Home > Donors Choose, Positive Actions > You can help teachers create a more scientifically literate society by participating in Donors Choose!

You can help teachers create a more scientifically literate society by participating in Donors Choose!

I wasn’t a part of ScienceBlogs yet last June for the first Donors Choose fund-raiser, but I sure am glad to be able to participate this year. If you haven’t heard of Donors Choose, here’s a quick description:

DonorsChoose.org is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.

A bunch of us Sciencebloggers are participating in the ScienceBlogs Challenge, and as Dr. Free-Ride notes

…this time, it’s not just ScienceBlogs bloggers — partners like Google, Yahoo!, Six Apart, and Federated Media are watching the efforts across the whole blogosphere to see which blog has the most generous and engaged readers.

But it’s not primarily about the competition – it’s about helping the teachers help their students.

Do you remember when you fell in love with science? Wasn’t there, perhaps, some teacher in grade school or high school who sparked or nourished your interest? Teachers are really important (they play critical roles in encouraging young girls in science and math careers). And yet, shameful as it is, many of our public schools are woefully underfunded. Teachers don’t have the funds they need for books, equipment for lab experiments, or to take students on field trips.
It can seem like an overwhelming problem. But when you know that your small contribution is joined with that of many, many others, then you see that you really can make a difference through something like Donors Choose. You don’t have to be rich to be a Citizen Philanthropist! As little as $10 can make a difference when it’s combined with all the others who care!
So here’s how it works. We bloggers set up a challenge. We pick a goal, some amount of money we think you, our readers, can help us reach. We select some projects from among those submitted to Donors Choose. (I concentrated on math and science proposals mostly in the 6th-8th grade range, because these are the years when girls’ interest in science begins to wane unless nurtured by an attentive teacher. I figure the science teachers at this level need all the help they can get. I also concentrated on schools in high poverty areas.)
You click on the link, go to the site, and pick a project from the ones listed that catches your interest. Or pick more than one, go right ahead! Then, donate!
Of course, you can contribute to more than one blogger’s challenge if you want to! Here’s everybody who’s participating so far:

A Blog Around the Clock (challenge here)
Adventures in Ethics and Science (challenge here)
Aetiology (challenge here)
Cognitive Daily (challenge here)
Deep Sea News (challenge here)
Evolgen (challenge here)
Gene Expression (challenge here)
Omni Brain (challenge here)
On Being a Scientist and a Woman (challenge here)
The Questionable Authority (challenge here)
Retrospectacle (challenge here)
The Scientific Activist (challenge here)
Stranger Fruit (challenge here)
Terra Sigillata (challenge here)
Thoughts From Kansas (challenge here)
Thus Spake Zuska (challenge here)
Uncertain Principles (challenge here)

(I’d like to thank Dr. Free-Ride for the code for all those links, which I happily borrowed from her post.)
You will get a confirmation email from DonorsChoose. You should keep this, because the folks at Seed will randomly select a few donors who will be awarded most fabulous prizes. As soon as I have details about the prizes and how to officially enter the drawing, I’ll post them here, but you will need the confirmation email to claim your fabulous prize.
The challenge runs through the entire month of October. Of course, we have some friendly competition going on between bloggers, but I’ll be happy if you just help me make my goal, because then there are some matching funds that appear.
In the sidebar there is a little donation thermometer that will show progress to the goal. So I hope it will inch upwards…not just for my ego’s sake, nor bragging rights with my fellow Sciencebloggers, but for the teachers and the kids.

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