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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 twelve-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. Each week, we focus on funding a single small-dollar project at a time, in a traditionally red state classroom and preferably in a high-poverty district.
Look for us every SUNDAY morning at 10 AM ET/ 7 AM PT.
Thanks to our fabulous donors, both of today's projects have been completed!
Thank you all so very much!

This Week's Main Project
Project: Monitoring The Weather

Resources Needed: a wireless weather center
School Poverty Level: High
Location: James Martin Middle School, Charlotte, NC
Total Cost: $208.84
Still Needed: $188.84 Completed! Please move on to the next project.
Expires: Jan 16, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Lusk:

My Students: My students walk into my class on a stormy morning upset that they left home without an umbrella because the weather man said there was a 50% chance of showers. Very few students understand how our weather patterns work and exactly how difficult predicting the weather really is.

My students attend a high poverty, low performing school in North Carolina. They face barriers daily that most of us couldn't dream overcoming while in middle school. Despite this, they walk into my science classroom bursting with questions. They are so inquisitive and consistently challenge the things they see around them. Last year I saw my classroom achieve incredible accomplishments and am excited for the opportunity to be teaching the same grade again. I know my students' ability to succeed academically rivals and surpasses their more affluent peers.

My Project: The 7th grade science curriculum is hands down the best to teach in North Carolina. The material is perfect for an inquiry styled classroom, which is what I try to model within my room. Utilizing the wireless weather center would allow my students to analyze barometric patterns, wind speeds, temperature fluctuations and the effects these have on the weather they experience daily. This weather center would allow my students to come to their own conclusions regarding the difficulty of accurately predicting the weather.

Oftentimes, the weather and atmosphere unit is under appreciated within the 7th grade science curriculum. Many students find this unit to be daunting as only a few hands-on activities that can be modeled to show weather. I know, however, that my students will love this unit when it is coupled with the weather center. This project will enable them to analyze weather trends and test their own hypotheses about the weather here in North Carolina.

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: Butterfly Habitat and Learning Center

Resources Needed: live butterfly eggs, a keeper, feeder, poster, and research materials to study the habitat and life cycle of butterflies
School Poverty Level: High
Location: North Laurel Middle School, London, KY
Total Cost: $180.08
Still Needed: $180.08 Completed! Thanks to our donors!
Expires: Jan 19, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Brock:

My Students: Why is this important for me to learn? I'll never use it! My students continually struggle to see how the content taught within the classroom will be important to them in their everyday lives. They do not always feel a personal connection to the curriculum so they aren't vested in their learning.

Teaching my middle school students isn't just about what goes on in the classroom. These students struggle with self-image, health issues, family struggles, homelessness, hunger, drugs. It is sad to say that our county is in the top 5 for methamphetamine use and manufacturing and prescription drug abuse runs rampant. Why should they feel motivated to come to school and learn? Many of these students feel they have no future, let alone a successful one. Motivating a student to care about their learning in my school means getting them to really connect emotionally and trying to fascinate them through the science. With over 30 students per class and many teachers on carts this can be very difficult.

My Project: With the materials I have requested, my students will be able to engage in hands-on learning that really inspires. With these materials, students will be able to hand raise butterflies from the egg to mature stage. They can watch them eat and grow, transform in a chrysalis, and then help to feed the adult butterflies by hand before releasing them into the wild. Students will also be able to study butterflies under a microscope and pin and preserve specimens that they have raised.

This encounter will inspire students to learn about the life cycle and habitat of butterflies and engage them in the curriculum of Interdependence within an Ecosystem. Live animals, plants and insects show the true beauty of nature and as an educator I hope to use them in the classroom to enhance learning and captivate students' interest.

COMPLETED
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!

Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, Making A Splash With Waves, was completed. High school students in Hannibal, Missouri will have 2 wave tanks to study the reflection and refraction of waves.

The bonus project last week, Amazing Animals, was also rescued with a Kossack assist. The preserved animal survey comparison kits will help elementary school students in Kentucky to study vertebrates and invertebrates as well as to learn common adaptations of various animals.

The bonus project from the previous week, Earth, Moon Phases, Planets, was also completed with the help of Kossacks. The materials provided for students in a high-poverty middle school in Candler, NC will be used to study gravity and to analyze the components and cycles of the solar system.

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 219!

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.

♦◊♦◊♦◊♦◊♦

You are welcome to use The Inoculation Project avatar as your DonorsChoose avatar if you wish. If you need instructions for uploading it to your DonorsChoose profile, you'll find them in this diary.

Donors Choose avatar for Inoculation Project readers to use.

Originally posted to The Inoculation Project on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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