State of Kansas Citizens for Science

From: Harry McDonald, President
KCFS Annual Meeting
November 9, 2014
Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library

Kansas Citizens for Science is a not-for-profit educational organization that promotes a better understanding of what science is and does by:
• Advocating for science education
• Educating the public about the nature and value of science
• Serving as an information resource

Our board met on six occasions in 2014: 1/12, 3/9, 5/4, 7/13, 9/7, 11/9

Once again we maintained our programs while expending only $5,500. We spent $910 for fixed expenses and $4630 on programs supporting our mission this latter amounting to 84% of our income. This is largely due to the unpaid efforts of our Board and our having no paid staff. I suspect we spent even more on programs because I believe our board contributed much by way of unreported in-kind donations.

We raised $4755.80 in memberships and donations. Only $1060 was memberships, so we were able to fulfill our mission largely because of donations including one substantial anonymous donation, and in-kind donations from Board members.

While we can sustain our level of spending for several more years, it is imperative that we raise more money, not only to sustain our current level of program, but to enable us to expand. This should better enabled now that we have an online capability to accept memberships and donations through our website. I encourage all supporters to not only renew/join, but also to make a donation either now or after the first of the year, whichever best suits your tax situation.

Just a reminder, we have ceased paper correspondence with members and members need to go to our website, www.kcfs.org, and subscribe to News and Resources in order to be kept abreast of current happenings.

Below is a list of priorities adopted by the board for 2014 and major activities of KCFS as concerns these.

KCFS priorities for 2014

1. Support the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core Standards.

a. Monitored and corresponded with the State Board of Education on the lawsuit to stop NGSS.
b. Our five presentations at KATS Kamp all focused on this theme.
c. Testified before the House Education Committee on a bill to ban NGSS and Common Core.

2. Function as a science resource

a. Hosted 38 science cafes in Hays, Manhattan, Overland Park and Wichita. Collaborated with AAAS and Skeptic Society for door prizes.
b. Board members made presentations throughout the state and nation dealing with science and science education.
c. Began efforts to get a AAAS science minute on radio stations throughout the state. No results so far.
d. Several board members participated in webinars hosted by the National Center for Science Education
e. Began discussions promoting libraries hosting maker spaces.
f. Maintained our website and Facebook page.

3. Informing the public about policy makers views related to science

a. Hosted a State Board of Education candidate forum in District one (the only contested race in the general election).
b. Sent questionnaires on attitudes concerning science and science education to all State Board of Education and state house and senate candidates. Returned questionnaires were posted on our website.
c. Participated with other groups in lobbying our national congressmen about scientific issues.
d. Continued to monitor state board of education activities regarding science in Kansas and across the nation.

4. Supporting science educators and students and pursuing quality science.

a. Awarded 13 scholarships (valued at $275 each) for teachers to attend the state science teachers convention (KATS Kamp).
b. Hosted a booth at KATS Kamp.
c. Made five presentations at KATS Kamp
d. Started the first Raspberry Pi Initiative to promote programming, software and hardware development experiences in secondary students.
e. Continued efforts to insure that all candidates for a license to teach biology have at least a semester course in evolution.
f. Sponsored two awards at the Kansas State Science and Engineering fair.
g. Provided judges at several science fairs.

Numerous members of the board correspond with national, state, and local agencies and individuals in support of our mission. Our board sits on numerous other boards, committees, and advisory panels and is thus in a position to influence decisions at all levels. This has resulted in our jointly sponsoring events with other organizations. Our organization is truly blessed with the quality of its board.

With an all-volunteer board for an organization that is truly state-wide, you can be proud of the accomplishments of KCFS.