Donors Choose: final standing

While I’m taking care of some housekeeping, I’ll mention the final numbers for the Scienceblogs Donors Choose 2007 challenge. In 2006, we raised collectively just over $34,000 (which included $10K from Seed media). This year, we extended the drive a bit, upped our individual blog goals, and Janet has the final tally: just a hair shy of $73,000 (which included $15K from Seed this year). I want to send out a final thanks to readers here who donated, no matter what amount. I also encourage everyone to take a look at some of Janet’s suggestions on how to keep momentum going, and work for good education even if your own personal bank account isn’t overflowing. I think we have an amazing community here at Scienceblogs, and your help in pulling this off just reaffirms that notion–thanks again.

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.

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.

Introducing Correlations

I rarely watch TV, but I’m always up for a good nerd show. So when I was contacted from a representative of the PBS affiliate in L.A. about a new show they were doing in conjunction with WIRED Magazine, I was definitely interested. The show is called WIRED Science (you can watch the pilot or previews on the site). It’s kind of like a news magazine TV show–Dateline but with science (and, well, better personalities.) The show premieres next Wednesday, October 3rd at 8 PM (7 Central).

So how does this concern me, besides being an interested viewer? The reason they contacted me was because they’re setting up a blog, “Correlations”, to go along with the show–and I’ll be one of the bloggers over yonder. This will also go live on Wednesday, and it will feature 8 of us blogging there about our varied areas of expertise:

Find out all about it after the jump…
Continue reading “Introducing Correlations”

Are science blogs having an impact?

Do you have a few minutes? Care to lend you time by completing a short survey to help answer the titular question?

[EDITED TO ADD: thanks! We reached 1000 survey responses in just about 10 hours’ time, so the survey is now closed…we really appreciate your participation!]

This survey attempts to access the opinions of bloggers, blog-readers, and non-blog folk in regards to the impact of blogs on the outside world. We’re examining the impact of science blogging and this survey will provide invaluable data to answer the following questions:

Who reads or writes blogs?
What are the perceptions of blogging, and what are the views of those who read blogs?
How do academics and others perceive science blogging?
What, if any, influence does science blogging have on science in general?

The survey itself will likely take ~10 minutes, and a bit more if you are a blogger yourself–and thanks in advance.

Phew, I’m tired

I mentioned August would be a hellish travel month. Beginning August 2nd, I drove to Chicago for YearlyKos, back to Iowa and grabbed the kids and dogs, headed to Ohio to visit family (including an almost-9-months-pregnant sister and her 18-month old son), headed out to Maryland/DC/Delaware for an impromptu road trip, back to Ohio, back to Iowa, to Wisconsin for a science conference, back to Iowa for the evening, then flew back to DC to pick up a friend, and then drove up to New York to meet up with many other Sciencebloggers for the weekend. Then back to DC, and back to Iowa this morning.

Or, I think I’m in Iowa. Everything is starting to look alike at this point.

Anyway, the conference in Wisconsin was great, and had a good amount of interest in the talk I gave there on Streptococcus suis (always a bonus). The weekend in New York was great fun as well. I’d met several other Sciencebloggers before, but never en masse quite like this. Friday they opened up Seed magazine’s office and let us poke around there, then followed up with a reception at Seed founder Adam Bly’s apartment. On Saturday, we were stuffed full of brunch and conversation, and followed that up with a trip to the Natural History museum, after which many of us gathered for dinner. I then headed up to the Washington Heights neighborhood on Sunday to visit yet another friend, before driving back down south to the DC area that afternoon (well, late evening by the time we arrived, thanks to a rainy day and many accidents along the way. None involving me, though).

I don’t have my pictures rounded up yet, but you can see photos others have shared: Bora’s roundup; a few from PZ; Mo’s photos; and a few from Zuska (including one of me blending into a chair…interesting…) I’ll try to get my own up tonight…

YearlyKos videos are up!

I’ve not mentioned this yet because I hadn’t had a chance to see it myself, but C-SPAN did broadcast this year’s YearlyKos Science Panel. You can see Chris’s talk on hurricanes and global warming here; Ed’s talk on fighting creationism by running for school board here, and Sean’s talk on dark energy and dark matter over yonder. I have the videos of the final parts–the Q&A session–after the jump.
Continue reading “YearlyKos videos are up!”