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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.

Before we look at this week's projects, I'd like to ask you not to miss our Housekeeping box at the bottom today. Last week, I said that we'd be circling back to pick up some of our still-open projects, but I am seriously delighted to say that that will not be necessary. Thanks to some very generous donors, some of whom are Daily Kos members, we no longer have any open projects! If Bill in Portland Maine were here, I am sure he would offer blessings upon all your camels. I have no experience in camel-blessing, but I do thank you all very, very much!
This Week's Main Project
Project: Hands-on Science

Resources Needed: Science materials, such as color test tubes, color paddles, magnetic balls, a magnetic builder set, x-ray films, and a lady bug land.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: East Elementary School, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Total Cost: $347.76
Still Needed: $173.88 $73.30
Expires: Dec 19, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Sloat:

My Students: Why? Why? Why? Imagine a room full of eager four-year-olds ready to learn. They are constantly asking, "Why?" We need materials for our science center, so the little ones can begin to find answers by investigating.

My pre-kindergarten students come into the classroom ready to take on the world. Many of my students come from low income families and have little at home. I would like to provide them with materials that are not seen in their homes. I think that observing and working hands-on provide so many life skills that these children would otherwise not see.

My Project: If our project is funded it would help my students by getting them excited to learn about science. They would be able to investigate up close the life cycle of ladybugs in the ladybug land. They would be able to mix colors with the test tubes and the color paddles. I want to inspire all areas of the science field by providing activities that would get my students asking questions and acquiring more information in the areas of science.

This project is so important to me because I want my students to be well rounded. I want my students to work with technology along with the basics. I think hands-on working is one of the best ways to learn in early childhood. I love to see the sparkle in my students' eyes when something is built from their own hands.

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: Simple Machines

Resources Needed: an Introduction to Simple Machines Kit.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Location: Utah School for the Deaf and Blind @Mill Creek Elem, Salt Lake City, Utah
Total Cost: $411.64
Still Needed: $205.82 $180.82
Expires: Jan 02, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Baker:

My Students: Exploring scientific principles should be through safely planned discovery with hands-on materials. Simple machines are fun and exciting to play with. Kids learn and remember more when they have fun materials to interact with. This kit would provide interactive opportunities.

We are a third-grade class in Utah. There are many students who are new to this country this year and are just learning English. Many countries are represented in our class. We are in a public school and have a dual-immersion class for students who want to learn Spanish and English.

My Project: This kit is designed for large classrooms such as ours. There are materials for all the students to be able to build and create their own simple machines. The kit has activities which safely show different principles about force and motion. We will use pulleys, inclined planes, screws, wheels and axles, wedges and levers. Students will learn how using simple machines can change to load and make movement easier.

Learning about "work" (and loads and gravity and force . . .) should be fun. Being able to discover and share real information is invaluable to learning and understanding. Right now I can only afford to show the students examples of a simple machine. This kit would allow them to experience how machines can help.

DONATE HERE
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!


Our Dollars at Work
Students from Mrs. Melino's class working on the school farm, caring for livestock, from the project Improving Agriculture Literacy via a School Farm.

caring for sheep


shoveling a barn


There are additional photos at the link.

Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, B's Bunch Needs a Microscope, was completed. A rural Oklahoma elementary school will receive a microscope!  

The bonus project last week, What Does a Scientist Do? We Want to Know!, was also rescued with a Kossack assist. An Alabama first grade will get basic supplies and safety equipment for simple science experiments.

But wait, there's more! We had a banner week, because three other open projects were completed last week, including, I am thrilled to say, the fifth and last of the expensive "cooling" projects brought to us by Square Knot. The three are:

  • Terrariums Add Excitement to Classrooms!: A Georgia elementary school will build terrariums and care for chameleons.
  • Convection Confusion!: Florida middle school students will do experiments that demonstrate convection in fluids.
  • Too Hot to Learn: Students in an old urban elementary school in New Jersey will get a portable air conditioner to cool their classroom down to below its usual 90+° in the warmer months!

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

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 360!

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 Sep 29, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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