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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 fourteen-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.

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Look for us every SUNDAY morning at 10 AM ET/ 7 AM PT.

This Week's Main Project
Project: Guess I'll Eat Some Worms!

Resources Needed: Worm Composter, Worm Composter Kit, Redworms, Compostable Cutlery, Worm Farm
School Poverty Level: Highest
Location:  Ronald Brown Academy, Detroit, MI
Total Cost: $433.59
Still Needed: $166.79 Completed!
Expires:  Aug 15, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Sergeant:

My Students: Kids love worms! They either say "Look, I found a worm!" or "Yuck, it's a worm!" But they are fascinated with these creatures.

My students are inner city fourth graders. They have little experience with the outdoors and the wonders of our natural world. I hope to create a sense of awe and wonder by exposing them to things they would never consider. For example, the importance of creepy, crawly worms as decomposers. This activity can help them see how easy it is to be healthy and have fun.

My Project: This composter, red worms, and garden equipment will help me show the children exactly how the worms play an important role in nature. In order to have a healthy environment we need worms and other decomposers to be our clean up crew. I want my students to lean how worms and other creatures play an important role in cleaning up our natural areas!

We will use food scraps and plant matter from our garden to compost into soil to reuse in planting.

I believe this project will leave a lasting impact on my students. They love nature and working outside. They will be able to see how worms and other decomposers really work rather than reading about them in a science book.

DONATE HERE!
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!
We'd like to be able to assist both small and large projects. Our hope is to present a new relatively modest project each week, and then feature a more ambitious project with a long-term deadline, so we can chip away at it each week when our main project is completed. Since DonorsChoose has something similar to a "rec list", every time we create a flurry of activity on a project, even if the dollar amounts involved aren't large, we can push the project up that list so it gets shown to more donors outside Daily Kos. In that way, we can help finish projects that may be beyond our means when only our own dollars are considered.
Long-Term Project
When the main project is finished, let's work on this one.
Project: Math Measurement for 5th Grade

Resources Needed: 2 Hands-On Measurement Centers, a liquid measuring kit, and other math materials to measure area, perimeter, distance, volume, and capacity and to make conversions from one unit to another.
School Poverty Level: Highest
Location:   S Johnson-G Park Elementary School, Gretna, Louisiana
Total Cost: $533.26 (Our Original Starting Amount)
Still Needed: $413.26 $363.26
Expires: Aug 24, 2014  

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Wexler:

My Students: "The man ignorant of mathematics will be increasingly limited in his grasp of the main forces of civilization." ~John Kemeny.

I want my students to really understand math in order to become lifetime learners and good citizens. "Hands-on" learning is key to stamping out math ignorance!

I teach at a public elementary school in the metro-New Orleans area. My school has about 650 students, 97% of whom receive free lunch. My students belong to a 5th grade special education class. Some of my students have Learning Disabilities and others have Cognitive Impairments. Most of my students are two - three years below grade level, so they need to work on "catching-up" as well as on grade level Common Core Standards. We have to work hard, and we have to do "hands-on" activities that will engage the kids.

My Project: The children with special needs that I teach need to actively learn by doing, rather than just practicing on worksheets. Through using the volume blocks, they will get to understand volume and capacity to a greater degree. When they use the liquid measures, they will get to associate an amount of liquid to the appropriate measure, whether it is cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. The beautiful measurement materials and activity cards will allow students to delve further into measurements. By giving them a more complete concept of measurements, they will be better able to solve complicated conversion word problems.

My students will become more fluent in math measurement through the math manipulatives and colorful activities. They will gain a more complete understanding of capacity, volume, area, and perimeter. By gaining a better understanding of measurement, they will be able to identify appropriate units of measure and make conversions between the units.

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

Our Dollars at Work
Students from Ms. Baker's class are working on building a simple machine  from the project, Simple Machines.

 photo p1064661_005_mdlg_zpsdfe19531.jpg

 photo simplemachines1_zpsc1e6faf0.jpg

There are additional photos at the link.


Housekeeping

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 415!

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. Occasionally, a fully funded project is called off for some reason internal to the school/teacher, and funding is returned. We have no way of knowing why, but DonorsChoose handles those donations in the same way as for expired projects.

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.

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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 Jul 06, 2014 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing and Dream Menders.

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