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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: Farm to Table ... A Fishy Fable

Resources Needed: two Aqua Farm self-cleaning, food-growing fish tanks to explore aquaponics and investigate the nitrogen cycle.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, Texas
Total Cost: $178.56
Still Needed: $178.56 Completed! Please consider the bonus project below.
Expires: Apr 26, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Miesner:

My Students: Did you know we eat poop? My students think all food comes from bags or bins, but everything starts in the ground and ends up there again. The cycle from farm to table to toilet and back to farm is essential for ecological balance yet often opaque.

My 126 8th grade young women love investigating the world around them and making it a better place. Last year in 7th grade they helped design a small school garden for our campus. This year I would like them to see beyond the garden to the next steps - human nutrition and soil enrichment.

My Project: My students will examine the Aqua Farm tanks as examples of self-contained nitrogen regulating ecosystems. The creators of Aqua Farm explain their product using a story of "Tank" and "Betta" who partner to grow food. The students will then use the Aqua Farms tank and story as models to create their own nitrogen cycle system for "Farm to Table" agriculture and explain the connection between plants, animals, soil, and nutrients by writing stories about the cycle and the components involved.

Not only will my students be able to eat and use the plants grown by the Aqua Farms and the new systems they designed, but students will also teach others about the importance of nitrogen regulation and ecosystem cycles. The Aqua Farm will just be the start of a school wide, community wide campaign for preserving the delicate balance between plants, animals, and poop.

Completed. Thank you!
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: Elemental Education

Resources Needed: a large periodic table of the elements to use during instruction and during discussions about the atom and its parts.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Liberty County High School in Hinesville, Georgia
Total Cost: $272.15
Still Needed: $136.07 Completed! Please consider the 2nd bonus project.
Expires: Apr 16, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Mr. McCulley:

My Students: "I know! I know!" This is no miracle. With hands held high and fingers wiggling, students in my classroom are excited to grasp new ideas and conquer the language and standards of physical science.

Our school is a Title I school with a very diverse student population with a large group of Military dependents. Today our students face many challenges. Our textbooks are online or on e-books making computers a necessity in the home. With all of the technology in our county, there are still families without computers making certain work and projects difficult for our students.

My Project: My students need a large periodic table of the elements to receive better instruction during discussions of the atom and its parts. My students will be able to see immediately what I am talking about in conjunction with the periodic table. The periodic table I have now is roughly the size of half a poster. My students will be able to see easily see the tendencies of the periodic table of elements as I describe them in detail.

This will make it much easier for the students in my physical science classes to better learn the periodic table of elements, allowing them to become better prepared to enter high school chemistry.

Completed. Thank you!
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!

Bonus Project #2
When bonus project #1 is finished, let's work on this one.
Project: Kindergartner Scientists with Balls and Ramps!

Resources Needed: a giant roller ramp, a marble run and magnetic balls for the balls & ramps unit that will provide them with experiences to become lifelong scientists!
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Jb Wright Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona
Total Cost: $184.80
Still Needed: $184.80 Completed! Thank you.
Expires: Apr 26, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Carlson:

My Students: Today we're kindergartners at a STEM school, tomorrow we'll be scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. We teach a balls and ramps science unit, but it doesn't provide enough hands-on materials to let them build, observe, test, and hypothesize about how things work.

My kindergarten classroom is made up of diverse, energetic 5 and 6 year-olds in a southern Arizona Title I, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) school. 99% are on free lunch. More than 1/2 of my students are English Language Learners including refugees from Africa, Asia, Mexico and the Middle East. All come from low-income households, living in neighborhood apartments and trailer parks.

Seven different languages are spoken in the classroom and my kindergarten is often the 1st place that they are exposed to STEM activities in English. Their parents often don't have the monies to provide them with materials to develop science concepts at home. However, they strive to do their best against the odds and are always very excited to come to school and learn. Besides, they teach me something new every day.

My Project: The materials I've requested will provide support to our science kit on balls and ramps. Students will learn how objects move using force and motion with the giant roller ramps and marble run. As little builders, my students can design and construct their very own giant roller ramps, then launch the included plastic ball and watch it twist and turn through the ramps. They will learn how to manipulate the ramps so objects can move faster, slower, or in a different direction.

My kids can put the marble run together to create their own unique ramps, then send marbles speeding down the ramps! All the pieces fit together in tons of different combinations, which will help my students develop planning and motor skills as they build incredible mazes. They will have a clear-view, up-close view of the marbles as they roll to the bottom, and pop out.

The magnetic balls will be used on the giant roller ramps to see how different objects move together down the ramp.

These hands-on materials I have chosen will give my students the opportunity to explore various science concepts about balls and ramps, and build much needed language and vocabulary skills. Our classroom has limited materials that go along with our balls and ramps curriculum. These resources will help my students build on their new learning and explore the hows and whys of force and motion.

Completed. Thank you!
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!


Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, Measurement on the Move, was completed. A Texas elementary school class will receive measuring tools that will provide opportunities for practical experience.

The bonus project last week, Growing What We Learn, was also rescued with a Kossack assist. Special needs students at a middle school in Oklahoma will have a greenhouse and other materials to observe the plant life cycle.

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 384!

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 Dec 29, 2013 at 07:00 AM PST.

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

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