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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: Tectonic Insanity!

Resources Needed: Tectonics Models. Volcano Block Models, Quake Epicenter Magnitude Lab,Seismograph Model, Magnetic Spheres
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Hickman Co High School, Centerville, TN
Total Cost: $418.52
Still Needed: $132.42 Completed!
Expires: Sep 20, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Peck:

My Students: Have you ever seen a volcano, felt an earthquake, or seen twisted layers of rock along the roadside cliffs? My students have never seen these wonders as we live in a seismically inactive area. So please help me bring some of these experiences and processes to life for them!

My students come from struggling blue collar families. The type of hard working kids that strive to achieve more success through education than their parents did. Our school is the foundation of this rural community. The type of place where everyone shuts down their businesses in order to come to the game between the two district high schools. We don't receive much in the way of federal funds even though we're title 1 because we work hard and get good results with what we have. Simply put, we are 'small farm town USA'.

My Project: These activity sets will allow us to get out of lecture - and into the lab! We're not talking for just one simple lab, but for over 7 different labs or more. We will explore the basic theory of plate tectonics first, then go into different types of boundaries between the plates. Once we've mastered the boundaries - the real fun can begin! Now we can start learning about earthquakes and faults! We can start exploring how rocks are deformed through pressure. Finally, we culminate with two labs - volcanoes and the magnetic poles. What does the magnetosphere have to do with volcanic activity you ask? Everything! The magnetic pole's direction changes are frozen in the lava flows. Now we bring geologic past into the future and discuss the next great magnetic pole switch and how it might affect all of our electronics! The students will finish the unit knowing how the Earth and all her movements - directly affects each and every one of them every day!

I'm at a brand new school this year. As I walked into my classroom for the very first time - I saw bare shelves and lab tables never used. This project will begin a new era at this school. An era of hands-on learning! Where students are excited about coming through the lab door. Where they ask questions - and find the answers by using their own curiosity!




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: Wetland Habitat Investigation Program

Resources Needed: 10 waterproof digital thermometers
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Pathways Elementary School, Ormond Beach, FL
Total Cost: $399.31
Still Needed: $74.01 Completed! Please move on to a cooling project below.
Expires: Dec 17, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Best:

My Students: Many students have never experience the joy and beauty of our native environment. The look on a child's face when they catch their first crab, observe an animal they have only seen in pictures, and witness the environment changing is exciting and enhances their learning and love for the environment.

Our school is an urban school in Central Florida with 750+ students. Along with general education classes, we are an Exceptional Student Service site. Our Exceptional Student program ranges from Pre-K, mild varying exceptionalities, exceptionalities, and gifted. My students, The Challengers, are a 3/4/5 multiage class. Our year long environmental unit, allows students to use concepts in real world applications. My class works directly with Park Rangers from a local State Park to learn about Florida history, native and evasive plants and animals, and the importance of saving our environment.

My Project: A student breathlessly describing watching a bald eagle feeding in the marsh, while hearing the fledglings calling for her from their nest, excitedly describing their observations and data of their plot of land after a control burn: these experiences allow students to understand that our earth is beautiful and ever changing. The students work with partners monthly, taking readings and monitoring the soil changes in small plots of land. Our temperature readers are key in gathering this information. They record the data and it is analyzed, graphed, and compared in the classroom. Students make first hand observations with microscopes and perform crabbing, bird watching, and writing of field guides with professionals at hand. We also work with the Park Rangers to help in eradicating the invasive Brazilian pepper-tree. We apply the information we have observed and use it in our school garden along with sharing our journals with other classrooms.

Our children will one day be making decisions about our world. If we are not responsible for giving them a solid understanding that our earth needs care and attention, our future environment will surely suffer. This early experience with environmental professionals, who have a passion for our earth, and the ability to directly apply skills they have learned in the classroom will be their first step in being responsible citizens. Please, help us achieve our goal.




COMPLETED
Donations of ANY size DID 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. The remaining projects are more expensive than the science projects we normally pick, since they are buying air conditioning in some form, but both are open until at least the last week of September, so they have a chance to succeed. If you have a little extra, please consider helping a class cool off!

From Portable Air Conditioner:
My students have difficulty staying on task due to their disabilities, and they need repetition to learn certain concepts. It is becoming increasingly difficult for them to learn in a hot room. ...My students will feel relaxed, focused, will listen more attentively to the lessons, and will be able to learn new material more easily in air conditioned room.

Housekeeping

Last week's main project, Frog Dissection, was funded. Middle school students in Detroit, MI will have the frogs they need for their dissection lab.

The bonus project last week, Who is HeLa?, was also completed. Junior high school students Greeleyville, SC will have the needed copies of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to explore the ethics of science.

Last week a cooling project, Nobody Deserves a Learning Room Over 100 Degrees F., was funded with a heavy Kossack assist. Elementary school students in Denver, CO will have the portable air conditioner 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 350!

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 Sep 01, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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