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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a science teacher at a high-needs, high-poverty middle school in Brooklyn. I work with great kids who need a whole lot of help. One of my constant challenges is teaching biology and other 'natural' sciences to students who have never been outside of the city and thus have never really seen 'nature'. Imagine trying to learn ecology when the only ecosystem you know is Brooklyn.
This year, we're going to give the students a small but powerful experience with nature. A few other teachers and I are about to build some very cool vivaria and use some of them to house some very neat frogs. Our kids are already going nuts for these windows into the rainforest, and they aren't even planted yet! I'm confident that they will learn a great deal in the process of making and observing them.
Our plan is to set up each tank with a variety of plants, and if possible get a few frogs into them as well. I keep D. auratus in a vivarium at home and understand the challenges we'll face in keeping frogs in the class.
Our project got started last night with the hugely generous donation of four beautifully hardscaped 20 gallon vertical tanks from dendroboard member rjmarchisi. Thanks Rob, and thanks especially for throwing in the lights! We're now in the process of sourcing the rest of what we need, which includes:

*Plants (lots of plants - I can only get so far with cuttings from home!)
*Substrate
*Under-tank heating pads (preferred) or 50 watt immersion heaters
*Timers for lights
*If possible a misting system.
*Some D. leucomelas or possibly solitary or proven pair tincs (including azureus). Juveniles are fine and would probably add to the learning experience. On that note, we might also be able to make great use of eggs or tadpoles, if anyone has any spares. How cool would it be for the kids to see their class pet grow out from egg to tadpole to frog? I'd just have to find a good working microscope so that the whole class can see the details...

If there's any way you can help us out with this, we and our students would be very greatful. Now that we have these wonderful tanks we're keen to get planting soon! We can't offer much if any money -- this is being financed by only donations and our own paychecks -- but we can promise that your donation will inspire at least 100 kids on a daily basis. I'm centrally located in NYC and willing to travel most anywhere in the city to pick up. We also have fast and reliable mail delivery to the school.

We can't get our kids into nature, but you can help us bring nature to them. If you have anything you'd like to give please reply to this post or email me at the address below.



Thanks for reading,

James

[email protected]
 

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I've catered the idea. How do you plan controlling temperatures over nights and weekends. I would have several in my class if I could figure this out lol. Commendable. Good luck.
 

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I'm in Brooklyn too, if you need supplies I have random stuff lying around, epiweb, big bag of Turface. I can also give you some plant cuttings. Also have some extra bromeliads. I'd love to help!
 

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If you are looking for Tincs, I would be willing to throw in some Yellowback juvies. Shipping would be the only expense..

Part of what developed my affinity for nature was my high school science teacher. I am forever grateful for his hands on approach of getting us to experience the natural world that can be easily overlooked when surrounded by concrete and metal. Kudos to you for wanting to bring this special hobby in to the classroom!

Please do let me know if you are interested in some frogs and we can work in getting them shipped out to you.

Chris
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I have a 37 gal vented hex tank with a compact fluorescent fixture I'd be willing to donate, the only catch would be picking it up. I'm about a 3-3.5 hour drive from the city. If you are really interested, I would even be willing to do the background for you including some plants, substrate, etc...
 

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James,

We need more teachers like you in our schools – high-poverty or not. Thank you for your efforts and dedication.

I’m in the process of building my website, launching March 1st. It’s sort of a typical frog site, selling frogs that I breed and supplies. However, my goals run much deeper than that. A significant percentage of my frog sales will go to purchasing rainforest land, true amphibian habitat, held by a 3rd part strictly for conservation. Additionally, I’m working on my “school program” to meet the needs of what you are trying to do. I don’t have the details worked out as of yet – they’ll be available on my site March 1st.

My site is committed to these experiences. I will donate to you and your efforts what you need for at least one tank, including frogs.

Plants
Substrate
Heating pads
Timers
Bugs
Sub-adult azureus
Tadpoles if desired.

I’ll cover the shipping cost and be available for any help or questions. Alternatively, I will be in New York City in a couple of weeks.

Again, thank you.

Brad
 

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James,

We need more teachers like you in our schools – high-poverty or not. Thank you for your efforts and dedication.

I’m in the process of building my website, launching March 1st. It’s sort of a typical frog site, selling frogs that I breed and supplies. However, my goals run much deeper than that. A significant percentage of my frog sales will go to purchasing rainforest land, true amphibian habitat, held by a 3rd part strictly for conservation. Additionally, I’m working on my “school program” to meet the needs of what you are trying to do. I don’t have the details worked out as of yet – they’ll be available on my site March 1st.

My site is committed to these experiences. I will donate to you and your efforts what you need for at least one tank, including frogs.

Plants
Substrate
Heating pads
Timers
Bugs
Sub-adult azureus
Tadpoles if desired.

I’ll cover the shipping cost and be available for any help or questions. Alternatively, I will be in New York City in a couple of weeks.

Again, thank you.

Brad


James,
even though Brad said we would give you sub-adult azureus, I noticed that you said you have 20 gallon vertical tanks. The azureus would not be happy there, and I do not like unhappy frogs!!:p

So, if you are okay with it, we would like to offer you a 20 gallon horizontal tank, so that you can keep the azureus there. As Brad said, we will be in NYC in 2 weeks, so we can drop everything off for you, including the tank.

We can also give you some variabilis for your vertical tank. :)

Marta
 

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Wonderful! My love of frogs started in when I was 7. Our science teacher kept 4 bullfrog tadpoles in a fish tank. The class took care of them and watched as they eventually morphed into the bullfrogs, which we then moved to the pond/garden area that was donated to our school. Ever since then, I was hooked on frogs...

So, naturally, I would love to help with this cause! I dont have much, but I could donate a couple springtail and isopod cultures. I also have a bunch of extra sphagnum moss. I'm located in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
 

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I've catered the idea. How do you plan controlling temperatures over nights and weekends. I would have several in my class if I could figure this out lol. Commendable. Good luck.
I was thinking the same. My wife's classroom temperatures fluctuate a lot from overnight and weekends.
 

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Yea and my district office prohibits heaters or cooling units :-( but if he is able. That is awesome.
 

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I was thinking the same. My wife's classroom temperatures fluctuate a lot from overnight and weekends.
I suspect that is where the heatpad request is coming from. I think this is easily overcome with proper controls. A programable thermostat connected to the heatpads would do the trick.

Something like this - Amazon.com: Lux WIN100 Heating & Cooling Programmable Outlet Thermostat: Home Improvement

Summer time temps might be the bigger issue. Who takes the frogs home for the summer?

Brad
 

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Yea and my district office prohibits heaters or cooling units :-( but if he is able. That is awesome.
Yes it would be awesome if he's able to do it. The problem with my wife's site, is that the janitors would sometimes turn off the temperature controll unit. I'm pretty sure they were ask to do so.

I suspect that is where the heatpad request is coming from. I think this is easily overcome with proper controls. A programable thermostat connected to the heatpads would do the trick.

Something like this - Amazon.com: Lux WIN100 Heating & Cooling Programmable Outlet Thermostat: Home Improvement

Summer time temps might be the bigger issue. Who takes the frogs home for the summer?

Brad
Definite would have to take them home for summer break. I agreed that heat might be a bigger issue, especially if the central air unit was turn off by someone else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey, this is great! Thank you so, so much to all of you who have written with generous offers of supplies. We are stunned by the speed and quality of your support. I will get in touch with each of you via PM or email to work out the details. Based on your replies, it looks like we can count on being all set for plants and possibly frogs (though if anyone has any leucomelas tads in the city, we could sure give them a good home). As the exact nature of the donations becomes clearer I'll post any additional items we might need.
With regard to questions of heating and cooling, we're pretty lucky to have reliably cool temperatures during the school year. The plan is for the vivaria to go home with teachers for the summer months so that we can make sure the animals are cared for. As much as I would love to loan them to a kid or leave them for the summer school students, the frogs deserve more reliable care than that. In winter, we'll use immersion or pad heaters and thermostats to maintain tank temperature when the rooms are cool on nights and weekends. This currently works quite well for my small classroom fish tank / aquaponic setup and I antipate no problems with the vivaria.
Again, it is heartwarming to know that so many people care about our kids. This is a great site and a great community.

Best,

James
 
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