trees, and soils. We will build our own feeders, then identify and count birds as they come to the feeders to visit. We will use the binoculars to observe the feeders as well as the natural areas we will visit. We will use the bug boxes to investigate the critters that inhabit the areas around our school. We will adopt a tree and observe and record its changes. Soil samples will be taken using the screen sieves. All of the data that we collect will be uploaded into websites that ultimately will increase the databases of scientists that can utilize our citizen science!

This project is perfect for the earth and environmental course and the freshmen level student. The materials that the project will provide will take us outside the confines of our classroom and will afford each student the opportunity to get involved and "do" science . . . not just read about it. We will become citizen scientists, with "No Child Left Indoors!"



COMPLETED!
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!
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: Folding Paper is More than a Ton of Fun!

Resources Needed: origami paper and scorers
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Godley Station School, Pooler, GA
Total Cost: $393.53
Still Needed: $95.00 Completed!
Expires: Sep 01, 2012

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Barnes:

My Students: Flip, Slide, and Turn can be difficult for students to visualize. The Chinese art of folding paper (origami) is a great way to gets students' hands in tune with their brains.

My students come from regular 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classrooms to study Accelerated Mathematics in my classroom. They are extremely talented in the area of Mathematics and desperately need to stretch their brains to their full capacity. They are a pure joy and teach me new things every day.  

My Project: The Chinese art of paper folding (origami) is an excellent introductory or conclusion to any Geometry unit. While having a great time folding paper and making interesting shapes, students can see the symmetry, transformations, angle measures, and polygons formed by each fold of the paper.

We need origami paper and scorers to study the wonderful world of geometry: symmetry, angle measures, polygons, translation, rotation, and reflection.

This origami project will allow Geometry concepts to be not only a visual experience, but also a tactile experience for students. Getting their hands involved will greatly assist in getting their brains wrapped around difficult Geometric concepts.


 
COMPLETED!
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!


Our Dollars at Work
High school students from Mrs. Manning's class are working with their water quality instruments provided by the project, Water: A Limited Resource?

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Mrs. Mannings's thank you note and additional photos can be seen at the link.


Housekeeping

Last week's main project, What's Clucking in the Classroom, was completed. High poverty elementary school students in Missouri will have the incubator and brooder kit they need to study chick development.

The bonus project, Completing the Earth Puzzle: Alternative Energies in Action, was rescued. High poverty middle school students in Georgia will have a variety of energy conversion kits needed to study alternative forms of energy.

The bonus project from April 29, Physics Lab Materials, crossed the finish line on Monday with the help of Kossacks. High poverty high school students in Arizona will have the optic kits necessary for their Physics experiments.

Many thanks to all our contributors who made these projects possible in these classrooms! Thank you notes from the teachers can be seen at the links.

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 191!

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.

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.

Originally posted to The Inoculation Project on Sun May 20, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town, Backyard Science, Dream Menders, SciTech, and DKOMA.

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