Like many (perhaps all) of my readers, I've been interested in certain things my entire life. Facts about the natural world. What things are. How things work. What will happen when you poke that with a stick? As luck would have it, I managed to turn this proclivity into my livelihood. Not bad. I also get to participate in a great human endeavor that lays down lasting improvements for our species and our planet. Nice. It would be great if this opportunity was available to all young children with similar interest would it not? Well, interest is great but children require a fertile environment in which to pursue their interests.
It was my great fortune to grow up in a science geek household. I can't offer that advantage to any but a very limited group of mini-wackaloons but I can take some small and painless steps in that direction for more children. Today I am asking you to join me Dear Readers.
Many of the ScienceBlogs bloggers, including your hosts here at DrugMonkey, will be running challenges at DonorsChoose for the month of October. We are participating in the 2008 DonorsChoose.org Blogger Challenge in support of public schools. The system is simple:
- Teachers Ask (for classroom project materials)
- You Choose (a project to bring to life)
- Students Learn (and thank you with letters and photos)
The ScienceBlogs leaderboard is a great place for you to start looking over projects, pre-selected by some of your favorite blogs to reduce information overload.
I would also encourage you to click over to DonorsChoose.org and start browsing projects using the search page. From here you can gate your search by your local state, region, grade level or by topic area for the project (it is not just all about science). The reason I encourage you to start here is that the current state of educational resources in the US may shock you. By this I mean that many of the things that you took for granted as a default part of your public school education are now things that teachers (and local Parent Teacher Organizations; PTO) must figure out how to fund themselves. I hope, DearReader, that even in this time of financial unheaval in the US and and elsewhere, despite your political donation budget you can shake loose a small amount of money for children you may never meet. They need our help.
I have selected a few specific projects to highlight as part of my challenge to you, DearReader. Other ScienceBloggers will highlight additional projects for your consideration. But really, the specific projects are less important than choosing something that really strikes your fancy, whether it be supporting schools in your local region, a particular grade level, disabled children or, as I did last year, lending support for introducing a whitebread sport like lacrosse in an inner city school for highly idiosyncratic reasons.
As a final note, Janet D. Stemwedel of Adventures in Ethics and Science is the ringleader and chief catherder for our participation in this endeavor. Her introductory posts from this year's challenge and from the inaugural 2006 challenge offer more information. You might want to drop her a note of appreciation as well.
One thing you will want to note from Janet's post:
DonorsChoose will send you a confirmation email. Hold onto it; our benevolent overlords at Seed will be randomly selecting some donors to receive nifty prizes. Details about the prizes and how to get entered will be posted here soon!
I will be randomly selecting donors to the DrugMonkey Blog challenge for prizes as well. So if you donate to our list and want to be in the running for DrugMonkey schwag, also forward the confirmation to drugmnky at the googly mail.