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.
We are fast approaching our 400th-project celebration and, as a group, your editors need to have that not happen quite yet, each for reasons of our own. We're taking advantage of that situation to take on a much larger project than we ordinarily present.
This week and next week we will be tackling a big project for a LEGO Mindstroms EV3 robot for elementary students in Forsyth, GA. (Remember that DonorsChoose has something similar to a "rec list", and every time we create a flurry of activity on a project, even if the dollar amounts involved aren't large, we can push the project up that list so it gets shown to more donors outside Daily Kos.)
Thank you for humoring us and putting your love and money behind the kids in Spring. Our TIP family has done some great things together, and this will be yet another of those!
Resources Needed:LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot and a teacher's guide School Poverty Level: High Location: Hubbard Elementary School, Forsyth, GA Total Cost: $537.96 Still Needed:$512.96 Completed! Expires: Mar 21, 2014
Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Curtiss:
My Students: My students LOVE technology, but they are scared of math. Every year I have to "teach" students into loving math. Every year they start out thinking that "math is hard" or "I just don't have a math brain." And every year I have to coax them into believing that math is fun, and they can do it!
I teach in a semi-rural school system in Georgia. My classroom is a mixed-ability classroom, consisting of rich and poor students, students from educated and from undereducated families. Most of their parents work outside the community because of a lack of jobs within the county. My students work hard and are generally good citizens, but they do not dream big. They do not see the myriad of possibilities awaiting them because they have not been exposed to anything other than the few possibilities within our county. The areas surrounding our county are rapidly developing jobs that require STEM backgrounds. I want my kids to be able to compete for these jobs.
My Project: Using the EV3 Lego Robotics system and the teacher's guide, my children will learn how to program robots. While programming the robots to meet different challenges, my students will strengthen their math skills, their logical thinking skills, and their ability to work cooperatively with others to solve challenging problems. We will set up this first robot as a math center, and students will work in pairs to solve programming challenges involving color, light, and movement. Students will also be encouraged to develop challenges for others to solve. This will build self-efficacy within my classroom.
Donations to the "I Am A Robot" project will begin to expose my students to a world that is larger than our county. It will open their minds to a wide range of possibilities that await them when they graduate. "Playing" with robots will show students that math, science, and technology are intertwined and that math is useful and interesting. I think that this project will begin to create a community of creative thinkers within my classroom.
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.