DonorsChoose–meet more of the projects

Monday’s post highlighting a few of the DonorsChoose projects brought in a few more donations, so check out another round of teacher-initiated projects, and throw in a few dollars if you’re able (or more than a few–I still have almost $1700 to go to reach my goal, or even another $900 to reach the total I raised last year).

Genetic Research for Immigrants

Needs: $324 (33% funded)
Asking for: Gel electrophoresis equipment (district is 94% low income, large immigrant population)

Students would have an opportunity to extract, observe and compare their own DNA with classmates in the process of learning about our common genetic heritage.
By obtaining a reasonably priced gel electrophoresis apparatus suitable for classroom use, students will come to a personal understanding of DNA by working with their own cells. This apparatus is a durable piece of equipment which would serve students for years to come. Your support can make cutting edge science accessible to a disadvantaged population of students struggling to learn new content, a new language and a new way of life in the United States.

Investigating DNA technology

Needs: $446 (18% funded)
Asking for: DNA extraction kit and electrophoresis supplies, blood/saliva typing kit (district is 86% low income)

This project will allow students to experience Gel Electrophoresis first-hand and help them to better understand how DNA can be used in solving criminal cases, and paternity cases. Students will also be able to see that all living organisms have DNA, even the fruit they eat.

After judging science fairs for several years, I’ve seen first-hand how simple techniques like the ones described in the above projects can really bring home an understanding of molecular biology to the students. Collectively these projects, if funded, would impact 270 students in the first year, and many more in years to come. Again, please consider donating a few bucks to help out these kids–it’s appreciated by all of them, and by anyone who wants to have a more science-literate population.

More nasty flies

If you thought botflies were bad, check out Bug Girl’s post on tumbu flies.

The adult flies lay their eggs on wet laundry hanging out to dry, or in the soil or sand. Within two days, larvae hatch, and can remain alive for up to two weeks. During that time, if they come into contact with skin, they burrow in.

Oh, don’t worry, there’s more…check out the link to see how vaseline and ironing your underwear come into play.

DonorsChoose–week 2

I’ve been remiss at soliciting more funding for the Scienceblogs DonorsChoose challenge. All told, Sciencebloggers have raised over $12,000 total so far to fund teacher-initiated, citizen-funded projects–$175 of that from here at Aetiology thus far, so I have a bit of catching up to do. I know you’re all busy people, so I’ll save you a few mouse clicks and over the next few days, describe a few of the challenges on my roster this year:

We have to see it to believe it!

Needs: $286 (34% funded)
Asking for: 10 microscopes and slides for a class of 7th graders (district is 88% low income).

This will allow me to set up labs designed around our content standards, from human body cells to plant cells, my students will be able to finally see the tiny, overlooked world around them.

Help my students see the world through their own set of rose colored lenses – brand new microscopes!

Hidden worlds: up close and personal

Needs: $610 (18% funded)
Asking for: One video microscope to be shared by all students in the class (11th graders, district is 40% low income)

During the 2006-2007 school year my class did dozens of labs ranging from testing alcohol’s affect on fruit flies to genetically modifying bacteria with a jellyfish gene that caused the bacteria to glow green when exposed to UV light. Despite these exciting labs the one area I was not able to give my students exposure to seeing organisms under a microscope since I do not have the microscopes available. Having a videoflex scope would allow me to project an image under my microscope to the whole class thus accomplishing a major goal of mine.

Both of these teachers are obviously having an impact with the little equipment and funding that they have. Fully funding these projects would have an impact on 195 current students, and the addition of microscopes will allow students to investigate the “invisible” for many years to come. Please consider kicking in some cash for these challenges or others listed at the link, even if it’s only $10 or $20–one beauty of this challenge is how much these small donations add up.

Correlations is live

I mentioned a new blogging project I’m involved with last week–a group blog called Correlations in conjunction with PBS and WIRED magazine. Well, now it’s up and running, so take a minute to poke around and read more about my other co-bloggers. Just intro posts are up for now, but “real” content will be coming shortly (they’re still tweaking things a bit). Comments on things you like/hate are appreciated as well.