Johnson County Science Cafe

Johnson County Science Cafe’

Welcome back to our science cafe’. Our host, Coaches Bar and Grill, has been moving these last two months, but KCFS is pleased to resume a regular schedule of monthy science cafes and we hope to see you on Nov. 8.

Near-Earth Asteroids and the Nov. 8 Flyby of 2005 YU55

Speaker: Jay Manifold and Dick Trentman – Astronomical Society of Kansas City

Date: November 8, 2011

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Coaches Bar and Grill, one block west of 135th and Antioch, south side of 135th St.
Please note, this is a new location. Still Coaches, but they have moved

Kansas Citizens For Science and the Astronomical Society of Kansas City invite you to attend a presentation on asteroids and the flyby of near-Earth asteroid 2005 YU55. The asteroid will pass within 0.85 lunar distances from the Earth on November 8. The ASKC is providing two speakers, Jay Manifold and Dick Trentman, who will give an overview talk about asteroids with special attention to the asteroidal orbit-refining work done at the ASKC’s Powell Observatory.

The presentation will begin at 6:30 PM on Tuesday the 8th at Coach’s Bar & Grill, in its new location on the south side of 135th just west of Antioch in Overland Park. Weather permitting, around 8:00 we will go up on the roof and observe various celestial objects, including the Moon and Jupiter, through telescopes provided by ASKC members.

Special note: This is an asteroid passing between the Moon and the Earth. In case it is closer than that, why not have a beer in your hand and enjoy the sight with friends as the Earth experiences its next mass extinction.

For more information:

Biology Olympiad Opportunity



Accept the Biology Challenge: Become part of the USA Biology Olympiad

The USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) is the premiere US biology competition for high school students. After two rounds of challenging exams, 20 students are invited to a residential training program at Purdue University where they experience labs and lectures with advanced biological concepts and exacting lab skills. The top four students go on to represent the USA at the International Biology Olympiad (IBO) in Singapore July 8 to 15, 2012. Online registration is open from October 24, 2011 to February 3, 2012 at For more information on how your students may participate in the USABO, please contact Kathy Frame at

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Praying Mantis in Classroom

Last year Pat Wakeman shared with us ideas of how to bring the outdoors inside to our classrooms.  One of the things I have been bringing in from my backyard is a praying mantis.  This is the second year we have been observing its carnivore-eating behavior, nest laying and hatching of eggs.  The students have thoroughly enjoyed watching her–it is their first stop (by choice) when they come into the room.  She has been easy to care for by catching grasshoppers outside and then inserting them into the terrarium.   A secure lid on the terrarium is required–I have metal screen held in place with a bungee cord.  She only eats 1 or 2 grasshoppers about every 2 days.   Here is a short video clip  (1 1/2  mins) I found on the web that shows how a praying mantis captures it prey (audio information with video).  Ambusher__Praying_Mantis

Do Gene Patents Kill?

The Controversy Surrounding DNA Patenting

Thursday, October 13
6:00 pm
UMKC Law School
Thompson Courtroom

Patent Attorney Dan Ravicher  faces off against Hans Sauer, representative for the biotech industry, in what promises to be a lively debate about the future of gene patenting.

For more details on the controversy and debate participants, click here.