Donors Choose 2010!

By Phil Plait | October 14, 2010 1:19 pm

You know, we here at Bad Astronomy central (and by we I mean me, and by BA Central I mean my house) spend a lot of time and electrons lamenting the state of education in this country. I do what I can to actually do some good out there, and sometimes I ask you guys, my loyal if somewhat goofy readers, for help.


donorschooselogoEvery year, a A very cool group called Donors Choose sets up a way for people to give whatever they can directly to classrooms across the United States. The teachers and classes decide what they need, and create a page describing it. Then folks like me can link to an easy-to-use page so that you can contribute as much or little as you want.

Science bloggers have been great in promoting this. Cosmic Variance and The Intersection, for example, set theirs up already, and more of the Hive Overmind Discover Magazine bloggers are on their way. In fact, other blog collectives are participating as well, and we usually have a bit of an informal competition to see who can do the best. Since our readers are the smartest, best-looking, and most generous, it’s clear we’re a cinch.

I set donation page up to list Math and Science classes with no region specified; they can be from east to west, north to south. But what they all need is a little support.

Here’s my Bad Astronomy Science-a-thon 2010 page.

If you can help, take a look and see which one of the projects tickles your brain. There’s also a widget in the right-hand-sidebar of this very BABlog that’ll be up the whole time the challenge is running — that’ll save you having to find this page again. And it even has stats of how much people have given so far.

And even better: Hewlett Packard has agreed to match any donation up to $50,000! So whatever you give, twice as much will get to the classroom.

The challenge runs from right now through November 9. To everyone who gives: thanks.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, Cool stuff, Science
MORE ABOUT: Donors Choose

Comments (16)

  1. Physicalist

    Goofy!??!! I’m goofy???!!!

    Well, I’ll try to help despite that slur . . .

  2. I resemble the goofy comment much more than I’d care to admit. ūüėģ

    I will forward this to some teachers and others that I know can get a lot of use and publicity out of this. Thanks!

  3. I’ll put a link to this on my blog, and spread the word as much as I can. Good luck!

  4. Melissa

    Just a quick note – DonorsChoose operates year round, it’s just that once a year they do a blogger challenge. So if you miss the challenge for any reason, don’t think you can’t donate directly to classrooms later this year!

  5. Dan

    Neat, one of those projects is in my city. Donated!

  6. DonorsChoose isn’t just an annual thing – its operations are ongoing. It’s just once a year that the bloggers get into the act.

  7. BJN

    A few days ago I funded a Donors Choose project that used art materials for earth science teaching. Donors Choose is extremely well conceived and executed. You’ll feel great helping education in a way that’s very personal and immediate. You may be able to direct other local or employer matching funds for a project too!

  8. At the time of writing, there are only two projects remaining on the Bad Astronomy Science-a-thon list.

    But there are thirteen remaining on the Cosmic Variance Challenge (including a bunch of mathematics ones) and eight remaining on the Intersection‘s page. So nobody looking for something to donate to needs to feel short of choices.

  9. Other Paul

    As somebody from the UK and therefore living in a competing capitalist economy (albeit one with a special relationship) surely it would be in my best interest to do everything I could to keep the USA in a thirteenth century mindset? Why would I help out?

    Now you might present such remarks as some kind of a spur, nefarious foreigners’n’all that, plotting to keep you in the middle ages – and there’d be very little I could do about such flagrant misuse – but I’m quite sure you’d not do that.

  10. Looks like those 2 will be completed soon! Might I suggest you add the following to the list:

  11. it works? if yes, maybe we have to try it and in Greece.

  12. Speaking od science and teaching:

    I just ran into this thread on the JREF forums

    Basically there is a resolution to “Keep non-scientific ideas out of the science curriculum”. I think we should all support this as well. And of course, it’s not a resolution in Texas, that would be just silly!

  13. Jack Mitcham

    Shipped a meager sum towards some chemistry supplies. I hope the project reaches completion.

  14. lisak

    Glad to see this, sir! I’ve been using DonorsChoice for some time now and really enjoy reading some of the creative ideas for educating our kids! I’ll be glad to join in the blog challenge.

  15. Adam

    This is a good cause.

    I donated to 4 or 5 classrooms and the teachers all sent personal thank yous and when the project is funded and they get whatever they asked for, the teacher will often post pictures of the students using their new stuff.

    One of the ones I donated to bought a science class a small telescope that the teacher sets up after school once its dark if any students/parents want to come.

    Another school was so poor that their class didnt have a single computer so i contributed to getting them a laptop so they could do the online portion of their math curriculum every day as a class.

    It’s terrible how poor some of these schools are… and there’s a TON of science related ones on there to donate to.

  16. Can any of you help spread the word for my class and the Science project I am DESPERATE to get funded? I have requested the materials 3 times now…. and so far my only donor is my mom! :-)

    Any help would be appreciated. My kids are so awesome and love Science, but I really don’t have any materials except gardening supplies from completed Donors Choose projects.

    From a teacher’s perspective, Donors Choose has completely transformed my classroom. I just can’t afford the great things that I need, but many generous donors have helped me to create an engaging classroom.

    Thanks in advance,


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