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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, a twelve-year-old organization rated highly by both Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau. Here's a little introductory video about DonorsChoose. 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: The Lost Ladybug Project

Resources Needed: lady bug life cycle poster, puppet, life cycle stages, books, games, puzzles, etc.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Garfield Public Preschool, Garfield, NJ
Total Cost: $497.84
Still Needed: COMPLETED!
Expires: May 18, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Deak:

My Students: The ladybug shows that something tiny can have a huge impact. Children need opportunities to both connect with the little things around us while becoming part of something bigger and greater than ourselves. The Lost Ladybug Project brings all of this together.

My children are very bright and inquisitive 4- and 5- year olds in an urban New Jersey community. While many do not get opportunities to explore nature at home, I am developing a curriculum that taps into the innate connection that children have with nature to nurture their development in all areas including literacy, science, math, social emotional, physical, cognitive and language development. They have eagerly embraced studies of monarch butterflies and gardening and are ready for the next step in becoming citizen scientists.

My Project: My goal is for the students in my class to be citizen scientists and participate in the Lost Ladybug Project. As a quality early childhood program, we introduce and reinforce skills through multi-disciplinary studies that are interesting and relevant to the children. The materials funded by this grant will bring the Ladybug study into all areas of the classroom.

We will read stories about ladybugs and play ladybug themed letter and rhyming games. The life cycle models will help reinforce vocabulary and sequencing skills and the puzzles with develop problem solving. We will use costumes in dramatic play and the ladybug beanbags to develop throwing and catching skills. While most mail-order ladybugs as well as the ones found on our campus are Asian, the live specimen we obtain with this grant are a native species and will help us compare the difference between different species of ladybugs. All the while they will learn the crucial role this tiny creature plays in our ecosystem.

At an individual level, I will have the materials necessary to use a relevant and interesting study to foster the academic, physical and social emotional development of the children in my class. On a local level, families and the community will be inspired to stop and look at the small creatures around us. This project is unique because it affords us the opportunity to be a part of something bigger- a nationwide initiative to track ladybug populations.

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: Students Want to Heat Things Up!

Resources Needed:a hot plate, conductometer, convection demonstrator and a burner
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Upchurch Elementary School, Raeford, NC
Total Cost: $377.34
Still Needed: $128.67 Completed!
Expires: May 22, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Edmiston:

My Students: When things start heating up... Students want to learn about it! How can they learn if they don't have anything that provides heat in the Science Lab?!

My students are very diverse. I teach 650 kids as a Science Resource teacher in a Title I school and I am there to back up what they already learn in the classroom through experiments.

I teach Kindergarten - Fifth Grade and they are all very motivated! The thirst that they have for knowledge, especially when it comes to Science, is unbelievable! They are constantly searching for answers and I want to give them that ability.

My Project: n our curriculum, a lot of the grade levels are covering the three main heat transfers: convection, conduction and radiation. Unfortunately, I do not have any way to show them these transfers because I don't have anything that gives off heat!

I've showed them videos but I know that just isn't the same as if they were REALLY doing it themselves. I can read them facts and everything, but they want to DO, not just SEE. These materials (hot plate, conductometer, convection demonstrator and a burner) will give me the ability to teach them "what makes a better conductor?" "why does heat rise?" "how does a hot air balloon work?" along with many others.

This will have such a huge impact on the students because they want to see real-life examples of how this heat transfer works. They want to be able to go home and explain to their friends and family the "cool things" that they accomplished in the Science Lab. When it comes time for End Of Grade Testing, I want my students to say, "Hey! We did this in the Science Lab!"

Donations of ANY size can 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 #1 finished, please direct your donations to this project. We'll return to it as needed in future diaries.
Project: Hands-On Organ Systems

Resources Needed: 6 fetal pigs
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Hawbridge School, Saxapahaw, NC
Total Cost: $245.31
Still Needed: $125.31
Expires: May 26, 2013

My Project: My students need six fetal pigs to dissect in their exploration of cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems. Students will be able to explore the many levels of organization in the body of an animal that is very close to that of humans. We will explore these levels through dissection and the observation of tissue samples through microscopes.

These investigations will be connected to the workings of their own living body through labs that delve into the mechanisms of and connections between their cardiovascular, digestive, muscular, and skeletal systems. The pigs can also be used by the school's 6th, 8th, and high school biology classes.



Project: Screw, Inclined Plane, Wheel and Axle, OH MY!!!

Resources Needed: Simple Machines Set and K"NEX Gears Set
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Haut Gap Middle School, Johns Island, SC
Total Cost: $406.19
Still Needed:  Completed!
Expires: May 29, 2013

My Project: How exciting would it be to use a pulley and take different types of pulleys to move items around the room? How would you like it to test different items using ramps and levers? Or maybe even build your own bridge?

My students will learn about all 5 or 6 simple machines. There is a debate over whether a screw is a simple machine or just an inclined plane around a rod, but debate aside my students would truly learn about how simple machines are similar and different with the simple machines tool kit. Then they will be able to use simple machines and maybe even design better complex machines in the future!!!



Many thanks to everyone who helped TIP celebrate the completion of its 300th project last week. The party was a huge success and we completed another FIVE projects. They are:

Identifying Metal Pollutants in Water: High school students in Sevierville, TN will get the chemicals and supplies they need to measure metal pollutants in water.

I Want To Be An Astronaut!: Elementary school students in Houston, TX will get the globe, telescope kit, solar system  and books that they need to study space and the planets.

Science Explosion: Elementary school students in Cartersville, GA will get the books and supplies they need to study rocks, fossils, minerals and erosion.

What Is In That Soil?: High school students in Hinesville, GA  will get the soil quality kit for their AP environmental science lab.

Physics Of Sound: High school students in Salt Lake Cty, UT will get the tuning forks, slinkys and logitech speaker system they need to sound and wave characteristics.

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

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.

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 310!

How is the poverty level defined at
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.

More information: main page blog donor FAQ
All math & science projects search results

We are in no way affiliated with, 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 Apr 14, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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