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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 thirteen-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.

Welcome to our very late diary! My fault -- I thought I had traded dates with nomandates, but apparently I just dreamed that. This week, we salute two states that have been in the news for terrible reasons, one of which is outside our usual area of focus. However, there are worthy and unfunded projects everywhere, and I hope you'll agree our Massachusetts one, the bonus project, is very interesting.
This Week's Main Project
Project: Robotics Challenge

Resources Needed: Supplies to ensure that the robot they built for the challenge has the ability to recharge. They also need basic first supplies for a safe environment.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Klein Collins High School, Spring, Texas
Total Cost: $207.48
Still Needed: $148.66 COMPLETED! Please move on to the bonus project.
Expires: Jun 26, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Wood:

My Students: Help our robot! We need a battery charger and safety equipment to successfully compete in our regional challenges.

We are a robotics teams that is comprised of students from multiple high schools. The students are excited about the competitors and eagerly learning about engineering, applied science, applied math, and technology. The group consists of 9th through 12th grade students.

My Project: The requested items will help the students with the current robotics challenge. The students will need to continually check and recharge batteries during the competitions. They will also need the eye protection when they work on the robot. The students have applied their math and science learning to the project and have discovered the use of technology and engineering including programming and CAD design.

The project is important because it inspires students to put their learning to work and explore new areas learning which they may not have access to in a school setting. This is a great opportunity for the students to develop team work skills and create a project that allows them to showcase their skills. These students will continue to build on the skills they learn. Many will select engineering related majors.

COMPLETED
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: Improving Agriculture Literacy via a School Farm

Resources Needed: Supplies such as scoops, forks, books, medicines, and more to raise livestock animals in our on-campus barn to continue our goal of increasing Agriculture literacy in the district.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Location: Mt. Everett Regional High School, Sheffield, Massachusetts
Total Cost: $551.75
Still Needed: $136.75 COMPLETED! Please see earlier unfinished project in Housekeeping.
Expires: Jun 06, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Melino:

My Students: Today's generation of youth is further removed from the farm than ever before. As a result, most American youth do not understand the crucial role agriculture serves in their lives and may have false notions of 21st century agriculture. Keeping livestock animals on campus provides hands-on learning.

My students attend a small school of around 700 students k-12 surrounded by a scenic network of mountains, streams, lakes and farmland. We're rich with history and surrounded by natural beauty. My students are conscientious and interested in learning about where their food comes from. My students love working outside in our barn with our animals and are excited about expanded opportunities to work with livestock.

My Project: The items that I've requested will help care for our sheep, alpacas, goats and poultry on campus. We are in need of items such as manure forks, scoops, hay racks, buckets, hoof shears, leads, books, basic first aid, and preventative medications. Students will use the supplies and resources to gain hands-on experience caring for the animals. Students in the Ag program are responsible for every aspect of animal care. They feed the animals, clean their stalls, shear, trim hooves, assist with deworming and lambing etc...

The continued use of the permanent on-campus farm fulfills the goal of teaching Agriculture literacy in our district. The outdoor classroom provides innovative and pragmatic opportunities for student to gain both academic and character education, while strengthening the ties between our elementary and high school. Furthermore, community involvement from local farmers and agricultural groups will create positive working relationships between the school and community.

The animals provide a spiraling curriculum for students from pre-K to 12th grade. In the high school and middle school, the animals provide interdisciplinary activities for a wide range of academic and vocational classes. In the elementary, a wide range of activities have been set in accordance with the farm, including agricultural awareness, life cycles, etc. My students LOVE working with the animals! However, keeping them is expensive. These resources would cover needed supplies.

COMPLETED!
Donations of ANY size DID make a BIG difference!


Housekeeping:

Last week, we had three completed projects! They are:

The Lost Ladybug Project: Pre-schoolers in Garfield, NJ, will study ladybugs, including live specimens they can examine.

Students Want to Heat Things Up!: Elementary students in North Carolina will receive lab materials to study various forms of heat transfer.

Screw, Inclined Plane, Wheel and Axle, OH MY!!!: South Carolina middle school students will learn about simple machines.

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 313!

As of Saturday night, these bonus projects from previous weeks remain open:

Project: Hands-On Organ Systems
Expires: May 26, 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.

How is the poverty level defined at DonorsChoose.org?
Poverty level refers to the percentage of students at a given school who qualify for free and reduced lunch, which is considered a measure of economic need. To be deemed eligible for free lunch, a student's family income must be within 130% of the poverty line (a max of $29,055 for a family of four). For reduced lunch, the family income must be within 185% of the poverty level (a max of $41,348 for a family of four).

Schools with 10%-39% of students receiving free/reduced lunch are denoted as "moderate poverty" while schools with more than 40% of students receiving free/reduced lunch are denoted as "high poverty". For projects submitted from a school where free lunch rate data is unavailable or unreliable, "Poverty Data Unavailable" will appear. (from DonorsChoose.org)
More information:
DonorsChoose.org main page
DonorsChoose.org blog
About DonorsChoose.org
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 Apr 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM PDT.

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

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