It’s March which only means one thing here in Fighty Squirrel land!

Basketball and funding science for awesome kiddos!

March is hands down my favorite month because each year it gives academics a chance to give back to the wee scientists in training while having a blast seeing how their science heroes fare in the CBS Bracket Challenge. Over the last five years we have raised over 20 freaking thousand dollars for 50 projects from butterflies for kindergarteners in Bed-Sty, telescopes for fifth graders in Compton to iPads for a special needs science outreach program in Miami. Last year alone we raised $11,000 and funded 17 projects!

How do you get in on this awesomeness? Just chip in $10/bracket for a maximum of three brackets over at some preselected projects for high poverty K-12 kids in STEM and enter a bracket in our Darwin’s Balls bracket challenge.

Selection Sunday is this weekend, so quick like a bunny, hop over to HERE and register. CBSSports will send you more info on how to make your bracket go live this weekend.

After you registered, pick one of your favorite projects from below and make a donation. Take a screen shot, hashtag it #DarwinsBalls and post it on Twitter or the social media platform of your choice to help us drum up support for this great cause AND win prizes.

Be sure to keep an eye out for science super mensches like:

  • Marina Picciotto – Yale neuroscientists and Journal of Neuroscience Editor in Chief 🔬
  • Paul Brookes – U of Rochester fraud-buster-ball-of-cardiac-awesomesauce ⚗
  • Drugmonkeyblog – My BFF who introduced me to Donors Choose 🐵
  • Janet Stemwedel – Philosopher and do gooder 😇
  • Gertyz – Feisty twitter stick who started this with me years ago 🦄
  • Melissa Bates and Strange Source – power couple of hilariousness 🥂
  • Rick Bevins – fish slayer and reigning Darwins Balls master 🐟
  • Katherine Hartmann – good sport, raiser of eyebrows and dean of chancellors or something very important at Vanderbilt 😎

We’ve also had the Eisen brothers, Gina Baucom and many more join us over the years to make this happen. 💕LOVE YOU GUYS!! 💕


What does playing with Darwin’s Balls get you? For one thing, a sense of well being that your money is going directly to teachers and kids. If that’s not incentive enough, we have PRIZES! Like, unbelievable prizes. Stickers, twitter fame, fancy certificates, plush hamsters…pretty much everything dang thing you need to make your life academic life complete.

Donors Choose Projects You Can Donate To: 


Cleveland kids need a financial literacy module

Hawaii High Schoolers Want to Do Water Testing

FUNDED!   Frog anatomy for kids in AZ – you know you learned a whole lot!

FUNDED!  Kindergarteners in NYC need some food, guys. 😨

FUNDED!! Help set up a tech center for high schoolers in Brooklyn

FUNDED! Rewards for math learners!

FUNDED! These kids want an ecology center in their class!

FUNDED! Help Ms Lopez’s class learn to code!

FUNDED! Supplies for a New Molecular Biology Module for High Schoolers

FUNDED! Chromebooks for Mississippi 6th Grade Math Learners 

FUNDED! Headphones for Middle Schoolers to Do Online Science Modules

FUNDED! Calculators for Third Graders in Georgia

FUNDED! Timers for STEM test takers

FUNDED! Math Manipulatives for High Poverty Kids in Kansas

FUNDED! Compound Light Microscope for Elementary STEM Learners in WA

FUNDED! Computers, Rewards and More for Camden K-2nd Graders

FUNDED! Stress balls for anxious test takers in Oakland, CA

FUNDED! Math, Science skills through cooking in Springfield, MO

FUNDED! Science books to take home in Houston, TX

FUNDED! Learning in record time for low-income kids in Bossier City, LA

FUNDED! Science calculators for kids in GA

FUNDED! Snacks for high homelessness school in Chicago

FUNDED! Lunch for Brooklyn high schoolers who can’t afford them

FUNDED! CHICKENS! A humane biology lesson for high poverty farm kids! 

FUNDED! Algebra tiles for high schoolers.

FUNDED!! Lego STEM challenge for middle schoolers. 

FUNDED! Alaska Kids Wanna Explore Architecture…HELP em 😉

FUNDED Fifth Graders Learn about electricity!

FUNDED! Puzzles and Problems for Kids in TN!

FUNDED! Lab Safety Googles for High Schoolers in PA 

FUNDED High Poverty High School Science Kids Starting a Community Garden in CA 

FUNDED Rural Poverty Kids Learning about Alternative Energy  

FUNDED!! Three Quarters of these Kids are in High Poverty. Let’s Get Them Some Terrarium Supplies.

FUNDED! Seventh Graders want BrainPop Lessons!

FUNDED Sixth Graders need calculators for math class! 

FUNDED Math materials and office supplies for kids in Illinois.

FUNDED Headphones for kids computer work in Missouri

FUNDED! Plant boxes for ecology lessons for PreK-2nd Graders

FUNDED!  Fourth Graders in NJ Need Chromebooks!

FUNDED! Teach for America Doing Lego Robotics with 3rd Graders!

FUNDED! Organize AP Science Students in Houston!

FUNDED! High Schoolers Want to Study Aquatic Habitats! 

FUNDED! Organize AP Science Students in Houston!

FUNDED! Manipulatable science gear for kindergarteners with Mrs Manoco’s class in low income households in Omaha.

FUNDED! Seating so elementary schooler in Virginia can collaborate on math projects.

FUNDED! A laptop for elementary school kids to learn to code in the Holmes class in Mississippi.

FUNDED! Lego science kits for STEAM Fridays for high poverty kids in the Bay Area.

FUNDED! Ms Welch’s class wants to learn about ecology based on the novel Hoot. Let’s help them out!

Pick one of these project that resonates with you, capture a screen shot and #DarwinsBalls hashtag it so we can get this science party rolling!!

Post questions below or tweet at me @mclneuro. 

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[…] good blog friend McLNeuro is running a Donor's Choose fundraising drive for March Madness. The idea is that you donate $10 or more to a Donor's Choose project and then register a bracket […]

Most of the projects are already funded! Have you identified other ones for donations?

New projects added daily! Thanks Owen!

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