Friday Action Item: Support science teaching through Donors Choose

In the wake of the recent U.S. election, we at *The Molecular Ecologist wanted to better use the site to help organize our community’s support for scientific inquiry and science education under an administration that may be quite unfriendly to them. One small thing we thought we could do is highlight “action items” every week. Look for these “Friday Action Item” posts for ideas about specific things you can do to support science — from calling Congress to helping crowd-fund a cool new research project. Got a suggestion for a future Action Item? E-mail and tell us all about it!*
Public school classrooms are the point of entry into science for the vast majority of children in the United States, yet public schools are dramatically variable in the resources they have to offer. This is in large part because nationwide, public education is supported by local property taxes, which converts economic inequality into inequality of opportunity. One small way to help fix this is provided by Donors Choose, a kind of Kickstarter for classroom supplies. The Donors Choose website lets K-12 teachers propose projects, activities, or supply purchases with set budgets, and lets donors choose which to support — you can search proposals by subject matter, grade level, supply type, geography, and economic need. Here’s a few examples that are particularly apt for molecular ecologists:

Many of the proposed project budgets are heartbreakingly modest, and some have donation matching offers from Donors Choose sponsors — a donation of $20 can make a big difference. So that’s your Action Item this week: help fund science education at the earliest stage.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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