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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: Little Geologists Break Open Geodes!

Resources Needed: Set of 72 rock geodes; Rock Kit - introductory set
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Greenville, SC
Total Cost: $180.00
Still Needed: $170.00  COMPLETED! Please see long-term project.
Expires: Dec 03, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Supler:

My Students: Can you remember conducting a science experiment when you were little? Kids are excited about science, not so much because of the textbook or teacher demonstrations, but because pretending to be a real live scientist with goggles and all of the tools is great fun!

Like all students, my sweeties thrive during active learning! They are thrilled to get out their little science notebooks and, as Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus would always say, "Get messy! Make mistakes!" Last year, we studied the book Rocky Road Trip during our reading block and replicated a lot of the experiments during science. When Ms. Frizzle has her students opening geodes in this fun chapter book, I could tell that my kids were crossing their fingers in hopes that I would have some crystal-filled rocks for them to crack open. Unfortunately, our science budget didn't cover geodes for all the little scientists. This year, I hope to change that with your help!

My Project: As we complete the chapter on geodes, we will unveil an amazing surprise. Geodes for all! Each child will use a hammer to crack open some amazing geodes. After seeing what they really look like and studying how they form by making our own crystals, the kids will be able to take their shiny specimens home to share their learning with their parents.

I don't want an insufficient budget to be the reason that my students miss out on wonderful learning activities! Being able to crack open geodes and study the formation will inspire my darlings to think about scientific career paths, like being a geologist! This will be an activity that will bring some smiles to some sweet faces. Thank you for sharing in my vision to help my students become passionate about their learning!

COMPLETED!
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: Creating Young Scientist one Project at a Time

Resources Needed: states of matter kit; rock cycle kit; butterflies in the classroom kit; owl pellets; polyurethane foam classroom kit; little labs plant science kit; graduated cylinder starter pack
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Gosnell, AR
Total Cost: $528.00
Still Needed: $528.00 $457.01
Expires: Dec 24, 2014

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Davis:

My Students: My students come to my classroom without the knowledge of how to conduct the scientific process. They are very excited about learning with hands-on science, but their materials are limited.

Most of my students have low socioeconomic backgrounds. Many of these students' parents can not afford to take their children to a hands on museum or enroll them in summer science at a local college. The class has 66% of students receiving free lunches. Most of their science experience comes from my classroom.

My Project: The materials purchased will be linked to the Arkansas and Common Core curriculum. I plan to teach ecosystems and food webs (LS 4.5.14) by dissecting the owl pellets. The butterflies will show the life cycle in an ecosystem (LS 4.9.5) as students study and chart the process. The foam will show students the examples of physical changes and contrast them to chemical changes (PS 5.5.5). The states of matter kit will show several way to compare and contrast chemical and physical changes. The plant kit will help with the terrarium building in the classroom. They will observe (NS 1.5.1) and conduct investigations about the carbon dioxide-oxygen cycle in the ecosystem (LS 4.5.9). The graduated cylinder will help demonstrate density of objects.

With the materials this grant provides, my students will be able to get excited about learning science. They will have hands-on activities that they can enjoy, learn from, and pass down to their children. Making science more personal for each student allows them to enjoy learning. This is my goal for this project. My students with special needs will benefit greatly because of the concreteness of the lessons.

A child (and their teacher) excited about learning has an everlasting impact!

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


Our Dollars at Work
Students from Ms. Hoffman's class working on chemistry labs from the project, Hard Working Young Chemists Need Lab Supplies!.
Chemist

There are additional photos at the link.


Housekeeping:

Last week, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded half of every project that received the first half of the funds from citizen donors. With that boost, we were able to help complete 5 projects. Amazing!

Help Our Classroom to Learn MORE! was completed. Ms. Turner now has the manipulatives she needs to more effectively teach math and reading.

A Digital Laboratory with the Raspberry Pi Microcomputer was completed. Mr. Erbil's students will now be able to learn how to create digital interfaces to measurement instruments.

Friction: It's a "Rough" Life was completed. Mr. Timbs' students will have the tools they need to learn how friction is influenced by such factors as gravity, texture, and slope.

New News is Good News was completed. Mrs. Griewski's students will have access to information about current events and recent science news.

Let's Go Lego Robotics! was completed. Mrs. Wood's students get to play with robots!

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 427!

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 31, 2014 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing and SciTech.

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