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Mr. Finney from Flushing NY is requesting Supplies through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

See the Light - and Bend It!

My students need lenses, mirrors and prisms to bend light.

  • $163 goal

This project expired on February 1, 2011.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Our school serves an urban, low income population of recent immigrants who are classified as English language learners, or ELLs. These young people are from diverse nations, religious faiths and life experiences.

Some of our kids enjoyed consistent schooling in their own countries, while others had their education interrupted by civil war, famine and economic disruption.

The common thread they share is our school, which brings this unlikely community together to learn, grow and work towards their own version of the American dream. One of the persistent challenges in teaching in such a heterogeneous environment is reaching everyone 'where they are.' Science can be an abstract concept for native English speakers, and the vocabulary creates a significant barrier between these kids and their understanding of nature. To meet this challenge, we rely heavily on hands-on experiences that both provide kids a chance to develop new science understandings, as well as a tangible context for learning a rich English vocabulary. For teaching optics, we have recently obtained a light ray generator, but don't have funds to purchase the lenses and prisms to utilize the tool to its best use.

My Project

Given reduced school budgets, we are feeling pressure to trim rather than increase the types of materially rich classrooms we know can engage and inspire young people. Each Fall, a number of students volunteer to give up a 'study hall' period to enroll in an additional science course to study astronomy. This course not only supplements the science courses our school can offer, but it additionally serves as a 'test bed' to develop new curriculum for the eleventh grade physics course. In an observational science like astronomy, kids can experience directly the same fundamental principles that practicing scientists do. Among the most fundamental concepts are the principles of optics. Studying the behavior of light passing through lenses and prisms and reflecting off of mirrors in the classroom will help students to understand the way that glasses, magnifying lenses and telescopes work. With the tool, kids could DO science, not just read about it.

With your support, you can bring the stars within reach.

Hand-on experiences will not only open their minds to unimagined career possibilities, they will build confidence in the skills they will need to pursue further study in astronomy in college. Our university partners are available to provide the expertise, but we need a little help to get the materials we need in place. Please help make this dream a reality!

Mr. Finney
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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4 donors4 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 135 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Acrylic Lens And Prism Set • Sargent-Welch $47.59 1 $47.59
Basic Ray Optics Set • Sargent-Welch $45.79 1 $45.79
Prism Equilateral 25mm • Sargent-Welch $8.33 1 $8.33

Materials cost


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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


4 Donors


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Project Activity

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