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Diary header banner for Daily Kos Inoculation Project diaries.
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.

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

This Week's Main Project
Project: Wet, Wiggly Worms

Resources Needed: 10 worm kits for each grade level to learn about the benefits of worms in the creation of healthy soil as we start a school wide sustainability initiative.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Humboldt Park K-8 School in Milwaukee, WI
Total Cost: $268.92
Still Needed: $133.92 Completed. Thank you!
Expires: Sep 23, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Suminski:

My Students: Healthy food choices are avaliable to our students. Why don't they make them? When faced with food choices why do our students often select the ones that are least healthy? The communities they live in are filled with fast food, high sugar, overprocessed, chemically laden food choices.

My students attend an urban K-8 public school with a population of slightly over 600 students. They come from a variety of different countries and over 16 different languages are spoken! Our students are kind, caring and accepting of each other and the differences among them due to their unique backgrounds. The students typically spend their entire K-8 career at our school, very few leave before completing 8th grade. This lack of mobility allows us to develop relationships with our students that contribute to their success and growth.

My Project: My project will engage students by using worms as a basis for studying gardening, sustainability and healthy food choices. From K-4 through 8th grade, students will learn about locally grown, healthy food, with each grade level building on the concepts learned before. Hopefully, they will use their knowledge to make better choices with regard to the food they purchase and eat. The worms will be a starting point to show students how simple and easy it can be to grow healthy and tasty food in nutrient rich soil created by our squiggly friends. These small kits will be the perfect size for classroom study.

Diabetes and obesity are huge problems in urban schools. Students aren't exposed to a healthy diet and therefore make poor choices. Physical education and exercise are lost when reading and math are the focus of testing. By incorporating lessons on how worms create healthy soil and how we can grow healthy, tasty foods with that soil, we will provide students with the knowledge and tools to use in their life. Worms make the soil, we grow the vegetables and students learn healthy options!

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: As The World Turns

Resources Needed: These Earth materials to give them a hands-on opportunity to support important real life concepts that are taught in Earth Science.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Riverside High School in Williamston, NC
Total Cost: $317.33
Still Needed: $158.67 $132.79
Expires: Oct 05, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mr. Hudson:

My Students: You may remember as a kid having a rock collection. We are going to try to take that collection further with the importance of those materials scientifically and economically. This project will help our students better understand where those rocks come from by supplying them with hands-on materials.

My students attend a rural high school in an agriculture community in North Carolina. Our school is a traditional 9-12 high school that prepares our students for college and career readiness. Our school's population is 602 and I teach roughly 150 of those students each year. Our school demographic breakdown is 54% African American, 40% Caucasian, and 6% other (includes Hispanic, Asian, and Indian). Roughly 52% of our school receives free and reduced lunch.

My Project: The materials I am requesting such as ores from rock materials kit, soil formation kit, physical weathering of rocks lab along with rock cycle resource kit will allow my students to better understand the importance of rock materials not only from a scientific standpoint such as formation, classification and removal technique, but also from an economic standpoint such as uses and monetary value. We have several areas around our school that extract materials from the earth, and this project will enhance not only the concepts we discuss in class but will also show real life meaning to what we are learning. This project will tie in natural weathering processes that help form soil which is an important agriculture component. Our school is located in a rich in agricultural area and this will show the students the importance of soil and help them realize how important soil is on an everyday basis. One last component will be the environmental impacts of removing materials from the earth.

This project will provide our students with a much needed hands-on component to explain very important concepts that are covered in class such as earth materials and processes. This project also takes the materials and provides a real life component that will show the students that there is an actual reason that we cover the materials. This project has meaning and when that is incorporated in the class I have seen the students become more engaged and excited to learn.

Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!


Last week's main project, Mammals to the Stars, was completed. A Kentucky middle school will receive current books on mammals as well as the constellations and planets.

The bonus project last week, The Power of Science Part 2, was also rescued with a Kossack assist. Elementary school students in Florida will receive STEM supplies, activities, and games.

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 330!

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.
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Originally posted to The Inoculation Project on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Dream Menders, SciTech, and J Town.

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