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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.

This Week's Main Project
Project: Oops, I Did It Again

Resources Needed: The experience of hands-on learning by seeing, interacting, observing, and researching habitats of live animals and their life cycles.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Broadmoor Middle Laboratory School, Shreveport, Louisiana
Total Cost: $493.59
Still Needed: $121.79  COMPLETED! Please see bonus project!
Expires: Dec 06, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Cantor:

My Students: Gross!!!! Can I touch it? ...these are the remarks my students give me when they see the live animals I keep in class. Have you ever held a millipede? Have you ever watched a frog go through metamorphosis? My students learn science by Doing.

My students come from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Most are from broken homes and do not get to experience a lot of stability in their life. They think of insects and animals as things to exterminate, not enjoy. I want to teach my students that ALL life has meaning. My students have never held a tarantula; fed a frog; or watched a butterfly hatch. They read about it but never experience the concept first hand. The only engagement in academics my students have is while in school. That is where I can make the greatest impact on their learning.

My Project: Students will keep a variety of habitats, in a variety of ways. They will feed, interact with, and study live animals in the classroom. They will experience the wonder of a butterfly changing or see how an earthworm can compost waste and help the soil. Science needs to be hands-on. Students need to experience and see, first hand how ALL life in nature has a role and a purpose. Having students touch gross or unusual animals and creating habitats allows them to foster their own learning and develop a love for living creatures. Students learn to care for live animals and see how important and interactive all life is on Earth. Students become more interested in Science, which leads to further study, reading, writing, etc. I want to create Future Scientists for an ever changing world.

Science doesn't seem to be important, compared to Reading and Writing but, in reality, Science is everywhere and everything!!! Without science, nothing would exist. I want to immerse my students in Science, by having them create and maintain habitats of live animals in the classroom. They will study worms, butterflies, praying mantis, ant farms, lady bugs, triops, earthworms, crickets, and others. They will get hands-on experience and see life in action. Please help me keep the interest alive.

COMPLETED!
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: Classroom Habitats

Resources Needed: A living example of a marine ecosystem to understand the dynamics of the ocean.
School Poverty Level: Moderate
Location: Brown School, Louisville, Kentucky
Total Cost: $486.67
Still Needed: $109.80  $79.80
Expires: Dec 17, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Titus:

My Students: Many of my students have never been to the ocean so when we are exploring the marine ecosystem, some of them only have pictures in books to reference.

My students are a diverse population of middle school kids. My school enrolls students from EVERY Zip code in my district, making us the most diverse school in our school system. They have so much to share with each other and are uniquely tolerant of cultures and traditions of their classmates.

My Project: The salt water aquarium on my wish list is going to provide a beautiful, living visual for my students to appreciate. I have been able to assemble a fresh water tank in the past but budget constraints make it impossible to maintain without sacrificing basics (like markers!). The students in my Science class spend half of the year learning about Life Science - particularly ecosystems. This marine ecosystem will be the subject of many discussions, discoveries, observations - both living and non-living factors, and so much more interesting....and REAL...than any pictures I can show them. If you want kids to understand Symbiosis, let them see a clown fish living in a sea anemone! They will remember that for the rest of their lives.

This project will allow students to have first hand experience with a marine ecosystem. This type of classroom habitat is rare due to the expense. Students who may never get to see an ocean can develop an understanding and an appreciation of our world's oceans and the organisms that call it home. This gift would mean so much to so many! I teach about 120 middle school students per day....how many will be inspired by this? I cannot even imagine!

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



Our Dollars at Work
Students from Mrs. Hartley's fifth-graders working with their new science lab equipment from the project, The Power of Science Part 2.


There are additional photos at the link.


Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, Watch It Grow-Classroom Garden, was completed. Florida fifth graders will grow a mobile vegetable garden, on carts that can be moved into their classroom as needed. You can see the teacher's thank-you note at the link. Many thanks to all contributors!

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 371!

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

Project: K'Nex For Alaska - Energy And Motion - Inquiry Learning
Expires: Dec 21, 2013

Project: Making Mountains Out of Molehills
Expires: Jan 04, 2014
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 Nov 17, 2013 at 07:00 AM PST.

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

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