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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: 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 COMPLETED! Please see Bonus Project #1!
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. 


COMPLETED! Please see Bonus Project #1!
Donations of ANY size can 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: Magnifying Glasses for Science Studies

Resources Needed: magnifying glasses
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Carr Elementary School, Fulton, KY
Total Cost: $263.61
Still Needed: $263.61 $228.61
Expires: Feb 11, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Gilmore:

My Students: Our 4th grade class is presently sharing a few magnifying glasses with the 5th grade class to study many things. More recently we performed an experiment with celery and food coloring to give the students a visual for vascular and non-vascular plants. Sharing the magnifiers made our time go over.

We are a small independent school system with about 200 students in our elementary classes. I work with some great educators who love to inspire their students. Many of our students do not have advantages that the larger school systems do. We are in a very small town with a very high unemployment rate as two major factories have closed. I want my students to know they can do more.

My Project: A set of magnifying glasses in my classroom would mean that I do not have to forgo completing some experiments because another grade needs them. When we can create a visual for the student to see the concept in action, it becomes for concrete for them.

I feel students will be so much more enthusiastic about Science when they have the equipment they need. This is only my second year but I want to help these students in any way that I can. This would give them a sense of ownership to their education if they know they will have what they need.

DONATE HERE
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!
Bonus Project #2
When bonus project #1 is finished, let's work on this one.
Project: Seeing Stars!

Resources Needed: telescopes
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Crane Middle School, Yuma, AZ
Total Cost: $501.02
Still Needed: $394.26 $374.26
Expires: Nov 27, 2012

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Lasich:

My Students: Remember the first time you really noticed all the stars in the sky? Do you still look up at a bright full moon? Some of my students didn't pay attention until last year when I would meet them lining up outside and say, "What phase is the moon in?" I want to take this learning one step further.

Many of our students come from low income homes. When they come to school I want to give them the opportunity to really explore science in a hands-on classroom. Last year we began looking at the sky and learning the phases of the moon and talking about what is going on in our galaxy. Now I would like to take that further and be able to have a space night. On these evenings the students and their families will be able to come to the school and REALLY see what's up there! Many of our students do not have the resources that allow them to utilize something as amazing as a telescope. I'm hoping to capture their interest in something that really catches my attention, the night sky.

My Project: I am asking for 3 telescopes for the classroom. These telescopes will be used for years to come within our science department. It is my wish that they will allow students to be able to see the moon in better detail. They will also give students a better understanding of other objects in the sky. They will learn the difference between a star and a planet, and perhaps on a clear night see a planet or two. I feel it is so important as an educator that we go beyond the books and really allow children to open up their eyes and see for themselves what is all around them.

These telescopes will be so vital to enhancing the learning experience for our group of students. In a world filled with television, video games and other stimulus, it is so important to allow students to experience real life learning opportunities. I would love to inspire all of my students to learn about their world and beyond! Who knows, this learning activity might inspire a future astronaut!

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

Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, Integers!!! Start Your Engines!, was completed. Sixth-grade students at a high-poverty school in Texas will receive integer games to use in their unit on integers, which begins in about three weeks.

The bonus project last week, Aerial Photograph of School, was also rescued with a Kossack assist. Elementary school students at a high poverty school in Michigan will use their new rocket materials to take a picture of their school from 100 feet above.

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 229!

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 30, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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