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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: Environmental Detectives in the River Valley

Resources Needed: Soil Test Kit, Soil Classes, Cleaning Up Oil Spills with Hungry Bacteria Lab, wide range pH paper
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Ozark Junior High School, Ozark, AR
Total Cost: $521.96
Still Needed: $160.98 Completed
Expires: May 19, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Emrick:

My Students: When you say soil in the 8th grade, students automatically check out. I teach soil and water in a unit where students are given a real world problem related to the area in which they live. They then cover the skills necessary as we identify the problem and try to remedy it.

My students live in a rural high poverty area. Employment opportunities are minimal. Most of the better paying jobs are in education, Game and Fish, or monitoring the dam. These skill tie directly into fields these students could actually one day pursue. Students do not have a background knowledge in soil and water but do have an appreciation of the environment and for the most part they are avid hunters and fisherman, even the girls.

My Project: My students need materials such as a Class Soil Test Kit, ten ph paper sets and Cleaning Up Oil Spills with Oil-Hungry Bacteria Lab, to identify contaminants in soil and water. Students will be presented with a problem: The fish are dying in the Grey Area and washing up on shore. This is causing a terrible odor and people are concerned.

The students will determine the reason the fish are dying in the area. They will look at various reasons for the large number of fish that have died. We will look at factories, cattle ranches, golf course, over-grazing, and animal populations.

We will do various experiments and gather data. We will test for acidity and turbidity of the water. We will see if logging causes problems. We will look at streams where clear cutting has occurred. We will look at the deer population before and after you were able to hunt for mountain lions. We will also compare bird populations over the past twenty years. We will also do a chromatography test to see where the oil is coming from in the lake. Students will hold town meetings and decide how to solve the problem once they know what the problem is.

Students will conduct several experiments with the emphasis on gathering, recording, and interpreting data. The Scientific Method will be emphasized in all experiments with results recorded in a scientific lab journal, kept by each student. Students will develop a testable hypothesis and then construct and conduct the experiment. The students will demonstrate various ways to present data and will learn to read and create various types of graphs and charts. They will be scientists!


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: We Are Digging Our School

Resources Needed:Composter, Worm Composter Classroom Kit, Potting Soil
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Oakley Elementary School, Asheville, NC  
Total Cost: $572.62
Still Needed: $161.31 Completed
Expires: May 21, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Bellich:

My Students: Help our students find their green thumbs. We all have one but sometimes it takes others to help us find it. I want to offer our children the opportunity to become avid gardeners by working in our campus garden. We want to experience composting to enrich our soil for our vegetable and flower garden

We are a Title I school with a large population of our children on free and reduced lunches. We are fortunate to have a variety of ethnicities in our school and are in a fairly urban area. Many of our live in housing projects and do not have open spaces for outdoor gardening and therefore do not have the opportunity to plant and grow any type of vegetation. Please help me be able to enable our students to become excited about gardening.

My Project: We are off and running. Or should I say we are off and digging. We are getting ready to begin preparation of our campus garden for spring planting. Our students will learn the benefits of replenishing our earth with vegetation along with having a blast growing their own food. They will grow their plants from seeds and will harvest their crop of herbs and vegetables for consumption. I know our students will try vegetables that they grow with great excitement. We want our students to learn about the carbon footprint that is being left behind and how each individual can help preserve our earth.

Please help me give our students an opportunity they may never have. We take for granted some of the pleasures of life with gardening being one of them. Some children will not have the opportunity to have their very own garden if it were not for caring giving people like you. Make my students lifelong earth children who eat vegetabes and herbs.


DONATE HERE
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!
Sandy Hook School Fund

Supporting Newtown Teachers is a special, open-ended DonorsChoose project designed to support all teachers in the Newtown, CT, public school system. It remains open to donations through June 30, 2013, at which time the fund will be distributed equally to all teachers in that system, for projects of their choosing. The project was organized by the Connecticut Commissioner of Education and the American Federation of Teachers. We will track it until completion.
commemorative ribbon loop for sandy hook school shooting in newtown ct

The fund currently has $73,611 given by 792 donors.

DONATE HERE


Housekeeping

Last week's main project, Squid Dissection, was completed. High school students in North Carolina will have the squid they need for their dissection lab.

The bonus project, Anatomy Enrichment: Dissection for Understanding, was completed wth a heavy Kossack assist. Middle school students in North Carolina will have the animal organs they need for their dissection labs.

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

As of Saturday night, this bonus project from a previous week needs $40.65 for completion:

Project: Transforming Math Class!
Expires: Mar 13, 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.

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 286!

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 Feb 17, 2013 at 07:00 AM PST.

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

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