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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: Terrariums Add Excitement to Classrooms!

Resources Needed: Terrariums, plants, and chameleons to explore science through hands-on learning.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Eastside Elementary School, Rockmart, Georgia
Total Cost: $278.81
Still Needed: $228.81 $73.81
Expires: Oct 22, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Gober:

My Students: Scientific curiosity should be nurtured in our students! Giving students the opportunity to care for and observe their own terrariums is a wonderful and meaningful experience that they will cherish. There will be countless moments for educational discussions and plenty of ideas for journal entries.

My students attend a Title I elementary school in grades one through five. In my classroom, they are challenged and encouraged to think outside of the box. They are required to stretch their knowledge past the classroom doors and into the real world. I also like to teach "above" my grade level, hoping that their classes in middle school will be easier for them. Once they leave my school, they attend the local middle and high schools, which present them with more challenges. The high school has a high dropout rate, which is not conducive for success in our small town. My priority is to encourage and motivate my students... teaching them that determination and hard work means they CAN graduate from high school and they CAN attend college.

My Project: I am requesting terrariums, kits, plants, and chameleons to assist in my unit on biology, ecology, and herpetology. My students are at an age where they need excitement in the classroom. Observing science happening first hand is the best way to keep them interested in the subject.

The terrariums will encourage my students to observe the world around them and think about it in different ways. They will also present ample opportunities to write observations and predictions in their science journals. Many times, teachers do not have the financial resources or time to include lessons such as these in the regular classroom. I am fortunate to be able to have the class time for explorative learning, I just need help with the finances.

DONATE HERE
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: Portable Laboratory Burner

Resources Needed: Portable laboratory burners due to a leak in our gas line to complete lab assignments.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Sullivan East High School, Bluff City, Tennessee
Total Cost: $407.66
Still Needed: $123.83 Completed!
Expires: Nov 29, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mr. Williamson:

My Students: Imagine going through chemistry in high school without using a burner, and then you get to chemistry in college and must use burners in every lab. This would be overwhelming for some students!

My students attend a medium-sized public high school in a rural area. Besides what they may see on the farm, their experiences with chemical experiments are extremely limited, but many of these students have aspirations of going to college. Our school strives to have students college-ready, but sometimes our resources do not allow us to accomplish this goal to the standard we hold ourselves to.

My Project: Our school has a gas leak, therefore we are not able to operate the lab setups that were originally built in the school. Last year I survived on only counter-top chemistry that I could do at home. The students were robbed of the opportunity to be engaged in experiments that would aid in their understanding of the material and prepare them for college. I felt like I was failing my students by sending them to college without adequate laboratory experience. By having these burners, my students will be able to experience the full realm of the class, and the students will be better prepared for college. Many of the lab activities that were scrapped during last year will be used again. The labs are vital in engaging the students in the subject matter and demonstrating the scientific method.

A donation to this project will allow students to be better prepared for what they will face in college chemistry. Those students will be familiar with the equipment and the terminology that goes along with it. This will also help to engage some of the students who do not find the book material interesting because it brings the book concepts to life.

COMPLETED
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!



Cooling Projects
Our supporter Square Knot wrote a summer diary listing some DonorsChoose projects for classrooms that are way too hot for kids to learn. We're happy to report that three of those five expensive projects have been completed, and the remaining two are closer to their goal. If you have a little extra, please consider helping one. They are:

Portable Air Conditioner: Completed!

Too Hot to Learn: deadline Oct 25, 2013

From Portable Air Conditioner:
My students have difficulty staying on task due to their disabilities, and they need repetition to learn certain concepts. It is becoming increasingly difficult for them to learn in a hot room. ...My students will feel relaxed, focused, will listen more attentively to the lessons, and will be able to learn new material more easily in air conditioned room.

Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, Tectonic Insanity!, was completed. Tennessee high school students will receive lab materials to study plate tectonics and other geology/earth science topics.

The bonus project last week, Wetland Habitat Investigation Program, was also rescued with a Kossack assist. Florida elementary students will use their new thermometers in a program with state park rangers, learning to monitor the environment.

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 352!

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 Sep 08, 2013 at 07:00 AM PDT.

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

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