Tag: Donors Choose

Reminder: Donors Choose

By Phil Plait | November 1, 2012 12:45 pm

[UPDATE (Nov. 2): I’ve just been informed the Challenge has been extended to November 9th due to the chaos on the east coast.]

A quick reminder: I am participating in the Donors Choose Science Blog Challenge to raise money for teachers in need. The funds go to educators in at-risk schools so they can get the tools they need to teach kids math, science, and other topics. I have more background on this in my first announcement post.

If you were thinking of donating, I have some nice news: Donors Choose has set up a matching fund! Every dollar you donate (up to $100 per donation) will be matched by Donors Choose themselves. This is a $50,000 pool of money they have promised, which will buy a whole lot of science for kids who are curious and excited about the world, but lack the resources to fill that desire.

When you fill out the donation page, a text box will come up asking for a code. Just enter SCIENCE, and your donation will double. It’s just that simple. This offer will go through the end of the campaign (on November 5) or when the money runs out, whichever occurs first. As I write this, 18 people have donated a total of $2000 which is going to over 400 students. That warms my heart immensely.

As always, thank you for helping out. If you’ve ever seen a kid’s face when they get that "AHA!" moment in a science class, then you’ll know why I love this funding drive. We’re literally bringing the world to these students, and it means the world to them.

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

Donors Choose 2012

By Phil Plait | October 18, 2012 7:01 am

Science education is important to me. Science is the study of reality, of how the Universe works, and math is the language the Universe speaks. To understand them is, literally, to know the Universe.

Not everyone in the US gets that chance. A lot of schools and teachers simply don’t have the money they need to give kids the education they need.

That’s why, every year, I participate in the Donors Choose Science Blog Challenge – fund raising for teachers who are looking to create or buy educational materials for their classrooms. Donors Choose is an organization that supports teachers by letting them create their own funding page – a bit like KickStarter, but for educators.

Every year, Donors Choose has their Science Blog Challenge to raise as much money as possible over a three week period.This year’s challenge ends on November 5.

I have created a Bad Astronomy page on their website where you – the readers of my blog, and lovers of sciencey things – can kick in some cash. You can peruse the projects teachers have listed, and give to the ones you want (hence the name Donors Choose). I just bet there’s something there you wish you could’ve done when you were in school. Why not give a kid the chance you may not have had?

Last year, this blog raised nearly $6000 for those students. Let’s see what we can do in 2012. Thanks.

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

Wrap up: Donors Choose

By Phil Plait | October 28, 2011 12:00 pm

I want to thank everyone who contributed to the Donors Choose science blogger challenge. Because of you all — 90 people who donated in total coming from this blog and my other outlets like Twitter and Google+ — we raised $5,887, and 2,480 students will see new science materials in their clasrooms!


Think about that. Nearly 2500 students, positively affected by strangers who simply want more science taught in school. Some of the donations were for a little bit, and some for a lot, but they all added up to a huge effect on those kids’ lives.

So thank you to every who participated, and know that you have been a great help. And for those of you who donated in the last couple of days, I’ve been told the matching donation email has been sent. Check your inbox, and in just a minute of your time you can double your impact.

Y’all are great. Thanks again.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog
MORE ABOUT: Donors Choose

Last call: Donors Choose

By Phil Plait | October 21, 2011 9:43 am

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been participating in a science blogger challenge with Donors Choose, to raise as much money as we can to go to classrooms that need science equipment.

The challenge ends Saturday at midnight Eastern US time. I just got a note from the folks at Donors Choose saying that from now until then, every dollar donated will be matched by their Board of Directors! This is a great chance to double the amount of money given to children who need to learn science in school. Once all the donations are in, the folks at Donors Choose will take the total amount and divide it by the number of people who donated. You will then receive a gift code via email that will allow you to give that amount to the classroom of your choice. So if the total is $15,000, and 150 people donated, then everyone gets a $100 gift code to donate, no matter how much you personally gave.

If you want more info you can read my original post about the challenge, or just go to the Donors Choose page I’ve set up.

The sidebar of my blog (over on the right) has a widget that says how much we’ve raised here at Bad Astronomy so far (nearly $4000 as I write this, much more than last year [UPDATE (18:30 Mountain time) Holy mackerel! Since I posted this, we’re over $5k! Thanks everyone!]). To everyone who has donated and to everyone who will: my very large thanks. And I’m an astronomer, so "very large" to me is vast indeed. And for the kids who get to benefit from it, it’s even bigger.

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

Reminder: Donors Choose

By Phil Plait | October 12, 2011 12:17 pm

Just a quick reminder: I’m participating in a blogger’s challenge with Donors Choose to raise money to get science supplies for classrooms in need. I have added a link in the sidebar of the blog (just below the picture of me) so that you can see how much has been raised, and which also provides a link to the donation page.

If you can’t donate, that’s fine, but if you could, please help spread the word through the social networks; Twitter, Facebook, Google+, whatever you can. This is a great way to get people to contribute directly to kids who need to learn about the joy and wonder of exploring the Universe. Thanks!

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

Please help kids in need learn about math and science

By Phil Plait | October 10, 2011 10:36 am

Exposing people to science, to the wonders of the natural world, is a major theme here on the BA blog. There are so many amazing and interesting things going on in the Universe that sometimes all you really need to do is show them to people, and they’re hooked.

Sometimes, though, they need a little help.

A lot of kids in the US are in desperate need of school supplies to help them learn about math and science. That’s why, once again, I am starting up my Donors Choose page. This is a fantastic group that allows teachers to let people know what things they need and how much it will cost, and then people can donate as much or as little as they want, to the classrooms they want to.

Last year, Bad Astronomy Bloggees — that’s you guys! — donated over $2600 to worthy classrooms. I’d love to be able to raise that much or more this year, too. This is part of a challenge to see which science blogs raise the most money. So if you can, get a smaller cup of coffee, forgo one t-shirt with a snarky message on it, cook one fewer cupcakes, and take that money you saved and send it to some kids who want to learn about the Universe.

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 2011 page.

If you can help, take a look and see which one of the projects clicks with you. This year, the challenge runs from right now through October 22.

I bet a lot of folks reading this right now have a fond memory of a special project, something they did in school that stuck with them into adulthood. I can name ten, personally. So let’s help others have those great memories, too.


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


By Phil Plait | October 26, 2010 1:00 pm

Just some quick reminders of things that may interest y’all:

celestron_contest_bannerThe Celestron Capture the Universe contest is still going strong! This is an astrophotography contest sponsored by Celestron and Discover Magazine. The rules and all that are at that link, but I might suggest that the comet Hartley 2, currently in the far north, is making an excellent target of itself for the next few days. The contest ends on Friday, October 30, so hurry!

donorschooselogoThe Donors Choose fundraiser is also still going on. So far, my generous readers have donated well over $2000 to help students learn math and science! I am really, really proud of all of you, and extremely grateful for helping this tremendous effort. You’ve made a lot of teachers and kids across America really happy.

physics.org_logoDon’t forget to take a look at the best physical science websites up for the Physics.org awards! I’m judging the Best Q&A sites, and I’m looking forward to poring over them, though not so much looking forward to choosing my favorite. That’ll be tough… and you can help, since every category has a People’s Choice award, too!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog, Cool stuff, Science

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

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