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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: O.A.K. (Outdoor Adventure Knowledge) Program Outings

Resources Needed: 1 GPS and 8 field guides to correctly identify local species and locations to accurately report on local habitat to decision makers and supporters.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Rock River School in Rock River, Wyoming
Total Cost: $352.35
Still Needed: $152.35 COMPLETED! Please move on to the bonus projects!
Expires: Apr 18, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mr. Lee:

My Students: Nature Deficit Disorder is abundant, even in a frontier state like Wyoming. The primary goal of our program is to enhance student understanding of and relationship to the local environment through an extracurricular outdoor learning opportunity called O.A.K. (Outdoor Adventure and Knowledge).

Wyoming is a frontier state that prides itself on its abundant mineral wealth and outdoor opportunities. However, state lawmakers, communities, industry, and stakeholders are in constant discussions about how our wild spaces are utilized and/or preserved. We want to empower our students in becoming a vocal steward of their community through extensive knowledge gained from guest speakers, literature, and experimental field outings.

We designed this program to aid students in developing stronger ties to our communities and fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world. By utilizing real world environmental issues and experts, we aim to teach the students to be impactful activists for our communities and natural habitats.

My Project: The resources we are requesting will aid our K-12 students in a rural and economically challenged area in the creation of scientific method based experiments during field studies focused upon local ecology, zoology, and geology. They will utilize field guides to create a localized field guide to plants, animals, and geology. The will be promoting community stewardship through activities, videos, and writings based upon knowledge gained.

They will use GPS devices to aid in development of interest in cartography and local landscapes. Additionally, they'll collect and graph data such as; mileage and elevation changes during field experiences with intent to focus on mathematics application. Our program should aid students in developing the understanding of lasting physical and mental health components of outdoor activities. Lastly, our program will connect students to community professionals in order to formulate long term college and occupational goals.

Our students live in a rural and economically challenged area of Wyoming. We have a high rate of students who live in single parent households or with their grandparents, many of which have no college education. The primary purpose of our program is to connect our students to positive role models and our abundant public lands. By offering guidance through role modeling, stewardship, and academic achievements we hope to break disheartening economic and social cycles these students live in.

COMPLETED! Thank you!
Donations of ANY size DID 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: A Bug's World

Resources Needed: LIVE insects in order for our learning to come ALIVE! Help us learn how insects are beneficial to the environment!
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Albemarle Road Elem School in Charlotte, North Carolina
Total Cost: $981.86
Still Needed: $122.11 COMPLETED! Thanks to all of our donors!
Expires: May 07, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Glodowski:

My Students: As a child, did you dig in the dirt? Remember how exciting it was when you found the coolest bug on the block? Disney has "A Bug's World" and we want our classroom to be a bug's world too! Help my students learn about all the ways in which bugs can be beneficial to our environment!

My students are the most amazing group of kids I have ever met. I feel honored each day to work with children who embrace life to the fullest despite the obstacles that many face. We have been together as a family for three years (2nd and 3rd grade), and now 4th grade. It has been an incredible journey to travel with my students for the past three years. As a class we are extremely close and the culture within our classroom is filled with teamwork and community. As a family we push one another to be at our best and in turn we are constantly learning together and loving one another. Our school is an urban inner-city school with over 90% on free and reduced lunch. We are ethnically diverse and have students from all over the world at our school. Each day with my kids is an adventure and if I could choose anything in the world to be doing each day, I would choose to teach these kids.

My Project: We are so excited about the possibility of having real live insects in our classroom. Sure, we can read books about insects and do other activities, but nothing beats the real live thing. We would love to visit Disney's "A Bug's World" in real life, but it is too far. However, we want to turn our room into a bug's world. Through this project we will be able to gain a firsthand look at beneficial garden insects such as praying mantis', ladybugs and silkworms. We will study their different life cycles in order to fully understand our insects and will then observe and record their actions. Part of our research will include learning about their habitats. Most importantly we will look at the impacts that these beneficial insects have on our earth. Is it really necessary to always spray crops with pesticides? What other "insect alternatives" are available. How can beneficial insects make our environment a greener and cleaner place? This project will truly allow our learning to come to life!

Last year, through the generous donation of "Disney Planet Challenge" our school garden was transformed! This year we want to take our learning even further in order to understand the ways in which insects can help our amazing garden and the environment. This project will allow us to learn in a hands-on manner and we will eventually release our insects out into our garden. Help our learning come ALIVE with the coolest bugs on the block!

COMPLETED!
Donations of ANY size DID make a BIG difference!
Bonus Projects - Donor's Choice

Lately, we've had a lot of success and paid for our projects early, leaving no way for latecomers to participate. While that's great, it's also a missed opportunity to help one more teacher. If you arrive and find bonus project #1 finished, please direct your donations to one of these projects. We'll return to them as needed in future diaries.
Project: Weather Station

Resources Needed: a weather station with a barometer and weathervane.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Mountain Shadows Elem School in West Jordan, Utah
Total Cost: $194.31
Still Needed: $84.31 Completed! Thank you!
Expires: Apr 12, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Jensen: Who needs math games when a world of meaningful real-life fun is beckoning? My students need the opportunity to have authentic experiences related to science and math.

My students are a creative, inquisitive group of second grade students. Many of my students receive free or reduced lunch. Several of the students in my class speak Spanish and English....

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Project: Bursting with Butterflies

Resources Needed: 12 cups of painted lady butterfly larva, 2 cups of larva food, and 3 mallow plants in order to study the life cycle of a butterfly first-hand.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Stories Creek Elem School, Roxboro, North Carolina
Total Cost: $213.01
Still Needed: $104.19 Completed! Thank you!
Expires: May 02, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Casteel: The life cycle of a butterfly is captivating and magical. A young child gets excited watching their own caterpillar eat, grow, shed skin and repeat the process until finally forming a cocoon. It is unforgettable for them to watch what used to be a fuzzy creature emerge as a beautiful winged insect.

Our classroom is a dynamic, hands-on learning environment where each student's success is top priority. The 21 inquisitive minds that make up our second grade classroom have a passion for discovering new information....

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Project: Hungry Caterpillars And Moody Bugs

Resources Needed: 8 story books about insects by Eric Carle.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Fienberg-fisher K-8 Center, Miami Beach, Florida  
Total Cost: $179.91
Still Needed: $179.91 $159.91
Expires: May 19, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Perez: Every year I buy caterpillars for my first grade students. We watch them eat, form chrysalises and transform into butterflies. Just before we release them, we read 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle. Carle wrote several other books about bugs. My students would love to read those books, too.

My students go to a Title 1 school in South Florida. Most of the children come from low-income households. The students in my class are learning to speak English. They are all Hispanic. Their parents come from Central and South America. The children are a dream. They are cute as only first graders can be, friendly and always eager to learn....

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Click On A Project
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!

Housekeeping

Last week's main project, Putting A Different Spin On Science Class, was completed. Middle school students in New Jersey will receive a bicycle wheel gyroscope and other materials to experience a hands-on demonstration of a remarkable and fun principle of physics.

Mr. Bigos the teacher: "Thank you so much to the Daily Kos for posting and supporting this project and thanks to everyone who donated. It made my morning to open my email and see so much support!"
The bonus project last week, Graph It!, was also completed with a major Kossack assist. Middle school students in Mississippi will have dry-erase graph boards, easel pads, and markers so they can rapidly graph equations repeatedly in class without wasting paper.

Special shout-out to elfling, who posted multiple comments regarding TIP and this project in Radiowalla's timely Feeling helpless? Help a First Grade classroom.

Many thanks to all contributors!

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 262!

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.

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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 Dec 23, 2012 at 07:00 AM PST.

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

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