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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 twelve-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: Integers!!! Start Your Engines!

Resources Needed: 2 games (Integer Speedway, Operation Integer)
School Poverty Level: High
Location: New Caney 6th Grade Campus, Porter, TX
Total Cost: $348.44
Still Needed: $114.22 COMPLETED!
Expires: Oct 27, 2012

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Palmer:

My Students: Negative Numbers??? Do you remember the excitement and maybe a bit of fear that you felt when you discovered there was a whole world of numbers on "the other side" of zero?

My students are 6th graders in one of the fastest growing districts in Texas. While our district has nine elementary schools, all these schools funnel into one sixth grade campus. We have students from many different socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures. This year I had four different languages as the native tongues of my students.

My Project: In the upcoming school year, I will have 3 classes with about 25 students and 1 tutoring class with less than 10 students. Each of these classes will be introduced to negative numbers for the first time! I can hardly wait! The students get so excited about learning something so new, but for some it is difficult. The games would keep them interested in learning and make the concept very non-threatening. Learning without the fear of failure is the key to success for many of my students.

Integers form the basis for so much of "real world" math. Temperature, checking accounts, and inventories all are based on integers. My students need these games to learn the concepts they will use not only in higher level math courses, but use in LIFE!


COMPLETED!
Please move on to the Bonus Project!
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: Aerial Photograph of School

Resources Needed: rocket launcher, rocket pad, rocket altitude finder
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Heritage Elementary School, Stockbridge, MI
Total Cost: $208.79
Still Needed: $108.79 COMPLETED!
Expires: Jan 23, 2013  

Teacher's Comments from Mr. Nichols:

My Students: Shouldn't all students wake up in the morning and want to go to school? Our goal is to make that a reality. Our 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are raising 500 salmon, building robots, launching rockets and racing solar cars. Help us achieve our goal. Help students say, "I can't wait to wake up.

We are a rural community in Stockbridge, Michigan. We have four hundred students in our third through fifth grade school. Fifty-two percent of our student population has been labeled "at-risk." Our school is addressing those needs by developing an entrepreneurial approach to education.

My Project: Our students are encouraged to tackle big problems. Last year our Remote Operated Vehicle program went to the small island nation of Palua to assist the Bentprop organization find downed B-24's from World War II using student built ROVs. Schools across our nation were built using the industrial model and our school prides itself in switching to the entrepreneurial model of finding problems and missions and solving them using ingenuity. Our rural students use GPS to find hidden class assignments, build vehicles to move objects across distances and find ways to take pictures of our school one hundred fifty feet above the ground.

We need rockets to show the students a way to get cameras in the air. We want to show the students that rockets can be launched using air propulsion and engines. We want a altitude finder that shows us distance so we can compare the two.

This project is important because it will help us complete our air unit. We plan on building kites, air propelled rockets and engine propelled rockets. Students need to find a way to capture an image of our school at 100 feet above the ground. We need a device to launch the rockets and measure how high they go.

The materials for this project are from a different company but they will operate in a similar manner to those featured in the clip.

COMPLETED!
Please move on to Bonus Project #2!
Bonus Project #2

Lately, we've had a lot of success and paid for our projects early, leaving no way for latecomers to participate. While that's great, it's also a missed opportunity to help one more teacher. If you arrive and find bonus project #1 finished, please direct your donations to this project. We'll return to it as needed in future diaries.
Project: A New Physics Class - Can You See It?

Resources Needed: lenses and mirrors
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Sevier Co High School, Sevierville, TN
Total Cost: $353.27
Still Needed:  $130.27
Expires: Dec 02, 2012

Teacher's Comments from Ms. South:

My Students: Have you ever wondered how images are changed because of optics? Refraction and reflection are difficult concepts for my students. While diagrams and images are helpful, they cannot replace hands-on experiments. Currently, our laboratory has no optical equipment.

My school is in a rural high-poverty area. The students in my school have not had extensive laboratory-based opportunities, particularly in physical science. I have access to laboratory space, but very little in the way of physics equipment. My students genuinely enjoy having the opportunity to use the laboratory in inquiry-based open-ended labs.

My Project: Your generosity will help me build and support my students' natural curiosity and enthusiasm about science. Physics always seems to intimidate students, but it shouldn't! By providing all students the opportunity to pick up and hold science in their hands, to see for themselves how the shape of a lens affects an image, you will help me to make physics more approachable and relevant for my learners.

A good science course is not built around memorizing and repeating facts. A good science course teaches students how to experiment and think for themselves. In order to make inquiry-based learning a reality for my students, I must provide opportunities for students to experiment. Your donation will provide much needed assistance with a variety of lenses and mirrors as I continue to work towards that goal.


DONATE HERE
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!
Our Dollars at Work
Elementary school students from Mrs. Bibb's class show off their science buckets and giant specimen viewers provided by the project, Science....It's Everywhere!!.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Mrs. Bibb's thank you note and additional photos can be seen at the link.

Housekeeping

Last week's main project, Super Scientists, was completed. Elementary students in Knoxville, Tennessee will have a variety of materials to complement their science lessons for the year.

The bonus project from last week, Math and Science Through Literature!, was also completed. Elementary students in Tulsa, Oklahoma will have many fun books to read that explore math and science concepts.

The second bonus project from last week, Energy and the Great Outdoors!, was also rescued. Middle school students in Raleigh, North Carolina will have binoculars, compasses and other classroom resources to support their study of alternative energy sources.

You can see the teacher's thank-you note at the links above. Many thanks to all contributors!

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 227!

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.

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.

♦◊♦◊♦◊♦◊♦

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 Sep 23, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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