Adventures in Ethics and Science

You already know that we’re working with DonorsChoose to raise some money for public school teachers who are trying to give their students the engaging educational experiences they deserve (and who, owing to dismal state and local budgets, need our help more than ever). You also know that our benevolent overlords at Seed will be randomly selecting some donors to receive nifty prizes (details about this to be posted as soon as I get them).

Of course, helping public school teachers deliver the education their students deserve is it’s own reward, but that doesn’t mean you might not want a little something to recognize your donation. So, as I did last year, I’m going sweeten the deal by offering some incentive to everyone who donates to my challenge.

Because money seems to be tight for almost everyone, I’ve knocked down the level of some of the donations needed to get particular thank-you swag, and I’ve added a “crafty” new incentive this time around. Here’s what you can get if you donate to my challenge:

An original (and probably nerdy) poem, written just for you:

For a $10 donation, I’ll write you a poem. You get to specify the topic of the poem and the poetic form (or the famous poem you’d like me to use as the model for the poem I’m writing for you).

If $10 is more than you can spare, a $5 donation with get you a nerdy haiku on the topic of your choice.

You have your choice of keeping the poem all to yourself, posting it on your blog or website, or having me post it here (as a tribute to your generosity) on my blog. You’ll get your poem delivered before the end of November!

Original artwork by the sprogs:

For a $20 donation, you can commission a piece of artwork from the talented Free-Ride offspring. Again, you specify the subject (and any favorite colors you’d like them to use).
I’ll email you the JPEG or, if you’re a Luddite like me, I can send you the art by snail mail. And, if you like, we can post the picture here on the blog to recognize your generosity.

**Donate $30 and you can get a sprog-illustrated poem!**

**Donate $25 and you can get a sprog-illustrated haiku!**

A collection of Friday Sprog Blogging temporary tattoos:

If you like sprog artwork enough to wear it, a $25 donation will get you some sprog art in temporary tattoo form. I’ll mail 15 temporary tattoos (5 each of cow-chicken, harp seal, “the world is made of science”) to wherever you get yourself dressed.

The basic concepts post you’ve been wanting me to write:

For a $35 donation, you can tell me which basic concept (in chemistry, philosophy, or some other realm of my expertise, please) I ought to post about next. And lo, I shall write that post, and if you so wish it, recognize you as the patron of that post.

An after school experiment:

You suggest it, the Free-Ride offspring and I will test it! For a $40 donation to my challenge, the sprogs and I will figure out how to translate your idea to an experiment that can safely and enjoyably be conducted in the home. (Obviously, this puts some constraints on us — radioactive materials are probably not going to fly — so give me two ideas and we’ll make one of them work.)

We will document the experiment and post it here, of course.

A chemical structure on a sampler:

Have a thing for caffeine, or theobromine, or capsaicin (pictured below)? For a $50 donation to my challenge, I’ll stitch your molecule’s structure into a sampler, stitch a pretty border around it, and send you the result, suitable for framing.

i-febdb5ea22a3ee900ffa83183bb19fbe-CapsaicinSmall.jpg

There are a few limitations with this thank-you prize. I’m not going to do a molecule whose three-dimensional geometry is too challenging to represent in two dimensions (sucrose is about my limit). I won’t do any molecules much larger than capsaicin. And, I’m not going to stitch you the chemical structure of an illegal drug. (Think of this as the equivalent of the “No pipes or bongs!” rule in your high school ceramics class.)

I’m hopeful that at least one of these items will help motivate you to give.

To get in on these little tokens of my appreciation, go to my challenge and make a donation to one (or more) of the projects you see listed there. Then, when you get your email confirmation from DonorsChoose, forward it to me (dr.freeride@gmail.com) along with the information about the kind of “thank you” gift you’d like.

And in the event that individual incentives are not your cup of tea, I’ll also be offering something a collective reward for the lot of you, should you get me to my overall goal. (It’s probably not going to be a tattoo this year, since I suspect my mother has gotten to you.) More information on that soon!

Comments

  1. #1 Isis the Scientist
    October 1, 2009

    Wow! These prizes rule!!!

  2. #2 DrugMonkey
    October 1, 2009

    But…if I have Federal permission to work with the compound in question, then it isn’t illegal if I request it, right??

  3. #3 Gaythia
    October 1, 2009

    I love the Sprog connection, and think that somehow Donors Choose ought to incorporate this into their thank you note feature.

    Wouldn’t that be cool? Donate to a classroom, and set a whole classroom to work on creative responses? It would be sort of like doubling your money.

  4. #4 Janet D. Stemwedel
    October 1, 2009

    In fact, when the classroom projects are funded, the teachers and their students send handwritten thank you notes (plus photos of the kids using the supplies, doing the activities, etc.). They are simultaneously heartwarming and hilarious.

  5. #5 Ewan
    October 1, 2009

    I like DrugMonkey’s exemption application :). Shall I send a scan of my DEA license?

    [Insulin is a bit much, but glucose should be fine, yes?]

    I also want to second Janet’s comment on the feedback from classrooms. Those are just delightful packages to received: we’ve had them from everyone from 3rd grade up to college level, and you really get a sense that it made a difference to some kids. tres cool.

    Hmm. Now I’m conflicted. I’ve had two years’ worth of hippocampal poetry, though, so probably the sampler is the way to go this year..

  6. #6 Janet D. Stemwedel
    October 1, 2009

    Sure, if you can provide proof of a license, I can consider molecules that are Schedule I.

    But as I philosopher, I already get a fair bit of flak for corrupting the youth, so I’m going to tread lightly!

  7. #8 Ewan
    October 5, 2009

    Prizes claimed. *Cool* stuff ;-). [Also, thanks for the dissection focus.]