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Ms. Horne from Pleasant Hill CA is requesting Books through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

STEM Learning from Mighty Mollusks

Help me give my students preserved oysters and necklace materials to learn about careers involving molluscs.

  • $339 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Every day is Earth Day in my classroom. We have saltwater aquarium systems and in addition to regular science, I teach Aquatic Studies. Students care for reef aquarium inhabitants, culture plankton, and propagate coral. Middle school is the perfect time to get students excited about real-world STEM issues, environmental stewardship, compassion for animals, and experiencing the wonders of the natural world.

As a magnet school, we serve students throughout the district, encompassing a wide range of home language, academic proficiency, and socioeconomic levels.

We are also a full-inclusion school, so I teach all students including those with special needs, the gifted, and English Language Learners. I teach a rigorous STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum constructed on a foundation of hands-on learning and real-world application including career exploration. Aquarium study and animal care provide excellent applications of STEM concepts, art, financial literacy, teamwork, empathy, and responsibility! They also offer relevant college and career prep experiences to my students.

My Project

Aside from seafood, beachcombing, and fishing bait, students have little experience with bivalve molluscs and do not understand their physiology and niche in the ecosystem. With the requested preserved oysters, pearl measuring tool, and necklace supplies, students will learn about molluscs and the work of marine biologists through dissection, microscopy, sketching and making jewelry. The laminating pouches will protect diagrams and procedures during wet labs and the books will aid in identification of molluscs and exploration of careers in the marine sciences. Students will compare the structure and function of locally collected mussels, clams from the market, and these oysters. This will give them the knowledge needed to understand the adaptations and ecosystem roles of these molluscs.

My students will learn how chemists and materials scientists can study the chemistry of shell, nacre, and pearl production in clams, mussels, and oysters.

This naturally connects to issues environmental scientists investigate, such as ocean acidification, human use of land and natural resources, and their effects on aquatic organisms in nature and in aquarium systems. Students will mount their oyster pearls in pendants and make necklaces. They will be able to wear an artifact of their experience and explain the science of bivalves to their families and friends. What could be better evidence of STEM learning than student products combining science and the natural world that encourage communicating underlying concepts to others?

Ms. Horne
Grades 6-8
More than a third of students from low‑income households

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
NewEGG Oysters Pearls Freshwater Cultured Love Wish Pearl Oyster with Round Pearls Inside 15 PCS (7-8mm) • Amazon Business $23.99 4 $95.96
Purple Cows Hot Pockets Hot Laminating Pouches, 8.5x11 Inches, 20 Pouches per Pack, Clear (4040) • Amazon Business $11.39 3 $34.17
Outus 24 Pack Silver Plated Chain Necklace Link Cable Chain Charms with Lobster Clasp, 1.2 mm (24 inches) • Amazon Business $12.69 2 $25.38
Handbooks: Shells: The Clearest Recognition Guide Available (DK Smithsonian Handbook) • Amazon Business $19.69 1 $19.69
JIALEEY Spiral Bead Cages Pendants, 100 PCs 14x15mm Silver Plated Stone Holder Necklace Cage Pendants Findings for Jewelry Making and Crafting • Amazon Business $17.12 1 $17.12
Marine Science for Kids: Exploring and Protecting Our Watery World, Includes Cool Careers and 21 Activities (For Kids series) • Amazon Business $13.29 1 $13.29
OUTUXED 150 Pcs Bulk Necklace Cord,Multicolor 1.5mm Waxed Cotton Necklace Chain with Lobster Claw Clasp for Pendants Bracelet Necklace and Jewelry Making (15 Colors)  • Amazon Business $12.99 1 $12.99
Marine Biologists • AKJ Education $7.99 1 $7.99
Jewellers Tools Pearl & Diamond Carat Weight Gauge Measuring Jewellers Bead Craft Tool • Amazon Business $6.49 1 $6.49

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


24 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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