Maybe you remember that fund-raiser we did for DonorsChoose last June. We're kicking off another today. But 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 before we get to the frenzy of competition, let's start with what matters: the school kids yearning to learn.
As I wrote last year:
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 Blogger 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.
This year, the challenge runs for the entire month of October. A number of ScienceBloggers have already put together challenges, but I suspect a few more may arrive fashionably late. Here's who's in 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)
How It Works:
Follow the links above to the DonorsChoose website.
Pick a project from the slate the blogger has selected (or more than one project, if you just can't choose).
(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!)
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!
Sit back and watch the little donation thermometers inch towards 100 percent, and check the ScienceBlogs leaderboard to see how many students will be impacted by your generosity.
We have a couple more thoughts on how to improve the math and science outlook for kids, thoughts that we'll be trying to turn into actions with your help. More on those soon!
Wow! Reading that challenge page is just about one of the saddest things I have seen in a long while. The idea that a science teacher in the richest society in the history of humanity needs to go BEGGING to get hold of crucibles just shocks me. Seriously, check out some the things they are asking for, modelling clay! They have to beg strangers for modelling clay...
I will be donating, as soon as my pay cheque comes through.
For the sake of all that is holy! One teacher, on another blog's challenge is begging for an OHP! A teacher begging for an OHP.. how on earth can you claim to have a functioning education system when the funding isnt even there for an OHP! Some teachers in my school are upset because they are having to wait a couple of months for IWBs. Meanwhile, they are struggling by with data projectors and laptops. And we are not an especially well equipped school by any means.