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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, a twelve-year-old organization rated highly by both Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau. Here's a little introductory video about DonorsChoose. 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.

Good morning, and happy soon-to-be-new-year from the Inoculation Project! This week, we're doing something a little different, inspired by a request from our friend Glen The Plumber after he viewed this diary by pavlov dog. (Many thanks to Glen and to pavlov dog!) My home area has been visited by a horrifying assortment of events in the last few months: Hurricane Sandy, and then the Newtown, CT and Webster, NY shootings.

This week, we will visit DonorsChoose as usual, but focus on the areas impacted by these terrible events, and we will not always confine ourselves to science/math. Thank you, as always, for visiting with us and helping with your tips, recs, and social media shares, and a bit of cash if you happen to have it. It is really true that even the smallest donations can add up to help children and teachers, one classroom at a time, to recover, rebuild, and learn.

Our first "project" is unusual for DonorsChoose. Because of the staggering effect of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, on the entire Newtown school system, a special fund is being administered by DonorsChoose, under the sponsorship of the Connecticut Commissioner of Education, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Newtown Superintendent of Schools. This fund will be open for donations through June 30, 2013, at which time it will be divided equally among all Newtown's teachers, to help them fund any project they wish. (They are, of course, also able to submit their conventional individual projects to DonorsChoose.) There is no specific target amount, so for those who'd like to do something for the students and teachers who have suffered so much, here is a way to help, no matter how small or large your gift. Like all donations through DonorsChoose, it is tax-deductible.
Sandy Hook School Fund
Project: Supporting Newtown Teachers

Statement: "The selfless spirit of the teaching profession -- exhibited so heroically by Sandy Hook's educators during the tragic events of December 14th -- continues to be displayed by the teachers of Newtown on a daily basis. Districtwide, these educators are returning to their schools in the face of profound grief, anxiety and challenge -- but with great strength, resiliency, and determination. We salute the teachers of Newtown and will work together with nonprofit partners such as to provide them with support as they reenter and restart their classrooms."

Expires: June 30, 2013

Stefan Pryor, Connecticut Commissioner of Education    
Janet Robinson, Superintendent of Schools, Newtown Public Schools    
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
Melodie Peters, President, AFT Connecticut
Tom Kuroski, President, Newtown Federation of Teachers

Link to full press release

Next up: Hurricane Sandy. So many classrooms have lost resources that I have picked out a few throughout the affected area. Take your choice of which to click and help! (I note with pleasure that the Ham Rove Memorial Fund is matching donations on many of the Sandy projects. Thank you, Stephen Colbert!)
Hurricane Sandy
Project: Connecting Reading to Our World After Hurricane Sandy

Resources Needed: Literacy workbooks and dry erase markers.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: PS 197 Ocean School, Far Rockaway (Queens), New York
Total Cost: $511.38
Still Needed: $255.69 COMPLETED! Thank you.
Expires: May 26, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. McElroy: Hurricane Sandy devastated the home of so many of my students. School provides safety and security in this time. I teach a class of 30 third grade students. They come from many different backgrounds and most from a low socioeconomic group. They love to learn and are eager to do their best. School is a huge influence in their lives, and it is important that we have all the tools to give students an enriching education....

Completed Mrs. McElroy's project!

Project: Hurricane Sandy: Show Me The Laptops!

Resources Needed: A Samsung ChromeBook Laptop and an HP ProBook Laptop to access educational apps, software and websites, plus they need headsets to prevent classroom distraction.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: PS 105 Bay School, Queens, New York
Total Cost: $1,020.58
Still Needed: $510.29 COMPLETED! Thank you.
Expires: May 25, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Edri: On the evening of October 29th, my students and I lost our homes, school, and community with the passing of one tide as Hurricane Sandy devastated our community with of a ten foot wall of rushing water. Although we have been displaced from our school and our homes, we are Stronger than Sandy!... Our classroom has been moved to a temporary school, forty minutes away while our school is being repaired. We have done a superb job of re-creating our "old" classroom here in our temporary school but we need laptop computers. My students do not have access to a single computer in the classroom!...

Completed Mrs. Edri's project!

Project: Students in Hurricane Sandy Affected Area Request a Laptop

Resources Needed: A laptop for use during their science class and after school.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Mets Charter School, Jersey City, New Jersey
Total Cost: $793.09
Still Needed: $316.55 COMPLETED! Thank you.
Expires: May 25, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Sirangelo: Many of my students have recently been affected by Hurricane Sandy. Their homes have been flooded and they lost many of their possessions. I would like to provide a laptop computer station for them in my classroom to help them access the Internet and complete their science assignments... Many of my students do not have Internet access at home, so I want to provide for them a safe place for them to complete their assignments, homework and research...

Completed Ms. Sirangelo's project.

Project: Hurricane Sandy: Help My Students Deal With Their Loss pt 2

Resources Needed: 8 chrome books to help bridge the technology gap so they can explore at school and home.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Port Monmouth Road Elementary School, Keansburg, New Jersey
Total Cost: $981.04
Still Needed: $365.52 COMPLETED! Thank you.
Expires: May 11, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Fahnholz: ...The students in my class witnessed a horrible weather event that has left many of them without homes, without clothes and without hope... I teach in a low-income school district which means many of my families work very hard to provide for their families with many of them working more than one job. This hurricane has devastated the town they live in, play in and go to school in. It is a very small town and the majority of it was under water the day after the hurricane... I have requested these chromebooks in the hope to help families at home as well as school. My goal is to use them in school and also use them as a lending library to help my families during this terrible time of transition. Some of my families lost everything so if I can loan these to them when needed until they get back to where they were pre-Sandy I think it would be such a great help...

Completed Mrs. Fahnholz's project!

To represent Webster, NY, where a deranged gunman set a fire and then lay in wait to shoot first responders, I've chosen a math project in nearby Rochester. Our mission in this series is to help classroom teachers, but for those so inclined, the West Webster Volunteer Firemen's Association is accepting donations here to assist the families of the slain and wounded firefighters directly.
Rochester (Webster) NY
Project: Math Learning Tools

Resources Needed: A class set of Rekenreks to build their number sense and understanding of relationships between numbers.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Nathaniel Rochester Community School 3, Rochester, New York
Total Cost: $507.27
Still Needed: $457.27 $188.92
Expires: Feb 07, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Tellier:

My Students: My students need hands-on learning tools! Rekenreks are just the right tool to help students build number sense, discover number relations through a visual model, and build automaticity of math facts.

I teach in an urban school where funding for classroom materials is limited. 80% of the students in the district qualify for free or reduced price lunch.

I loop between 1st and 2nd grade and am teaching 2nd grade this year. My class consists of both general and special education students who are working hard to build a foundation in number sense. Many of my students struggle with number sense -- the ability to understand how numbers are made and the relationship between numbers. This lack of number sense causes frustration during math activities such as addition, subtraction and word problems which rely on a strong foundation in number sense and place value.

My Project: Number sense is a foundational skill in mathematics. Providing my students with Rekenreks will give them a hands-on experience and help them to develop number sense. The rekenrek will serve as a visual model that will help students discover number relationships and develop a variety of addition and subtraction strategies.

Helping my students to build a solid foundation in mathematics will set them up for success in the future. Rekenreks will aid in their math journey and to help them understand the powerful relationships with numbers.

Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!


Last week's main project, O.A.K. (Outdoor Adventure Knowledge) Program Outings, was completed. Students in rural Wyoming will receive a GPS unit and field guides to help them identify and study local plants, animals, and landforms.

We also helped complete FOUR bonus projects last week!

  • A Bug's World: Inner-city 4th graders in Charlotte NC will study live specimens of various beneficial insect species.
  • Weather Station: Utah 2nd graders will become baby weatherdudes with their own barometer and other weather instruments.
  • Bursting with Butterflies: Students in this North Carolina 2nd grade will raise Painted Lady butterflies from larvae.
  • Hungry Caterpillars And Moody Bugs: First-grade English learners in Florida will read story books by Eric Carle, author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

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 267!

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: main page blog donor FAQ
All math & science projects search results

We are in no way affiliated with, 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 Dec 30, 2012 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Dream Menders and J Town.

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