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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 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.

This Week's Main Project
Project: Wriggle, Grow, and Learn!

Resources Needed: a composter with composting worms to expand their knowledge of plants, worms, and the environment in the school garden.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: John James Audubon Elem School in Kenner, Louisiana
Total Cost: $176.76
Still Needed: $176.76 Completed! Thank you.
Expires: July 26, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Gore:

My Students: Have you ever experienced the joy of biting into a fresh, crispy vegetable you grew yourself? How about a feeling of compassion and caring for the natural world? My urban students deserve to know the joy and learn the skills and science of growing things in the school garden.

My students inspire me with their vigor, enthusiasm, and gratitude every day. I teach in a designated ESL (english as a second language) kindergarten classroom in a small title I elementary school. My students families have come to the United States from far flung countries as diverse and Honduras and Pakistan in search of a fresh start in the United States. In my classroom they are learning more than just the ABC's. They are experiencing immersion in a language and culture that is new and vastly different for them and learning to adapt and succeed in their new country.

My Project: Living in the urban neighborhoods of New Orleans, many of my students have few opportunities to connect with the natural world. They have little understanding of where the food on supermarket shelves come from or the interconnection between themselves and the natural environment. Through involvement in our school garden they are learning how all living things depend on each other and having many hands-on experiences with science. A worm composter will help my students expand their learning experience by creating nutrient-rich hummus from kitchen scraps to feed the garden and improve the soil. They will gain greater knowledge and understanding of the interdependency of living things and the process by which nutrients are recycled back into the soil. My students are learning many things in the school garden, from basic gardening skills to environmental science concepts. They are experiencing the independence of growing their own food and tasting delicious, healthy vegetables.

With a rapidly deteriorating natural environment in today's processed, fast-food world it is increasingly important for children to understand the impact that humans and other living things have on each other and the environment and to learn to enjoy fresh, healthy vegetables. A worm composter will contribute to the happiness and well-being as well as the learning of the students by helping to expand the school garden.

COMPLETED
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: Physics! Capacitor and Thermometer Labs

Resources Needed: 30 thermometers and 10 strikers for a thermodynamics lab. I need 10 capacitors for a lab on electricity and magnetism.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: West High School in Salt Lake City, Utah
Total Cost: $321.05
Still Needed: $160.53 Completed! Thank you.
Expires: July 14, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mr. Arce-Larreta:

My Students: Science and engineering will provide most of the future jobs and industry in our country.

Our students are 9-12th graders in an urban city high school. About 60 percent are on fee waivers due to low income. My classrooms include a diverse mixture of low-income students as well as high income high achieving students. I teach AP Physics and general physics.

My Project: The students ability to apply concepts from the book to real world applications will help them understand and learn the material. Engaging students with hands on learning will also help many students who do not learn from a lecture or from reading textbooks.

These tools will be used in hands on activities. The 10 capacitors (parallel plates) will be used to in a hands on lab to demonstrate that capacitance varies directly with gap length and dielectric. In addition to the electricity lab, students will use the strikers to ignite Bunsen burners and calibrate blank thermometers. By making reference points on a thermometer, they can estimate room temperature fairly accurately.

Helping us with this project will help future inspire future scientists and engineers. Remember, capacitors are what make your keyboard technology possible, and they came from electrical engineering and physics.

COMPLETED
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: The Green Team - Recycling & Conservation Warriors!

Resources Needed: very basic Science materials to introduce them to the intriguing and wonderful world of plants, animals, energy, and atoms as well as Mother Earth!
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Buckeye High School in Deville, Louisiana
Total Cost: $528.92
Still Needed: $162.46 Completed. Thank you!
Expires: Jun 09, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Hoosier:

My Students: "Be the miracle!" My students need you to be the miracle and help us to purchase some very basic Science supplies such as plant terrariums, mineral rocks, and a digital microscope. My students are from a rural area with no school funding and desperately need your help to improve their education!

My students are all juniors or seniors from Louisiana. We live in a very rural area and all students have families involved in farming, hunting and fishing and animal farms. Most of my students parents did not go to college at all, but that is not changing the way my students feel about furthering their education. My goal is to help them become more college ready in Science by reinforcing the basics of Science and making their learning experience fun! My students are very down-to-Earth and aren't scared to get their hands dirty at all! Each one of them can tell you stories of helping their parents or grandparents on their family land. We are a close knit community, but are considered a high poverty area. Our town-median income is $20,000/year. My students love their families but want to make a better life for their own families by being the first in their family to get a college degree. I am asking that you please consider helping me to get the basics these kids need!

My Project:  I am going to use the plant terrariums and hydroponics lab to help the student see how different nutrient levels can affect plant growth and how the use of fertilizers impacts the growth rate of various plants. I will also use the solar system model and life cycle of a butterfly model to reinforce some basic concepts that they will see on their ACT as well as in their college curriculums. The digital microscope is probably one the the most important things my students will benefit from. We do not have computers for the students at our school. I have a computer and projector and if I am able to get this microscope, I will be able to show the entire class images of microscopic animals, protists, cells, etc. over the projector. This will strongly enhance our learning experience in the classroom!

Your donations to help the Science Sleuthers learn and reinforce our basic science concepts would be beyond words. We are in such great need of basic Science supplies and these particular plant, cell, microscope, and animal supplies will help me to give them a visual learning experience that will forever change their lives. Each of my students are so special and need this opportunity to become more college ready in the topic of science. Your help would be so appreciated and would change lives!

COMPLETED
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!
Bonus Project #3
When bonus project #2 is finished, let's work on this one.
Project: Help Bring the Ocean to The Classroom

Resources Needed: a saltwater aquarium so they can see first hand some of the animals and plants that we are learning about in oceanography.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, GA
Total Cost: $809.35
Still Needed: $404.67 Completed. Thank you!
Expires: Jul 24, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. McCook:

My Students: Have you ever been to the beach and been amazed discovering a new shell or animal that you have never seen before? Many of my students have never even been to the beach even though we only live 15 miles from the coast. I want to be able to bring a part of the ocean to them.

My students live in South Georgia near a military base. Most are military children who constantly move all over the world. So we have a large group of transient students due to the influx of military moving in and out all year long. We also have a large number of high poverty students. Our students are very diverse and love to take on any challenge when thinking outside the box. Our students are college and career ready as well as our staff are devoted to helping them be college and career ready.

My Project: Have you ever seen a sea anemone? Have you ever watched how it moves and interacts with certain fish? It has a mutualistic relationship with a certain fish that most of my students have learned to adore through the media. But there is more to explore. Have you ever watched a brittle star eat or crawl across the bottom of the sea floor? It is quite fascinating! This is how I became so obsessed with science. I just stopped moving and starting observing.

By bringing a saltwater aquarium to our class, we will not only give our students a chance to study the plants and animals that we are studying first hand and up close. It also provides a very calming and serene environment in which many students today need. Most of our kids today are very wound up, but with they listen to the flow of water and see its tranquil movements they seem to calm down. Please help me bring the ocean to our students.

COMPLETED
Donations of ANY size DID make a BIG difference!
Bonus Projects - Donor's Choice

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 #3 finished, please direct your donations to one of these projects. We'll return to them as needed in future diaries.
Project: Scientific Inquiry in 2nd Grade

Resources Needed: hands-on materials to investigate scientific concepts like weather and matter.
School Poverty Level: High
Location:  Inskip Elementary School in Knoxville, TN
Total Cost: $202.45
Still Needed: $122.45 Completed! Thank you.
Expires: Jul 16, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. McAloon: The 2nd-graders I teach are brimming with curiosity about the world around them. With limited resources, though, it is often difficult to channel that curiosity into understanding of scientific concepts. Students need hands-on materials to connect everyday observations to the principles of science.

I teach sixteen 2nd-grade students at an urban, Title I school in Tennessee. Most of my students do not have the opportunity to visit museums or libraries outside of school, so engaging experiences in school are vital. My students are curious about the world around them and love to learn new things. As a whole, they especially like science (in a class poll, 9 students reported that science was their favorite subject)....

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Project: Fluttering Arthropods

Resources Needed: materials, including 3 butterfly sanctuaries and a larvae set, in order to watch butterflies go through the process of metamorphosis, from larvae to butterfly, while we cover Phylum Arthropoda.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, FL  
Total Cost: $184.06
Still Needed: $70.82 Completed. Thank you!
Expires: Apr 15, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Mandell: Have you ever had the opportunity to watch a caterpillar transform into a butterfly? I would for my zoology students to be able to witness this first hand.

My students are juniors and seniors in my zoology class. I teach in a high poverty school where 75% of our students have free/reduced price lunch. The majority of my students are in my science and medicine academy, wishing to pursue a career in the science field....

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Click On A Project
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!

Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, Smart Science for Smarter Kids, was completed. Students in a middle school in rural northwestern North Carolina will receive a tuning fork, prisms, and science books to help them conduct experiments.

The bonus project last week, Wild Wonderful Weather, was also completed. Kindergarten students in a rural, semi-agricultural area on the border of the Appalachian Mountains will have equipment and materials to study their local weather.

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 299!

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
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 Mar 31, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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