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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: Interesting Research: Science Library To Fuel Our Brains

Resources Needed: Science books for an AP Science Library.
School Poverty Level: Highest
Location: Lawton High School, Lawton, Oklahoma
Total Cost: $354.07
Still Needed: $128.14  COMPLETED! Please see long-term project!
Expires: Sep 07, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. G:

My Students: A typical day in my AP Biology class is spent preparing to take on the scientific world by expanding our knowledge of living things, but we are lacking supplies to help aid our understanding.

My students are a small, but determined group. They ask pointed questions, are excited about hands-on labs, and are eager to learn. Many of them have plans to pursue an education in science at the college level. They struggle against a low-socioeconomic status, but manage to succeed in all they put their mind to. They are fighters that persevere in everything to meet their goals and dreams.

My Project: My students will use these texts to help tie concepts that are taught in the classroom to real-life scientists, and scenarios. My students will read the texts throughout the year, presenting mini-book reports to their peers. I know that the library will help increase their interest in the sciences and will help them see why studying science is so important.

Donations to this project will help my students have access to materials that they otherwise would not. I hope this helps them see the purpose of science and how important it is to our changing world. By reading these texts, I believe that the students will be able to reinforce their interest in science and discover how persevering through trials and challenges can pay off.

COMPLETED!
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!

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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: Exploring Bonding Through Shapes, Structures, and Models

Resources Needed: 30 sets of the molecular models to build, view,and describe bonding, VSPER Shape, and molecular structure of compounds.
School Poverty Level: Highest
Location: South Oak Cliff High School, Dallas, Texas
Total Cost: $755.06
Still Needed: $454.06  $314.06
Expires: Oct 17, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Ms Duncan:

My Students: My Chemistry Classroom consists of 30 students who are dedicated and eager to learn the somewhat abstract world of Chemistry. We begin each day in Chemistry with a thought provoking question or problem to get those science juices flowing. By the end of the school year, I want my students to have an appreciation and love for science.

My students are mostly at risk students who receive free and reduced lunch. They are very intelligent and eager to learn, but need relevant and hands-on experiences to increase their retention of concepts and knowledge. Our school is located in one of the most poverty stricken, high crime, and disease areas in this city. With the odds against them it is important as educators that we do all we can to ensure we provide them with an education that is quality and commensurate of what they need to be successful in science on a post secondary level.

My Project: Students will use these materials in a laboratory setting. This activity will provide students concrete examples of a very abstract materials that are not visible by the human eye. This will afford students an opportunity to learn while doing, discussing, and synthesize lecture with lab. Students will understand the relationship of the placement on the Periodic Table with bonding, using the VSPER Theory and visualization of molecular shapes, understanding of how single, double, and triple covalent bonds occur, how the structure relates to Lewis dot structures for compounds and the structure and creation of compounds.

Your donations will ensure their science education is quality and matched with schools whose students do not fight the same odds. This project will ensure students understand a fundamental concept in Chemistry that enables them to understand future more difficult concepts. It will change their lives for the better because it will afford them the opportunity to excel in a difficult subject. Overall, success in one area will build their confidence, knowledge, and character in others.

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



Our Dollars at Work
Students from Mrs. Best's Florida class join park rangers in a local state park to gather environmental data, from the project, Wetland Habitat Investigation Program.
students in Florida wetland
... Because of your generosity, over 50 students learned to monitor the changes in their environment and understand that they are responsible for the world we all live in. [...]

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. Thank you for helping us achieve our goal.

There are additional photos at the link.

Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, Classroom Habitats, was completed. Georgia 3rd-graders will get a classroom ant farm, hamster, and carnivorous-plant terrarium to care for! 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 421!

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". Schools with 40%-64% of students receiving free/reduced lunch are denoted as "high poverty", while schools with 65%+ of students receiving free/reduced lunch are denoted as "highest 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
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 Aug 17, 2014 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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