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Mrs. OPARA-NADI from Jackson MS is requesting Other through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.


The cost of a microscope, EZ garden kit, projector and digital camera for this project is $2189, including shipping and <a target="new" href="" onclick="g_openWindow('', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.

  • $2,094 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Research suggests that the teacher has been the most important piece that makes learning occur. Teachers have always been responsible for teaching content. With the expansion of technology, teachers must also take on added responsibilities of teaching the students how to use the computer as a tool and create innovative strategies to enhance student learning. Learning in a collaborative educational environment where access to information is ubiquitous and involves the active engagement of the student in both the process of comprehending information and reconstructing it into knowledge. This active process requires resources and tools that are nontraditional. "EGO SYSTEM 2006" is a challenging project that enables students to create an ecosystem that provides the necessary environmental factors that will sustain plant life. Approximately, 1100 students attend our school and 87% receive free/reduced meals. In this project based learning activity, students collaboratively design, build and monitor an ecosystem. This project will be a model program for our feeder elementary school science classes. Our school campus is located in an urban setting and has adequate acreage for the plots. In this Math, Science, English, Social Studies, and Technology project, 8th grade students individually research tropical, desert and aquatic ecosystems. Science teachers assist students to individually, scan sites and collect data about their ecosystem. They will also look for preexisting and existing food chains. In Social Studies, teachers discuss how signs of animal tracks, homes, evidence of eating, and pathways give clues about who/what lived previously in the selected ecosystem. The Technology teacher will assist students in designing a blueprint using their computer spreadsheet program. Students will combine their ideas to develop a group blue print and model ecosystem. The Language Arts teacher will direct students in writing poems about the types of flowers and plants in the ecosystem. Students also research and perform comparative analysis of various wildlife plants to human influenced plants. We feel that this is a noteworthy project due to the present day effects that global warming has on our community in sustaining a future eco system. The grade levels impacted by this grant are K-8 with a student body of over 1200+ students. This is an excellent model project because it has connections to math, science, technology, language arts, and social studies. It will give the elementary students a connection to their daily lives in their community, and middle school curriculum, thus fostering curiosity and further learning. Video and digital journals of activities will foster technology as an essential tool in documenting lessons learned and presentation to other elementary schools. The connections to math, technology and science include collecting data as students make quantitative observations. Measurement of the following items are performed: The number of plant clippings; Dept of the soil; The height of the water; The different plant species recognized in a 5 or 10 ft.; distance; The height of the plant, and Width of the leaves. Students organize this data in a chart and graph the results. Scientific investigations begin with basic observations, a proposed question, and experimental design, leading to the development of critical thinking skills. After analysis, students select plants appropriate for their plots. Students observe their ecosystem and record the color of their plant(s). Students will research what their plants need to survive and use computers and spreadsheets to aid in their research collection of data and as electronic journals. The use of a microscope and digital camera is also necessary for the recording of initial observations. Summary: Phase 1: Students will create an ecosystem that provides the necessary environmental factors that will sustain plant life. Students will collaboratively design, build and monitor their ecosystem. Students will integrate math, science, technology, English, and social studies to make everyday connections. As members of the same team, we feel closest to the work and know best how to perform and improve our jobs. Having the same planning period and common students, we can develop more creative solutions to difficult problems. We can eliminate student duplication of activities allowing them to adapt various learning strategies. We believe that we can build commitment and support for new ideas among staff and community members. The project head will be the science teacher, but as this is a collaborative project, other team members will collaborate in assuming other roles. My technology classes are project based and lends itself to the development of technological skills while supporting the academic curriculum. Please support Phase 1 of this project: Materials Needed: plants, thread, microscope, tools, digital camera - E-Z Garden Kit After completing this project, students will be able to: use technology to design blueprints for their ecosystem; build functional ecosystem from their blueprint; work cooperatively in groups with enhanced teamwork skills; collect data while monitoring the growth of the ecosystem; graph the data collected; manipulate variables to see how they affect the ecosystem, and prepare individual lab reports that represents their research findings. Please support Phase 2 of this project: Materials Needed: OLYMPUS STYLUS 710 DIGITAL CAMERA Finally, students make multimedia presentations of their work. This project illustrates equal learning opportunities for all students. They are given the freedom to investigate an ecosystem of their choice, which may relate to their own cultural background. There is a strong connection to English because the students are reading, writing, researching and working on their note-taking skills. Each student will also be required to write a poem about the ecosystem. In using the project-based approach to learning, the students will effectively learn and use technology as a tool to enhance and compliment their project in a realistic setting. To measure students' knowledge, attitudes, and ascertain knowledge growth from lessons learned, a lab report organized using scientific reporting format. Please support Phase 3 of this project: SHARP XR10S MULTIMEDIA DATA PROJECTOR Using technology in the teaching project "EGO SYSTEM 2006," is a project that easily lends itself across the curriculum and is designed for middle school but the concept can be shared with elementary school students. Emphasis is placed on content, group work, and the process of inquiry-based science. The project requires a minimum time frame of four weeks, during which time students will research, design, and build a living ecosystem. Each student in the class independently researches ecosystems. The students will draw a blueprint of a model they would like to build to sustain life for the plants in their ecosystem. Upon completion of this project, students will use their journals to write individual lab reports illustrating their procedure for creating their ecosystem, data collected, sketches of the progression of the ecosystem over time, and any additional observation/conclusions they will make. Assessment of each student's efforts for this project will be based on their participation, lab report, and whether or not they were able to sustain life within their ecosystem. Technology, in every instance of this project, is used to enhance and motivate student's participation in each activity. It is not taught as an isolated subject because it is a tool for students to be actively engaged in the comprehension of information and the enhancement of knowledge. Digital cameras are needed to create digital journals and reports for authentic learning and documentation. The LCD projector is used for class and school presentations of authentic learning experiences.

Grades 6-8
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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2 donors2 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 1200 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
SHARP XR10S MULTIMEDIA DATA PROJECTOR -- Sharp XR-10S Multimedia DLP Projector • Quill Corporation $799.98 1 $799.98
OLYMPUS STYLUS 710 DIGITAL CAMERA -- Olympus Digital Cameras; Stylus 710 • Quill Corporation $329.99 1 $329.99
MICROSCOPE NASCO WP-A-100 • Nasco $279.09 1 $279.09
E-Z Garden Kit • Delta Education $98.00 1 $98.00

Materials cost


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Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


2 Donors


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Project Activity

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