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Mr. Philhower from Oakland CA is requesting Instructional Technology through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Looking Closely at California Native Plants

My students need microscopes, hand lenses, and real-life texts to learn about the traits of California native plants.

  • $286 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Our students are makers. They love making sense of concepts through experiential learning, whether exploring local museums, working through the design process, or observing a chemical change. Our students are learning to lead their own learning, with integrity, agency and love. Our students know that "just-right" instruction is key to their growth, and understand that grappling with new content requires hard work.

Our students represent the ethnic, economic, language and religious diversity of East Oakland.

At our school, we know that real learning only happens if students feel a deep sense of agency and belonging, able to exert some control over the pace and place of their learning. Third graders begin and end their day in Crew, and split the rest of their time between our Self-directed learning lab, Expedition time, and Retreat (lunch and recess.) With each year a student spends at our school, their ability to lead their own learning grows and grows.

My Project

Our students need to see, feel, and read about plants and seeds in order to learn about heredity and inherited traits. This project has a specific focus on drought-tolerant plant traits, and requires students to scientifically observe and draw the phases of a plant's life cycle AND examples of California native plants. These materials will make a difference for students as we use the digital microscope and hand lenses in connection with our Wisconsin Fast Plants grow lab. Then students will use the California plants books to make a recommendation to the landscape architects as our new campus is designed!

Mr. Philhower
Grades 3-5
More than half of students from low‑income households

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Celestron 5 MP Handheld Digital Microscope Pro • Amazon Business $76.92 1 $76.92
The Drought-Defying California Garden: 230 Native Plants for a Lush, Low-Water Landscape • Amazon Business $12.88 4 $51.52
Seeds Sprout! (I Like Plants!) • Amazon Business $6.95 4 $27.80
ETA hand2mind Hand Lenses with 3X and 6X Magnification (Pack of 6) • Amazon Business $7.94 2 $15.88
1: How to Draw 60 Native California Plants and Animals: A Field Guide (Volume 1) • Amazon Business $10.95 1 $10.95
Gregor Mendel: The Friar Who Grew Peas • Amazon Business $9.29 1 $9.29

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


1 Donor


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Excluded support for DonorsChoose


Still needed View calculationHide calculation


Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.

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Project Activity

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