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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: Scientific Explorers

Resources Needed: lenses and a prism set to observe light behavior, a solar system activity tub, and a mobile storage table that can be used to conduct investigations.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Southmost Elementary School in Brownsville, Texas
Total Cost: $436.47
Still Needed: $211.47 Completed! Please move on to the Bonus Project.
Expires: June 09, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Hernandez:

My Students: Do you remember how excited you felt the first time you were going to conduct a science investigation? I see that excitement on a daily basis as students eagerly ask, "What are we learning today?" Best of all is hearing them say, "I love science!" and how they want to be astronauts or geologists.

I teach at a Title I school, in a low economic area. Our resources are very limited. My school is about 100% free and reduced priced lunch. I have 85 fifth grade students who are eager to learn and despite all odds, always exceed our expectations! They are very enthusiastic about learning and are always willing to share with their families and friends their new discoveries.

My Project: Everyday is a new experience, everyday is a new discovery in our classroom. Engaging students in exciting science investigations is the main goal, but sometimes there obstacles along the way that delay these discoveries. I would like to provide my students with learning experiences that can spark their curiosity of the unknown like the solar system, phases of the moon, and the behavior of light through different lenses/prisms. My students also need storage organizers in which they can place their science tools and also conduct investigations on the top surface. Engaging my students in scientific explorations in the classroom and making them love science is my main goal.

I don't know if my students will become doctors, astronauts, scientist or teachers. However, I do know that everyday I inspire my students to be the best they can be and never give up. All I need are these resources that can help enrich and spark my students' curiosities for learning about science. As Neil Armstrong said, "This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

Completed. Thank you!
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: Materials Needed for Science SWAT Team!

Resources Needed: an interactive mineral kit, where they can test and record observable properties themselves.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Deer Valley Middle School in Phoenix, Arizona
Total Cost: $258.85
Still Needed: $158.85 $114.73
Expires: July 15, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Swat:

My Students: Students are expected to just believe everything we tell them. The beauty of hands-on and interactive learning is that it brings science alive! In this day and age, seeing (feeling, testing, and even smelling) is believing!

My students are a diverse group of energetic 7th graders; however, they come with baggage that no child should have to deal with. Most are on free or reduced lunch. School is the place where they come to experience stability and feel safe. With hands-on activities in science, it opens the door of opportunity and experience so they can be given the same school experience as everyone else.

My Project: My students need a mineral testing kit so they may test hardness, luster, cleavage, and streak in order to identify unlabeled minerals. As a new teacher, I do not yet possess all the bells and whistles that make science an unforgettable experience. With the testing kits, they will be able to test the observable properties of minerals and based on their data they collect, they will be able to infer and finally conclude which mineral is which. Instead of giving them the data that others collected, they will be able to host their own experiment and come up with a solution while working together. This project will also make a connection with my special education students where they can do the same testing as everyone else.

With these mineral testing kits, it will develop a connection between the data they collect and the conclusions that they write. With collaboration and questioning their own student-led investigation, the students will forever remember this experience and apply those critical skills later in school.

Donate Here
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!


Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, Robotics Challenge, was completed. High school students in Spring, TX will have the battery charger and safety equipment they need to successfully compete in regional robotics challenges.

The bonus project, Improving Agriculture Literacy via a School Farm, was also completed with a kossack assist. High school students in Sheffield, MA will receive supplies to raise livestock animals in their on-campus barn.

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 315!

As of Saturday night, this bonus project from a previous week remains open:

Project: Hands-On Organ Systems
Expires: May 26, 2013
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.

Originally posted to The Inoculation Project on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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