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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.

This Week's Main Project
Project: Research Laboratory: The Beginning

Resources Needed: 30 white boards, a Root-vue Farm and a Life Cycle and Growth of Flowering Plants Kit.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Colvin Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas
Total Cost: $277.11
Still Needed: $138.55 COMPLETED! Please move on to Bonus Project #2.
Expires: Mar 12, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Dunlap:

My Students: My students come from a highly impoverished neighborhood and have very few enrichment opportunities afforded outside of the school day. Our school of 900 students has one science teacher, who can only begin to spark the students' interest in questioning and exploring the mysteries of our world.

My classroom is not what you might expect from the middle of Kansas. We are culturally and racially diverse - four different home languages just in our room! These boys and girls are curious but have few opportunities to leave the school on field trips to explore and question; the teachers usually bring the experiences in to them. This is a highly impoverished, urban school in a neighborhood with a high school graduation rate below 40%. In order to make these students more successful so they desire to stay in school, we have to engage them actively in their studies. They want to learn. Students in Kansas do desire a high quality, inquiry based scientific experience that can be transferred over into other areas of the curriculum.

My Project: This resource request is a classroom set (30) dry erase boards with permanent graphing grids that students can record data and chart results to display. Work can be preserved by photographing students and their charts. There are 6 sets of 4 colored Crayola dry-erase markers to make the work visually appealing. There is a Root-view kit to grow root plants that is transparent so students can observe, measure and chart plant and root growth. There is a flowering plant kit that includes all materials to grow flowering plants and includes stories about people who have used plants and other resources to provide for their needs in order to tie in reading skills as well as mathematics and science. I hope to help students realize how to use their knowledge about plant growth to assist their families use community and backyard gardens to improve their nutrition and provide food for their families.

Without the help of donors there is no way I can provide this kind of opportunity for my students. This project may seem small to some, but the price tag is over half of my annual classroom budget that also must cover many school supplies that most of my students cannot provide for their own education. These students are 18 months from middle school and do not understand the life cycle of a plant. I need your help to improve their chances of success beyond elementary school.

COMPLETED
Thank you for supporting this project!
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: Modern Microscopes: First Time Observations

Resources Needed: digital microscope, iodine solution, coverslips, and microscope slides
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Scammon Bay School in Scammon Bay, Alaska
Total Cost: $416.20
Still Needed: $107.14 COMPLETED! Please move on to Bonus Project #2.
Expires: Mar 16, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Uttereyuk:

My Students: Have you ever wanted to see the beauty of Alaska for yourself? My students desire their first look at Alaska in ways they have never seen before. They want to reveal the mysteries of the microscopic world around them. My students enjoyed studying cells, and now yearn to see them firsthand.

My middle school students are from a remote village in Alaska. They are involved in science every day at home with their cultural subsistence lifestyle. Their science skills for observation and storytelling are incredible, and their respect for nature is unparalleled.

My 50 students spend a lot of time outdoors no matter the weather, and have the most insatiable appetite for science in order to better understand the land around them. If I can relate a science concept to the community and their lives, my students just soak up the knowledge. My students truly are the best group who want to try new things and learn.

Their respect for the processes of science and tools we use encourages me to enhance their lessons to the best of my ability. The microscope is a tool that will be cared for and utilized to enhance their education in middle school.

My Project: I have requested a digital microscope, iodine solution, and microscope slides. My students love outdoor community projects that relate to what we are learning. We are studying cells and organisms, and the videos and pictures just are not cutting it.

In my classroom my students desire (and thrive with) hands-on experiments. My students want to go outside and bring back specimens like plants, fur, feathers, and more to look at under the digital microscope. This project will give them the tools to begin these explorations and countless more.

Our K-12 school does not have a working microscope, and this is such an incredible tool to have! I truly believe that this learning opportunity will prove to be invaluable for my students, and other students at our school. With your donation, you are helping students see the world in unseen ways that they will never forget!

COMPLETED
Thank you so much for supporting this project!
Bonus Project #2
When bonus project #1 is finished, let's work on this one again.
Project: Magnifying Glasses for Science Studies

Resources Needed: magnifying glasses
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Carr Elementary School, Fulton, KY
Total Cost: $263.61
Still Needed: $263.61 $228.61
Expires: Feb 11, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Gilmore:

My Students: Our 4th grade class is presently sharing a few magnifying glasses with the 5th grade class to study many things. More recently we performed an experiment with celery and food coloring to give the students a visual for vascular and non-vascular plants. Sharing the magnifiers made our time go over.

We are a small independent school system with about 200 students in our elementary classes. I work with some great educators who love to inspire their students. Many of our students do not have advantages that the larger school systems do. We are in a very small town with a very high unemployment rate as two major factories have closed. I want my students to know they can do more.

My Project: A set of magnifying glasses in my classroom would mean that I do not have to forgo completing some experiments because another grade needs them. When we can create a visual for the student to see the concept in action, it becomes for concrete for them.

I feel students will be so much more enthusiastic about Science when they have the equipment they need. This is only my second year but I want to help these students in any way that I can. This would give them a sense of ownership to their education if they know they will have what they need.

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

Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, Zoom In: Seeing the Building Blocks of Life, was completed. The digital microscope and other materials will bring the physically minute aspects of biology to life for middle school students in South Carolina.

The bonus project last week, Which Came First: Rocks or Minerals?, was also rescued with a Kossack assist. High school students in North Carolina will receive rock and mineral samples that will allow them to accurately identify each and to recognize the differences between rocks and minerals.

The project I featured at the end of last month, Seeing Stars!, was also rescued with a Kossack assist. Students at a middle school in Arizona will receive 3 telescopes to help them learn about the night sky.

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 238!

This bonus project from a previous week remains open and has been re-posted as Bonus Project #2 today:

Project: Magnifying Glasses for Science Studies
Expires: Feb 11, 2013
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 Oct 28, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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