Still, almost 300 generous readers of science blogs have so far raised $24,586 to fund classroom projects that will reach 12,907 public school students.
That's pretty impressive. But we have a couple more days to do even more good.
The drive runs through midnight Friday, Hawaii time (to be fair to Christie and all) -- that's Saturday, November 10, 6 am Eastern time.
The match code SCIENCE will be active until the very end of the drive. At last check, more than $6,000 of the available $50,000 in matching funds (from the DonorsChoose Board of Directors) have been deployed, but that still leaves more than $40,000 in matching funds on the table.
We don't want to leave that money on the table when we can use it to help pay for textbooks, microscopes, science kits, field trips, and other resources that will make learning come alive for kids in public school classrooms.
Some of you may have blown through your whole $100 match already. (I still have $30 left on my match as I try to choose where I want to put it.) Some of you haven't. To get the remainder of the matching funds on the table, we'd need the equivalent of 400 new donors each contributing $100.
A donation of $100 is not a small thing, especially for those of you who are students, or retirees, or unemployed or underemployed. So probably we want to get more than 400 people to step up and contribute what they can -- even a buck (which, with the match, becomes two bucks). And, we need to spread the word -- to family, co-workers, friends who understand how the right teacher, with the right tools, can get kids really excited about learning. If there's a teacher who made a big difference in your life, maybe this is a good excuse to track him or her down to say thanks and point out a project that we can fund by working together.
Share your enthusiasm about specific projects on Twitter, or Facebook, or G+, or FriendFeed, or your Tumblr or LiveJournal. Encourage your online friends to band together to do a bit of tangible good for kids and teachers in the three-dimensional world.
Super-storm Sandy did major damage to the East Coast, especially New Jersey and New York City. The offices of DonorsChoose are in New York City. Their fabulous staff is safe (and mostly dry) and their computer servers are up, which means the Science Bloggers for Students drive has been operational and ready to receive your donations. However, a bunch of potential donors to the drive have probably been kind of distracted keeping their own selves safe and dry.
So, a few things we're doing about this situation.
FIRST, we're extending the drive through next Friday, November 9. This gives our East Coast compatriots who are waiting to get power back a chance to join in the fun. The dollar-for-dollar match from the DonorsChoose Board of Directors will be extended to the end (unless we blow through all $50,000 first, which would be awesome). Just enter SCIENCE in the "Match or gift code" field at checkout, and every dollar you give up to $100 will be doubled.
SECOND, I've added three projects to my giving page from hurricane affected area:
In the event that we get these fully funded before the end of the drive, I'll add more.
THIRD, for each of these new projects that we get to full funding before the end of the drive, I will donate $25 to the American Red Cross for Sandy relief. If we get all three fully funded, I'll donate $100 to the American Red Cross for Sandy relief. If we fully fund additional Sandy-affected-area projects beyond these three, it will be an additional $25 out of my pocket to the American Red Cross for each of them.
If you hit your $100 limit on the matching funds, I know you'll lean on your family and friends who care about science education.
And, now until the end of the drive, you can get your donations matched (up to $100 per donor) thanks to the generosity of the DonorsChoose.org Board of Directors. Just enter the match code SCIENCE in the "Match or gift code" field as you check out.
By the way, the DonorsChoose.org Board of Directors has put up $50,000 in matching funds, so once you've hit your match code limit, you might want to nudge your family, friends, and social media contacts to give to worthy projects and get their donations matched.
My giving page for the challenge is here. You can find other giving pages from Scientopia bloggers here.
Thanks in advance for your generosity!
Transcript of the video:
Today is November 1, 2012, which means that the prediction that the world would end in October of 2012? Didn't happen. Now what?
After your hard work laying in emergency supplies for the apocalypse, a new day dawns ... and there's stuff to do: dishes to wash, rabbit runs to clean, and public school classrooms that still need help getting funds for equipment, field trips, even basic classroom supplies.
Here's where DonorsChoose comes in: Pick a giving page from the Science Bloggers for Students challenge. Check out the projects and find one that matters to you. Give what you can, even if it's just a buck. And now, until the end of the drive, you can use the match code SCIENCE to double your donation, up to $100. Give a dollar, the project you're funding gets two dollars. Give $100, the project gets $200.
The world didn't end -- this time. So take this opportunity to do some good and help some kids before it does.
Or, if you'd like a set of 6 cards printed on nice card-stock, I will send you some for a donation of $1 (or more) to my DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students giving page. Just email me (dr dot freeride at gmail dot com) with the snail mail address to which you'd like them sent (and the name under which you made your donation, if it's not obvious from your email handle).
Since 2006, science bloggers have been working with DonorsChoose.org and our readers to help public school students and teachers get the resources they need to make learning come alive. Is there an origin story for the annual Science Bloggers for Students drive? As a matter of fact*, there is:
If you're reading blogs in this neighborhood of the blogosphere, chances are you care about science, or education, or both. Probably you're the kind of person who thinks that solid -- and engaging -- math and science education is an important resource for kids to have as they hurtle into the future and face the challenges of our modern world.
It's a resource that's getting squeezed by tight public school budgets. But we have the opportunity to do something small that can have an immediate impact.
This year, from October 15 through November 5, a number of science bloggers, whether networked, loosely affiliated, or proudly independent, will be teaming up with DonorsChoose in Science Bloggers for Students, a philanthropic throwdown for public schools.
DonorsChoose is a site where public school teachers from around the U.S. submit requests for specific needs in their classrooms — from books to science kits, overhead projectors to notebook paper, computer software to field trips — that they can’t meet with the funds they get from their schools (or from donations from their students’ families). Then donors choose which projects they’d like to fund and then kick in the money, whether it’s a little or a lot, to help a proposal become a reality.
Over the last several years, bloggers have rallied their readers to contribute what they can to help fund classroom proposals through DonorsChoose, especially proposals for projects around math and science, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, funding hundreds of classroom projects, and impacting thousands of students.
Which is great. But there are a whole lot of classrooms out there that still need help.
To create the scientifically literate world we want to live in, let’s help give these kids -- our future scientists, doctors, teachers, decision-makers, care-providers, and neighbors -- the education they deserve.
One classroom project at a time, we can make things better for these kids. Joining forces with each other people, even small contributions can make a big difference.
The challenge this year runs October 15 through November 5. We’re overlapping with Earth Science Week (October 14-20, 2012) and National Chemistry Week (October 21-27, 2012), a nice chance for earth science and chemistry fans to add a little philanthropy to their celebrations. There are a bunch of Scientopia bloggers mounting challenges this year (check out some of their challenge pages on our leaderboard), as well as bloggers from other networks (which you can see represented on the challenge’s motherboard). And, since today is the official kick-off, there is plenty of time for other bloggers and their readers to enter the fray!
How It Works: Follow the links above to your chosen blogger’s challenge on the DonorsChoose website.
Pick a project from the slate the blogger has selected. Or more than one project, if you just can’t choose. (Or, if you really can’t choose, just go with the “Give to the most urgent project” option at the top of the page.)
(If you’re the loyal reader of multiple participating blogs and you don’t want to play favorites, you can, of course, donate to multiple challenges! But you’re also allowed to play favorites.)
Sit back and watch the challenges inch towards their goals, and check the leaderboards to see how many students will be impacted by your generosity.
Even if you can’t make a donation, you can still help! Spread the word about these challenges using web 2.0 social media modalities. Link your favorite blogger’s challenge page on your MySpace page, or put up a link on Facebook, or FriendFeed, or LiveJournal (or Friendster, or Xanga, or …). Tweet about it on Twitter (with the #scibloggers4students hashtag). Share it on Google +. Sharing your enthusiasm for this cause may inspire some of your contacts who do have a little money to get involved and give.
The DonorsChoose Board of Directors rewards your procrastination... but only if you manage to actually make a donation before the end of the drive!
The DonorsChoose.org Board of Directors is excited about the success of the ongoing Science Bloggers for Students challenge. But, between now and the end of the drive Saturday, the Board of Directors thinks we can do more to connect public school classrooms with the resources they need to make education come alive. So, to encourage you to give -- especially of you've been putting it off or letting someone else do it -- the Board of Directors is matching all donations to Science Bloggers for Students placed between the first moment of Thursday October 20th and the last moment of Saturday, October 22nd (midnight to midnight, Eastern time).
Here's how the match works:
At the end of the three day period, all dollars donated will be totaled, and the Board of Directors will match those dollars. If the donors put up $100, the Board of Directors puts up $100. If the donors put up $10,000, the Board of Directors puts up $10,000. For every dollar you give, you are soaking the DonorsChoose.org Board of Directors for a dollar! Maybe that kind of power to double your impact will help you find a few spare dollars to give.
The number of dollars given by the Board of Directors will be divided by the number of people who donated, and gift codes will be issued to every donor (via e-mail) for an equal share of the matching dollars. So, if 100 people donate a total of $10,000, each donor will receive a $100 DonorsChoose.org gift code.
Individuals will, in turn, have the chance to apply the funds to whatever classroom project they choose.
This is a great opportunity to spend someone else's money to help kids learn about electricity, or to help a biology classroom get microscopes, or to fund a field trip to a science museum (all projects you can support through my giving page) -- or to choose some other classroom project that is dear to your heart and that needs funding.
This is also a good time to show the world that Scientopia blog readers love science so much that they want to help public school classrooms get the materials and experiences in place so students can find their love of science, too. The Scientopia leaderboard is holding steady on the challenge motherboard in the number two slot, ahead of Discover Blogs and behind Freethought Blogs. With the match now in place, donations in any amount, even $10, or $5, or $1, will make a difference while giving those freethinkers something to think about.
If you're a grown-up who's into science, chances are that some teacher or mentor-like person in your childhood did something to spark your interest, to expose you to cool experiments or patterns of scientific reasoning. Maybe it was a trip to see dinosaur skeletons at the natural history museum, or that baking soda and vinegar volcano, or the year your class grew fruit flies or silkworms. Maybe it was learning something unexpected about clouds, or about the digestive system. Maybe it was looking through a telescope for the first time, or discovering what the math you had learned was good for.
Kids today will have a better chance at having that kind of "a ha!" moment if their teachers have the materials and funds to make those moments happen.
If you can spare a little money, you can help make that happen. And, in the process, you can tell the current generation of school kids that their educational experiences matter to you. After all, these kids are going to be the scientists, doctors, engineers, teachers, voters, parents, and decision-makers of the future. What they know about science -- and how they feel about science -- will affect us all.
If you've already donated through Science Bloggers for Students, tell the world why you are a donor. Post a photo on your own blog (please drop a link in the comments), or email me a photo and I'll share it for you. I'm guessing there are even more reasons to be a donor than there are donors ... so far. (As I type this, the leaderboard shows 286 donors to the drive. By Saturday, can we bring that up to 500?)
And remember, if you donate through my giving page by the end of the drive (midnight October 22), you get to assign me a topic for a blog post!
You already know that the science-inclined precincts of the blogosphere are in the midst of Science Bloggers for Students 2011, in which we and DonorsChoose ask you to contribute funds to public school classroom projects which provide books, science kits, safety equipment and reagents, field trips, and other essentials to make learning come alive for students.
You may also recall that the drive this year runs through October 22nd. And, seeing as how that's more than a week away, you maybe have making a donation on the second (or third) page of your to-do list. Or, you figure someone else will do it.
A bunch of other folks (including me!) have donated funds to get the challenge rolling -- the overall total for the drive as I compose this is $13,733 -- but there are so many more classroom projects waiting to be funded. Inertia may be a comfortable default, especially in the face of need so great that its enormity is paralyzing, but if you can spare a few bucks you will be doing something tangible to be a force for good.
And, it's easy. Visit my giving page, check out the projects described there, enter the amount of money you want to give, and check out. It's as quick and painless as buying a book or a T-shirt online.
As I type this post, just over 24 hours remain in this week's challenge (which ends midnight October 13th, Eastern time) to get the most new donors to one's giving page. ThinkGeek will be awarding $50 gift certificates to the five bloggers in the drive who picked up the most new donors this week. If you make me one of those bloggers, I'll be giving away a $50 gift certificate, a $25 gift certificate, and a $10 gift certificate from ThinkGeek to randomly drawn donors to my giving page.
But, you have to put me in the top five for number of donors to make the drawing happen. So seize that window of opportunity!
Set my blogging agenda:
Owing to the vicissitudes of my semester (and the youth soccer season, and the eldest Free-Ride offspring's first year of junior high), I haven't been posting as much as I might be. What do you want me to blog about here? What ethical issue in science should I explore for you? What scientific topic demands a sprog's-eye view? What questions would you like to ask me about my misspent scientific youth?
Until the end of the drive (October 22nd), if you make a donation of any size to my giving page, you get to assign me a blog post. Think of the power! Mwuahahaha!
You don't need to give hundreds of dollars to help (although if you can, don't let us stop you).
Even five dollars can get a classroom project a little bit closer to happening in the three-dimensional world.
The warm fuzzies you'll get from knowing you've helped are totally worth it.
If you can't spare five bucks, we understand. The economy is bad. But maybe tell your friends and family members who can spare five bucks about DonorsChoose, or about one of the specific projects in the challenge, and see if they can help. (That entitles you to a share of their warm fuzzies, right?)
I'd be honored if you chose my giving page to supply your warm fuzzies.
Because, it seems, the younger Free-Ride offspring and I have different ideas of what counts as fair.
Younger Free-Ride offspring:(noticing a song on the radio) Hey, it's "Poker Face". That song is really old.
Dr. Free-Ride: Yes.
Younger Free-Ride offspring: It must be like 15 years old.
Dr. Free-Ride: No, it's not.
Younger Free-Ride offspring: Yes, it is!
Dr. Free-Ride: Do you want to bet?
Younger Free-Ride offspring: OK, I'll bet you a dollar.
Dr. Free-Ride: You sure now? I'm going to fire up Wikipedia to verify the date. And I'm quite sure that the song is no more than five years old.
Younger Free-Ride offspring: Go ahead and check. And if I'm right, lets make it two bucks?
Dr. Free-Ride: What?
Younger Free-Ride offspring: Just look it up. If it's older than five years, I win, if it's less, you win.
Dr. Free-Ride: OK. See, it came out in 2008, which means it's only three years old. Will you be paying me my dollar now or later?
Younger Free-Ride offspring: That's no fair! You knew it was less than five years old.
Dr. Free-Ride: Yes, I did. That's why I was willing to bet on it.
Younger Free-Ride offspring: But I didn't know that you knew.
Dr. Free-Ride: But I told you I was certain.
Younger Free-Ride offspring: I thought you were wrong that you knew it. And it wasn't fair for you to bet me if you knew the answer for sure.
So, apparently, taking a gamble with too little uncertainty attached to it is unfair. Or maybe my crime is having absorbed some facts about young-person music.
* * * * * Speaking of fairness, I don't think it's fair for public school kids to bear so much of the brunt of failing state and local budgets. If you agree, it would be awesome if you could donate even a few bucks to one of the projects in my giving page for the DonorsChoose Science Bloggers for Students 2011 drive.
And, for the next week, through the very last moment (Eastern Time) of Thursday, October 13th, bloggers in the challenge will be competing to get the most new donors to their giving pages. The five bloggers in the challenge who pick up the most new donors during this window will each receive a $50 gift certificate for ThinkGeek stuff.
I love ThinkGeek stuff, but I love reader participation even more -- which means, if you all can help me get to the top five so I can win that gift certificate, I'm going to turn around and give each of my donors a chance to win one, too! I'm prepared to give away a $50 gift certificate, a $25 gift certificate, and a $10 gift certificate to randomly drawn donors to my giving page (because that would be fair). Just forward me a copy of the email DonorsChoose sends you to confirm your donation to my giving page and you're in the drawing.
There may be some other incentives for your participation, too ... stay tuned!