Help teachers–nurture budding scientists–win prizes!

As Janet has surely mentioned by now, we’re kicking off a The ScienceBlogs/DonorsChoose raise-money-to-help-science-classrooms-a-thon!

I write a lot on here about science education. Indeed, that’s a big motivator for having this site at all. Science is endlessly fascinating, and it’s a pleasure to have the means to share some of my own love of the area with y’all. But of course, appreciation for science can–and should–start long before adulthood. I know I had some great teachers in elementary, junior high, and high school who made math and science interesting, but it’s a tough job, made even more difficult when budgets are stretched thin. And make no mistake–in many of these schools, things are bad. A friend of mine who did Teach for America had to make her own textbooks. My 11-year-old brother-in-law uses the same science textbooks I used–20 years ago!

This is where DonorsChoose comes in. For those of you unfamiliar with DonorsChoose, it’s a non-profit site that connects teachers directly with folks who want to support them (which they term “Citizen Philanthropists”). Teachers submit project proposals and budgets, and ordinary folks can kick in a few bucks toward the teacher’s goal. (You can find all the details here).

As far as our challenge, I and others (Janet has an entire list of all participants) each picked out some projects for our own challenge. (Mine is here). This wasn’t easy, as there are literally thousands of projects looking for funding. I chose 20 for your perusal. You’re reading this site, so I know you support good science education. If you’re able, check out my challenge (link) and kick in a few bucks. Every little bit helps. If I have even 800 visitors who’ve read this post kick in just $10 each, right there that puts me almost at my goal, and will pay for books, aquariums, kits, projectors, microscopes, and so much else that brings science to life for these kids.

Additionally, we’ve gotten some sponsors to kick in some incentives for those of you who donate. Again, Janet has all the details, so please check it out–there are a number of nice prizes for y’all. (Not listed are copies of the book Viruses vs. Superbugs that I reviewed here.)

So, I hope you’ll donate, and please spread the word. And while we have this set up as a “blogger’s challenge,” I’ll still urge you to check out the other blogs who are participating. After all, for something like this, everyone wins.

(Again, my challenge is here).

5 Replies to “Help teachers–nurture budding scientists–win prizes!”

  1. Uuuuuuuuuuunfortunately its only open to U.S. citizens. So I guess you guys will just have to get your own bacon out of the pan. 🙂

  2. Hi Tara,

    I’ve had no money – but had some time to teach kids, and improve their living, learning and playing environment at my local primary. I’m really proud of the little ‘Green Team’ that have set up their own blog to talk about what they want to do ( come to think about it I mentioned you as an inspirational woman scientist I happened to have ‘met’- and they are mostly girls……

    here is their site:

    and for our school environmental project:

    and my personal one:

    – good luck in your efforts – I think what we learn goes a long way when a little local love and attention go with it..?

    P.S have recently started a job with the English ‘Environment Agency’ – on work on the the ‘Habitats Directive’ – European Law to protect ‘Special Areas’. A bit like your EPA I guess?

  3. – and what I really what I should have said is – even if you can’t afford the money – devote some *time* – ask a primary (elementary) school teacher if they’d like a scientist to talk to their class for an hour or so and they’ll bite your arm off. You could even get your work to pay for your time in the name of good public relations – and who knows what a kid you might inspire will go on to do.

    Personally I’m eternally grateful to the adults that did just this for me.

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