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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'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. 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.

If you've been following us the past couple of weeks, you know that we are approaching our 200th completed project, and so we are deliberately s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out the time until that happens, because we have a special surprise on the way for that celebration, and it's not ready yet!

However, you guys are making it difficult by being so generous, even with the high-priced projects we've been picking. We are not complaining! But we're trying again to stall you a bit so we can push our big celebration off into July. Both of this week's projects need much more to complete them than we usually present here. They're very worthwhile projects, and in both cases, they have enough time left so that we can revisit them in future weeks if they remain open. We hope you'll honor us with your donations of any size, your tips and recs, and/or your social media shares, as you always do.

This Week's Main Project
Project: Super Scientists On The Prowl!

Resources Needed: Various science materials, including a see it grow plant lab, greenhouses, magnifiers, magnets, and mirrors.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: George L Parks Elementary School, Natchitoches, Louisiana
Total Cost: $380.48
Still Needed: $305.48 $15.94
Expires: Jul 31, 2012

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. S:

My Students: As children interact with the things around them, they learn. This is a fact we try to focus on in preschool classrooms. There are learning centers everywhere for the students to interact with.

My preschool students are bright-eyed, inquisitive, wonderful students who attend a Title One school in Louisiana. They enjoy interacting with the materials in our classroom and love to come to school every day to see what new thing they will learn. But just like everywhere else the funds for extras is limited.

My Project: As a first year preschool teacher I am still gathering materials to make each center more meaningful to my students. In order to help them love science as much as I do I am asking for help getting a few things for our Science center. These are the See It Grow Plant Lab, Watch-It-Grow Window Greenhouse and crystals, the Lakeshore Magnifier Center, a Magnet Discovery Board, Explore and Discover Science Viewers, a Mirrors Science Center,and a Giant Two-Way Magnifier.

Please help me get and keep my students interested in science! There is no better way than introducing this subject to them than in fun, meaningful ways using lots of hands on activities!

DONATE HERE
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: Making Math Tangible: Mathematics Manipulatives

Resources Needed: Algebra manipulatives, leveled texts for algebraic thinking, algebra tiles, algebra station activities, algebra anchor charts (posters), and algebra DVDs.  
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Rosa Fort High School, Tunica, Mississippi
Total Cost: $495.89
Still Needed: $315.89 $295.89
Expires: Aug 07, 2012

Teacher's Comments from Mr. McGowan:

My Students: It's difficult being a child in the poorest region of the poorest state in the U.S. The Mississippi Delta region students face great challenges in their education, specifically in the area of mathematics. Generations of family illiteracy, the de-emphasizing of the importance of mathematics at home.

Albert Einstein said, "Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas." I am always looking for ways to ignite a love of mathematics in my students, particularly algebra. Like Einstein's quote implies, the study of mathematics requires students to use and develop "logical ideas." Logical thinking is beneficial in all subject areas and in life in general.

I work at a Title I school in the Mississippi Delta region, where all of my students come from low-income homes. Most of the algebra related activities and manipulatives that we have are the ones that came with our math series. They are outdated and uninteresting to the students. I have invested some of my money on a few sets of algebra tiles and other manipulatives, but what I have been able to afford is not enough to go around in 4 classes of 30 students.

My Project: Donating to this project will provide my students with algebra tiles, leveled texts for algebraic thinking, anchor charts (posters), algebra station activities and DVDs. The anchor charts will be posted in the classroom to be used by the students as scaffolds (reminders of rules and formulas) as they complete their class work. The manipulatives, leveled texts and station activities will be used in mathematics workstations. I plan to create 3-5 workstations that students will rotate through on a weekly basis. It is my expectation that use of these manipulatives will increase the logical, algebraic thinking of all my students.

This is a hardworking, deserving group of students! They have been very eager to do well in Algebra I and Algebra II and to pass the state exam. Your donation to our cause will make a difference.

DONATE HERE
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!


Our Dollars at Work
Mr. TenBrink's Michigan high school physics class built mouse trap cars in the project, Build A Better Mouse Trap... Car!

There are additional photos at the link.


Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, Help! I'm Stranded on an Island and Need to Plot My Location, was completed. North Carolina fifth-graders will do a fun class project that will help them learn coordinate graphing.

The bonus project last week, Case of the Needy Criminalists, was also rescued with a Kossack assist. Virginia high school science students will get lab equipment to enable them to study forensics.

You can see the teachers' thank-you notes at the links above. Many thanks to all contributors!

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 197!

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 Jun 17, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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