In the past I have crowdfunded a couple of projects. A few years ago I used Donors Choose to install a huge cork board in the classroom for displaying students work ($300). The year before last I used PayPal to get a robotic arm ($540). Time for another one.
This time around we are going for the Open PCR thermocycler (Figure 1). It is a molecular biology instrument used to amplify (make many copies of) DNA for analysis. The cool thing about it is that it comes as a kit. Sure you can buy a used commercial one for about $200 that “might” work, but that is not the point. Here’s what we will do with it (initially):
(1) The Nerd Cave Engineering Department(student volunteers) will assemble the machine.
(2) The Nerd Cave Science Department (student volunteers) will do an initial test of the machine.
(3) Both teams will learn the operating principle of the machine.
(4) Once the machine is qualified we will do a collaborative experiment with a local lab to test this PCR machine and compare results with a commercial machine. We already have an initial contact with a top lab in town.
After that, the sky’s the limit. So here we go. Please consider making a donation to the project. It will lead to advanced learning and the capability to do many moire things for those students who have an interest.
Please use the PayPal link to make a donation. If the funding goal is not met, I’ll either make up the difference myself (if it is close), or refund the money (minus whatever small fee PayPal took up front). But let’s not do that. Let’s fund it! A new commercial machine is several thousand dollars. This one is only $649.
By the way, the administrative cost of doing this is less than using Donors Choose or Kickstarter.
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