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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: Crazy Traits Genetics for Biology-Modified#3

Resources Needed: 2 CPO Crazy Traits Kits
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Dupont Manual High School, Louisville, KY
Total Cost: $392.09
Still Needed: $114.45 Completed!
Expires: Oct 19, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. White:

My Students: My students are excited about studying genetics. Just doing an activity on paper doesn't live up to student expectations. Our classroom isn't a science room, it's too small and designed for lecturing. The Crazy Traits activity is possible in our room, while being fun and really teaches the material.

Our school has magnet programs that include bright and talented students from all over our district. There is a fascinating mix of students from the inner city and the suburbs; math and science gifted students mingle with performing or visual arts talented students.

A person's status is measured in what he or she can achieve and is willing to work toward. Possibly because of the many types of giftedness and ways to excel that exist here, students usually accept each others' differences without the friction that occurs in many other schools.

My Project: My students need two CPO Crazy Traits Kits for hands-on science materials that they can use in a limited space. I want my students to use the laws and probabilities of genetics to create unique and strange bird-like creatures from Crazy Traits kits. It is very much Mr. Potato Head meets biology class. The workshop I attended at a conference last fall had a room full of veteran and new teachers engaged and laughing through three sample genetics lessons. It is also a fun interactive way to demonstrate to students the relationship between genetic inheritance and environmental adaptation.

Much of the study of genetics is made with models and abstracts because students can't see what is going on. These kits allow students to build "critters" based on genetic traits so they can actually see what the results are. It then allows them to carry that into how that affects the "critter's" ability to survive in different environments which is a giant conceptual leap. This is Science!



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: BMS: Weather Inquiry Station

Resources Needed: anemometer, thermometer, rain/snow gauge, barometer, digital psychrometer, humidity thermometer, weather forecasting card
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Berkeley Middle School, Berkeley, MO
Total Cost: $506.75
Still Needed: $111.75 Completed!
Expires: Oct 17, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Busby

My Students: From hot, sunny days to high winds and severe thunderstorms, the weather in our area is constantly changing! It is difficult to understand and predict this weather without proper scientific devices. As they use these important tools, students will gain a better sense of what weather may come.

My students are bright and hard-working, and very curious about the world around them. They have an incredible sense of humor partnered with a strong sense of community. They provide daily inspiration by looking toward the brighter side of things, even when circumstances become difficult. Our school is located in an area of high poverty in St. Louis, Missouri. There is scarce funding for materials that engage students in important, hands-on learning.

My Project: In recent years, my students have watched an increase of severe, tumultuous weather move through their neighborhoods. Several tornadoes have devastated the homes, parks, and businesses that bring comfort and stability to their lives.

While the community remains resilient, students are often filled with apprehension at the sight of rain clouds moving in. I believe a weather station would empower these students to begin each day with an understanding of the day's weather forecast. What does it mean if the air pressure is low? What will happen to the weather when the temperature drops this afternoon? Discovering these answers first hand will provide students with powerful knowledge to help ease their concerns.

Gaining important knowledge about weather will greatly impact the lives of my students. It will increase their confidence with current studies and all future endeavors. Once they have the necessary tools, they may also pass on their weather wisdom to younger siblings and other family and community members as well!


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COMPLETED
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!


Cooling Projects
Our supporter Square Knot wrote a recent diary listing some DonorsChoose projects for classrooms that are way too hot for kids to learn. They are more expensive than the science projects we normally pick, since they are buying air conditioning in some form, but they are all open until at least September, so they have a chance to succeed. If you have a little extra, please consider helping a class cool off!

From Nobody Deserves a Learning Room Over 100 Degrees F.:
...during the summer, my students have to spend 5 to 6 hours everyday in a classroom where the thermometer can reach a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher... An air conditioner would be of great benefit to my students. We wouldn't need to worry about students fainting, or struggling to concentrate due to the heat.

Housekeeping

Last week a cooling project, It's Too Hot in Here!, was funded. Elementary school students in Kaneohe, HI will have the fans needed to cool off their classroom so they will have a better environment to learn it.

You can see the teacher' thank-you note at the link above. Many thanks to all contributors!

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 341!

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.

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 Aug 04, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech, Kitchen Table Kibitzing, Dream Menders, and J Town.

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