Terra Sigillata

The ScienceBlogs/DonorsChoose raise-money-to-help-science-classrooms-a-thon!

Those of us who blog here at ScienceBlogs think science is cool, important, and worth understanding. If you’re reading the blogs here, chances are you feel the same way.

A lot of us fell in love with science because of early experiences in school — teachers who made science intriguing, exciting, maybe a little bit dangerous. But tightening budgets are making it harder and harder for public school teachers to provide the books, equipment, and field trips to make science come alive for kids.

DonorsChoose.org gives us a way to help teachers get the job done. A bunch of us at ScienceBlogs have set up Bloggers Challenges which will let us (and that includes you) contribute to worthy school projects in need of financial assistance. We’ll be able to track our progress right on the DonorsChoose site. And — because we like a little friendly competition — we’ll be updating you periodically as to which blogger’s readers are getting his or her challenge closest to its goal.

You don’t need to give a barrel of money to help the kids — as little as $10 can help. You’re joining forces with a bunch of other people, and all together, your small contributions can make a big difference.

Who’s In:

Here are the ScienceBlogs bloggers who are participating with Bloggers Challenges:

A Blog Around the Clock (challenge here)
Adventures in Ethics and Science (challenge here)
Aetiology (challenge here)
Afarensis (challenge here)
Cognitive Daily (challenge here)
Evolgen (challenge here)
Gene Expression (challenge here)
Good Math, Bad Math (challenge here)
Island of Doubt (challenge here)
Mike the Mad Biologist (challenge here)
Neurotopia, version 2.0 (challenge here)
Pharyngula (challenge here)
Pure Pedantry (challenge here)
The Questionable Authority (challenge here)
The Scientific Activist (challenge here)
Stranger Fruit (challenge here)
Terra Sigillata (challenge here)
Uncertain Principles (challenge here)
The World’s Fair (challenge here)

How It Works

Follow the links above to the DonorsChoose website. (I’ll be following with a post on why I selected the three projects on my challenge list.)

Pick a project from the slate the blogger has selected (or more than one).

Donate.

(If you’re the loyal reader of multiple participating blogs and you don’t want to play favorites, you can donate to multiple challenges!)

When Donors Choose sends you a confirmation email, forward it to: sb.donorschoose.bonanza@gmail.com This is your contest entry.

Sit back and watch the little donation thermometers inch towards 100 percent. Once the Challenge ends, we’ll select winners at random.

Contest you say? What’s that about?

Just in case you’re on the fence about helping the kids, we thought we’d provide some incentives to randomly drawn donors. They are:

Subscriptions to Seed magazine

ScienceBlogs mugs

What We Believe But Cannot Prove, edited by John Brockman

The Republican War on Science, by Chris Mooney

Rebuilt: My Journey Back to the Hearing World, by Michael Chorost

Subscriptions to TIME magazine

Blogging in a Snap, by Julie Meloni

Galileo’s Daughter, by Dava Sobel

The Scientific Renaissance: 1450-1630, by Marie Boas Hall

Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference, by Judea Pearl

Paleoanthropology (1st ed) by Milford Wolpoff (gently used)

Administrative Details

The contest will run from June 15 to July 1. Email your entries by July 1! Prize notification will start by July 5.

And, credit where credit is due: This drive was inspired by Sarah D. Bunting’s wildly successful Tomato Nation DonorsChoose fund raiser this past March. Sars, you’re an inspiration to us all.

I should also add that the ScienceBlogs Challenge was spearheaded entirely by Prof Janet Stemwedel/Dr Free-Ride at Adventures in Science and Ethics, with the support of Sb den mother, Katherine Sharpe, in Seed’s NYC office. There has been a ton of backroom communication to get this thing launched and it is only too easy for me to bring this to the attention of readers of Terra Sigillata.