Forgot to add the link to previous post.


AAAS article on teaching evolution

Here is a link to an article recently posted to Member Central on the AAAS website. Though the link will take you directly to the article, be sure and check out the Member Central link at www.aaas.org. There are numerous items useful in the classroom and most are available without joining.

A Call for Collaboration

Fellow Educators/Science Geeks,

I am always looking for ways to increase my students’ ability to communicate about science and share what they have learned, which I see as a real deficit for most of my students.  They can fill in a blank, or choose the correct item in a multiple-choice test, but when asked to explain some concept or idea, they cannot provide a quality answer.  That has led me to this request: would anyone be willing to participate in a sort of “Science ePen Pal” program with my classes?

I am working with a teacher in Nashville, TN to have our students share their research methodologies, results and conclusions via Twitter, Google+ and Ustream.  I would love to have students working together to develop scientific research projects and then actually carry out and share their findings with others.  Not only will this help our students become better 21st-Century learners and scientists, it will hopefully lead more of them to be more passionate about science as a potential career in the future.  If you are interested, drop me a line at andrewising@usd475.org or drewising@gmail.com.  I can’t wait to hear back from A LOT of you and to see you at the KABT field trip in a few days!

-Drew Ising

Johnson County Science Cafe

Observation of the Transit of Venus Across the Sun

Speakers: Kansas City Astronomical Society

Date: June 5, 2012

Time: Shortly before 5:00 pm – Sunset

Location: Coaches Bar and Grill, 9089 W. 135th Street, one block west of 135th and Antioch, south side of 135th St. Meet upstairs in the fire pit area.

One of the rarest of astronomical events, as seen from Earth, is the transit of Venus across the Sun. Since 2000 BC there have been only 53 transits of Venus. The first observed transit occurred in 1639 and then again in 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, and 2004. After June 5, the next one will not occur until 2117. (I don’t plan on organizing a viewing that year.)

This is a perfect opportunity to bring yourself and your family and share this event. We will meet upstairs in the fire pit area. The KC Astronomical society will have several telescopes set up for viewing from shortly before 5:00 until sunset. Unlike most science cafes, we will not have a lecture. Come anytime during the above schedule and join us in the watch. Since Coaches is not charging us for the space, please remember to purchase a drink or food during your visit, no matter how short. Members of the Astronomical Society will be on hand to answer questions and help with the viewing.

If it is cloudy (not currently forecast), the Society will be on the road with its telescopes to points sunny. Feel free to join me upstairs for conversation but there will be no telescopes if it is cloudy.

For more information: biologycctrack@hotmail.com

What the heck are these?

Earlier this week, I was in the field looking for smooth earth snakes with a colleague, and I observed this interesting collection of developing invertebrates on the side of a rock that I flipped.

Here they are a bit closer.

I have seen many things but never something like this.  So, this is a real challenge since I don’t even know what the heck these things are.

KABT Spring 2012 Field Trip (1-2 June 2012)

The 2012 Spring KABT Field Trip will be held at Alcove Springs in Marshall County, Kansas. KABT members will gather as early as Friday evening (1 June 2012) at the location displaying KABT signs. Campsites are available.

This will be primitive camping at its best… restrooms will be unavailable at Alcove Springs, so you might want to bring a shovel!!!

To reach Alcove Springs and waterfall from Blue Rapids, KS, take US-77 north to Schroyer Road. There is a small sign on the highway just before the Georgia-Pacific gypsum mine. Follow Schroyer Road 5 miles north to the park. Schroyer Road is gravel and can be rough in wet weather.  Park in the circular lot on the east side of the road.  Campsite will be in Stella’s Meadow about 200 yds to the NE of the parking lot (follow the signs).  You will need to carry camping materials from parking lot to campsite.

Motels and restaurants nearest to the campsite are available in Marysville.

On Friday evening, we will plan on feasting together at the Wagon Wheel in downtown Marysville at 6:30 pm.  Saturday’s lunch will be provided once we arrive at the Vogelsberg-Busch Farm.  You will be responsible for all other meals.

Friday’s events will include:

  • Setting turtle traps in the early afternoon (if interested in helping, please let me know) (noon-ish).
  • Set up camp at Alcove Springs afternoon/evening (4:30 – dark).
  • Setting small mammal track tubes in the evening (4:30 – dark).
  • Supper at the Wagon Wheel (6:30 – 7:30 pm).
  • Rest of the evening – Sittin’ around the campfire (7:30 – ?).


  • Break camp, check track-tubes, and explore Alcove Springs (we will be leaving Alcove Springs around 9:00 am for those of you not camping with us).
  • Visit Ice Age Monument – Blue Rapids (9:30 am).
  • Locate black squirrels – Marysville City Park (10:00 am).
  • Rocky Bottoms – natural limestone waterfall (11:00 am).
  • Vogelsberg-Busch Farm (12:00 pm)
  • Lunch
  • Birding w/ John E. Quinn (Postdoc Researcher in the UNL School of Nat. Resources) (1:00 pm).
  • Check Turtle Traps (4:00 pm)
  • “Rails To Trails” Bio-Blitz – Blue River north of Marysville

Any questions about this KABT field trip should be directed to the KABT Field Trip Coordinator. Enquiries may be in the form of email or a telephone call.

KABT Field Trip Coordinator

Noah R. Busch
Telephone (316) 259-5942
Email: nrbusch22@gmail.com

Johnson County Science Cafe

The future of science education: The Next Generation Science Standards

Speakers: Harry McDonald, member of Kansas review committee for NGSS

Date: May 8, 2012

Time: 6:30 pm

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

Harry will introduce the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), the currently developing revision of the 1996 National Science Education Standards, their vision, what is necessary for them to make a difference in science education, and the chance for public comment. Harry wants this evening to be a discussion about where our country is headed with science education and what it will take to get there.

Besides serving on the Kansas review committee for these standards, Harry has 32 years experience in the science classroom and has consulted on science education for 8 years.

For more information: biologycctrack@hotmail.com