It's time for #DarwinsBalls - Brackets for a good reason

Mar 16 2015 Published by under awesomeness

UPDATE #2: YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME!!! All but one of the original projects I put up have been completed!!! I'm adding a couple more projects, just in case there are any late-comers. Scoring is progressive (you get more points for later rounds) so there is still a chance!!


UPDATE: Three of the projects on the original list have been completed!! YOU GUYS ROCK. As of now, there are 49 folks signed up. But there is still time! I know the games to figure out the last 4 games have already started, but those barely count. The For Realz games don't start until Thursday (I think). There is still time to get in on the fun!! OH - and use this link to sign up (thanks @namaste_ish): If that doesn't work, send me a gmail @ primaryinvestigator or else DM me on twitter @gertyz

Hey all! It's March, and that means College Basketball! Around here, there is a tradition of hosting a bracket competition -- for a good cause, of course. This year, there was an idea to have folks contribute to Smart Girls at the Party - Amy Poehler's community to encourage girls and women to be themselves and change the world. It is pretty awesome, IMO. Sadly, I can't find a link that we could use for donations. It is very confusing. So instead I went over to Donor's Choose and picked some great projects that we could support. If you aren't familiar with Donor's Choose, then I just can't even. JOKING! It is an exceptionally good charity where teachers can ask for money to get stuff they need for teaching.

So here's the deal. If you wanna play, you gotta pay. Go to Donor's Choose and put down your entry fee ($10, students and postdocs can enter for $5). Then go to and fill out a bracket. The group name is Darwin's Balls, the password is MarieCurie. Then let the trash-talking begin!! Also, @Namaste_Ish has arranged for some excellent prizes for the winners. Fun trash talking AND prizes!!

You can donate to any project at Donor's Choose that you want. Or pick one from the list that I put together trying to find "less urban", high poverty projects:

Centered in Learning ~ Mrs. Cabrera's class at Bell Elementary School in Deming, NM. "My students need language arts and mathematics center activities to focus on practicing and strengthening their skills." This is basic stuff: Math flash cards, reading folders, white board markers. Let's get these kids going!!!

NEW! 2nd Annual Science Fair ~ Mrs. Sutton's class at Shady Spring Elementary School in Shady Spring, WV is looking for supplies so they can have a science fair.

NEW! Dissecting for Degrees! ~ Ms. Dugger's class at Woodward Elementary School in Atlanta, GA. Help a class of 5th graders get the opportunity to do frog dissections!

COMPLETED!! Send the FeMale Robotics team to space! ~ Ms. Madanski's class at Robinson Elementary School in Toledo, OH. "We are a group of ten 4th-8th grade inner-city girls who work hard, have fun, and are learning to build and program a robot. You can help us prepare for our first LEGO League competition next year by obtaining a Space Challenge Set to practice in the off season!"

COMPLETED!! Make Math Come Alive ~ Mrs. Mastin's class at Tilles Elementary School in Fort Smith, AR. "This project will provide my students with the opportunity to have a hands on experience with math concepts across the curriculum and make it more applicable to my students. They will be able to visualize and understand the concepts behind math strategies and think critically about those strategies. By using these materials, I will be able to provide instruction to my students that they will never forget."

COMPLETED!! Helping All Students Succeed Mathematically ~ Ms. McClelland's class at Oakland Heights Elementary School in Meridian, MS. "By funding our project, you will make it possible for my female students to improve their attitudes about mathematics by getting some much needed practice. I feel that the girls will build their confidence and esteem as they learning to enjoy math. Please help us succeed at learning."

COMPLETED!! Supplies are Running Out...Help ~ Ms. P.'s supplies project  at Longfellow Elementary School in Pasco,  WA. "This project will make a huge difference in our classroom by providing my students with essential items that they need every day. Without basic items like paper, and dry-erase markers my students will not be able to accomplish their learning targets." Holy crap, this is heartbreaking. They are running out of paper, ffs -gz

COMPLETED!! Multiplying the Love for Math and Science ~ Ms. Thompson's class at McClure Elementary School in Tulsa, OK. "With these materials, my students will conduct experiments, engage in hands-on learning activities, and take part in a more meaningful learning experience. I believe that this will allow them to retain information they learn, long-term and apply the skills they are learning to everyday life."

SPORTSBALL! Do something good, maybe win a prize based on randomly choosing your bracket! It is All. The. Awesome.

Now get on it, folks.

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