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July 12th, 2015

Johnson County Science Café – July 14th

Cool Stuff and Not So Cool Stuff Happening in Science

Speakers: Harry McDonald, President, Kansas Citizens for Science

Date: July 14, 2015

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Coach’s Bar and Grill, 9089 W. 135th Street, one block west of 135th and Antioch, south side of 135th St.

Would you believe, all my speaker invites fell through for this month. Let’s get together anyway and have one of our casual discussions about what is going on in the world of science. No limits on what we can discuss. Bring ideas to share. Bring URLs and we will access sites you want to share. As always when we do this, I will bring pictures, ideas, websites, and videos to share. For instance, I just got referred to a new NASA interactive website on MARS. Quite cool. I, by no means, can keep up with all that is going on, so please, bring your ideas. If you can’t make it, we will meet next in September.

If you don’t know me, I taught high school biology for 32 years and have been a science education consultant for the past 11 years. I am the current president of Kansas Citizens for Science, the sponsoring organization for the science cafe. I would self-describe myself as a science edu-cation activist and all-around science geek, interested in all things science but a master of none. Join us for an evening of science conversation.

For more information: biologycctrack@hotmail.com

June 4th, 2015

Johnson County Science Café – June 9th

The Physics of Time Travel

Speaker: Prof. Philip Baringer, Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of Kansas

Date: June 9, 2015

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Coach’s Bar and Grill, 9089 W. 135th Street, one block west of 135th and Antioch, south side of 135th St.

Time travel has been used in many works of fantasy and science fiction, ranging from H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” to the TV series “Doctor Who.” But is time travel possible? And if it is possible, what are the implications? Come join us to explore these “timely” issues.

Philip Baringer is a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas and is a Faculty Fellow in KU’s Honors Program. His research area is experimental particle physics. He is a member of a large international collaboration that operates one of the experiments at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider and he uses data from that experiment to study the production of particles such as the top quark and the Higgs boson. He teaches physics at both the introductory and advanced levels and team teaches a course on science and technology with faculty from the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. This Spring semester he taught an Honors seminar on the topic of time.

For more information: biologycctrack@hotmail.com

May 8th, 2015

Johnson County Science Café : May 12th

Vaccines: How they work and the controversy they inspire

Speaker: Elizabeth Lawlor, Epidemiologist, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment

Date: May 12, 2015

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Coach’s Bar and Grill, 9089 W. 135th Street, one block west of 135th and Antioch, south side of 135th St.

Elizabeth will provide a brief background on vaccines and vaccine preventable diseases. She will then talk about vaccine-hesitancy/anti-vaxers, and some recent vaccine preventable disease outbreaks.

Elizabeth received her professional preparation at George Washington University and the University of Toledo.

For more information: biologycctrack@hotmail.com

April 20th, 2015

Announcing the Raspberry Pi Innovation Contest Winner

Kansas Citizens for Science sponsored a Raspberry Pi Innovation Contest this school year. The motivation was to increase opportunities for students in coding and engineering. Contestants were to program a Raspberry Pi to run a piece of machinery.

The contest winners were a team from Manhattan High School. They all played ultimate frisbee and decided to build a frisbee launcher. They designed the machine, built it, programmed its controls all with very little teacher input. The team is to be complemented on their excellent work and on appropriate documentation of the development process. You can inspect the team’s work on their website, http://tecnoa.ninja/. The site contains a description of the project, as well as a condensed video that documents the project and a video of the frisbee launcher at work.

Kansas Citizens for Science provided a Raspberry Pi and $150 grant for materials. Congratulations to the winning team from Manhattan High School for their excellent work.

April 10th, 2015

Johnson County Science Café : April 14th

Musings on Environmental Challenges Observed in My Travels

Speakers: Harry McDonald, President, Kansas Citizens for Science

Date: April 14, 2015

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Coach’s Bar and Grill, 9089 W. 135th Street, one block west of 135th and Antioch, south side of 135th St.

Travels to south Florida, the central Mexican highlands where monarchs overwinter, and to Syria have produced some interesting perspectives on environmental challenges. Harry will share these and looks forward to considerable discussion. Harry encourages everyone to bring their own observations and experiences to discuss.

Harry is a retired biology teacher remains fascinated by all of science and enjoys a chance to talk science with anyone interested.

For more information: biologycctrack@hotmail.com

March 10th, 2015

KCFS Board of Directors 2015

Officers

Harry McDonald – President
Science Education Consultant
Olathe, KS

Cheryl Shepherd-Adams – Vice-President
Teacher – High School Physics
Hays, KS

Charlotte McDonald – Secretary
Science Education Consultant
Olathe, KS

Jackie Beucher -Treasurer
Sales Representative
Overland Park, KS


Board of Directors

Phil Baringer
Professor of Physics and Astronomy University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS

Liz Craig
Writer/Producer
Roeland Park, KS

Gordon Elliott
Computer and Electronics Consultant Computer Signal & Image Systems Corp.
Overland Park, KS

Gene Garman
Author
Pittsburg, KS

Harry Gregory
Retired Teacher
Wichita, KS

Christopher Haufler
Chair, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS

Mike Herman
Division of Biology Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS

Martha Hodgesmith
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS

Crystal Kerr
Biology Teacher
Wichita, KS

Jack Krebs
High School Teacher and Technology Director
Lawrence, KS

Mark Mayfield
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS

Keith Miller
Department of Geology Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS

Rev. Douglas Phenix
Retired Minister
Topeka, KS

Patrick Ross
Southwestern College
Winfield, KS

Max Vandament
Feedlot Consultant
Salina, KS

Mark Weiss
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS


KCFS Webmaster

Jeremy Mohn
High School Biology Teacher
Olathe, KS

March 6th, 2015

Johnson County Science Café : March 10th

Using Genomics to Forage in Biology

Speakers: Dr. Chris Siedel, Genomic Scientist at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research

Date: March 10, 2015

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Coach’s Bar and Grill, 9089 W. 135th Street, one block west of 135th and Antioch, south side of 135th St.

A genome is the composition of the DNA in each cell of an individual. Dr. Siedel will introduce genomics and describe how it has transformed biology. He will discuss how newer genomic technology enables experiments in novel organisms such as studying stem cells in flatworms, and enables personalized medicine to become a reality.

Chris Seidel is a Genomic Scientist at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UC Berkeley. He worked at a small company designing genomic reagents to enable studies in a range of model organisms such as yeast and mouse to pathogens such as malaria and tuberculosis. In 2003 he moved to Kansas City to work at the Stowers Institute to develop and apply genomic methods to basic biological research problems.

For more information: biologycctrack@hotmail.com

February 18th, 2015

KCFS KATS Kamp Scholarships

Kansas Citizens for Science, a long time partner with KATS, announces scholarships of $100-275 to be awarded to attendees for KATS Kamp this spring.

KCFS realizes that KATS Kamp is the premiere professional development opportunity for science teachers in Kansas. We therefore want to provide the opportunity for increased numbers of K-12 teachers to attend.

Early career teachers who have district/building mentors are encouraged to have their mentors apply also. If an early career teacher is awarded a scholarship, their mentor will receive one also. We want such teams to be able to work together at Kamp. An early career teacher may, of course, apply even if no mentor applies.

KCFS will provide scholarships based on the following criteria:

  • Teachers who will be first time Kamp attendees.
  • Early career teachers.
  • Teachers whose district provides no support for attendance.
  • Teachers who will agree to attend one of the sessions sponsored by KCFS
  • District/building mentors of early career teachers

Award recipients will be expected to apply knowledge obtained at Kamp in their classroom.

Applicants do not have to meet all the above criteria, but these are the criteria which will be used to determine scholarship recipients.

Applications may be downloaded here. Applications should be sent by email to Harry McDonald, KCFS President, biologycctrack@hotmail.com, by March 5.

Recipients will be contacted by March 15 by email.

February 6th, 2015

Johnson County Science Café : February 10th

A Trip Around the US: Where the Water Goes….

Speaker: Dr. Brittan Wilson, Liberty North High School

Date: February 10, 2015

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Coach’s Bar and Grill, 9089 W. 135th Street, one block west of 135th and Antioch, south side of 135th St.

Unbeknownst to most, or merely not often thought about, is that all of water in the US is simply moving from one location to the next. Picking up and dropping off nutrients, and organisms, and chemicals along the way. This talk will discuss how our own personal-care-products move throughout the waterways and end up in the unlikeliest of places. How can something as simple as brushing your teeth, impact an organism thousands of miles away? What comes back to us via food sources and drinking water? All things are connected by water, so how is it that we use it so freely, rather than protect it, this our most valuable of resources.

Dr. Brittan A. Wilson received her PhD from the University of Massachusetts in Environmental Science in 2009. Her research is on the fate and transport of organic contaminants from personal and pharmaceutical products. Her initial research addressed how Triclosan (found in anything labeled “anti-bacterial” in your home) and the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin impacted freshwater and estuarine communities. Her current research, funded by the US Department of Agriculture, addresses the uptake of compounds by commercial crops due to irrigation practices. Having spent 4 years working as a college professor in Ecology and Environmental Science, she has returned to Kansas City to teach at Liberty North High School and continues her research as a consultant. Her continued interest is in the education of the next generation of scientist in Evolutionary Biology, Chemistry and Ecology.

For more information: biologycctrack@hotmail.com

January 10th, 2015

Johnson County Science Café : January 13th

A Look at Nature: the Beautiful and the Unusual

Speaker: Harry McDonald, President, Kansas Citizens for Science

Date: January 13, 2015

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Coach’s Bar and Grill, 9089 W. 135th Street, one block west of 135th and Antioch, south side of 135th St.

The new year has just started, so let’s take a look back at 2014 at some of the beautiful sights and finds in science. Many of these definitely qualify as unusual. All areas of science will be included, but feel free to bring your own thoughts on this. Harry will have a list of his favorites from the year ready to share.

This month marks the start of the 6th year of science cafés in Johnson County and will be our 53rd café. We definitely want to thank Coach’s for being our partner for the entire life of the café. Harry is a retired biology teacher remains fascinated by all of science and enjoys a chance to talk science with anyone interested.

For more information: biologycctrack@hotmail.com