Catalase Procedure and Reaction Curve Videos

I mentioned in my session that I had a couple of videos available for the catalase lab.  Here is a link to those videos.  I have these and a bunch more on my YouTube channel, and I am always looking for more ideas on new videos.  Any and all feedback is appreciated.

Catalase Procedure Video –

Catalae Reaction Curve Video –

Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 “How To” document

Hello all,

Thanks for the fun yesterday!  This link will take you to a word doc with everything I could think of to help you with Halobacterium in your classroom:  KABT handout post online

If you do use Halobact, pop me a note or post a comment so I can update the list of possible activities.



KABT Fall Conference 2012 Stills

What a fantastic day we had today at the KU Field Station!  Thanks to everyone that helped make the event go so smoothly (Brad Williamson and company), it turned out great.  I was hoping to be the videographer again this year, but didn’t end up getting enough footage to make another montage.  Instead, I pulled some frames from the video I did get to share with everyone.  Not all the sessions are represented, so I apologize to the presenters who don’t see shots from their activities.  Everyone was great, I know I have at least half a dozen actionable ideas to work with throughout the rest of this semester, and I hope everyone else got as much out of their day as I did.

Fall 2012 Fall Meeting Program and Reminder

The Fall 2012 KABT meeting is just over a week away.  Several members have stepped up and volunteered to present.  Should be a great time to meet, get reacquainted and geek out about biology.  A whole lot of sharing of ideas, problems and solutions happen at these meetings.  The meeting start with registration at 8:30 at the KU Field Station north of town.  Registration is $15 to cover facilities and noon meal.  Hope to see you there.

Each Presentation is scheduled for 40 minutes with a 5 minute break between presentations.  Here’s how the day breaks down.

Registration  (Breakfast is on your own but we do plan on providing lunch)

Enzyme kinetics (inquiry adaptations & Excel modeling)          Michael Ralph (Olathe East High School)
Exploring how to encourage student inquiry and build deep content understanding

Lessons from the BSCS AP Biology Leadership Academy        Lin Andrews (Goddard Eisenhower High School)
Techniques and Tips for taking an inquiry investigation to the next level with formative assessment techniques, argumentation and connecting to big ideas.

Tadpole and Fairy Shrimp Culture in the Classroom                 Mike Grose (KU Museum of Natural History)
Presentation abstract:
Tadpole shrimp (Triops) are important ecological links in semi-arid and ephemeral pool habitats.  They need to complete their entire life cycle within weeks and lay hundreds of eggs for the next generation.  This presentation will cover everything you wanted to know about raising these fascinating vernal pool dwellers.   I’ll cover equipment you may already have, ideal hatching conditions, what they need to eat, and how to raise them to egg laying adults.   Their quick life cycle may make them ideal experimental animals for behavior projects, science fairs, or just fun demonstrations for animal diversity.  I have dried out eggs, so if you interested you can leave and start your own colonies.  (If you or your students are really interested in raising them, let me know before and I’ll prepackage a starter kit for you).  E-mail me at

Algae and Biofuels Classroom Research                                  Andrew Ising and Scott Sharp (Junction City and De Soto)
We will aim to show how microalgae can be used in a variety of classes and at many different levels to demonstrate concepts in Microbiology, Ecology, Biotechnology and Engineering.  We’ll discuss cheap ways to measure algae densities, and the best way to keep it alive and thriving.

12:00–>1:25    Lunch  (burgers, veggie burgers, brats), Poster Presentations, Track Tube Demonstration, short Business Meeting

Halo Bacteria as Model Organism in the Classroom                 Kelley Tuel (Emporia State University)
Highlighting attributes that make the extremophile Model Microbe, Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 an exciting tool for safe and versatile classroom use.

California Blackworm Investigation                                           Paula Donham (Olathe East High School)
To explore the impact of treatments on the pulse rate of the worm Lumbriculus variegatus while refreshing and refining student understanding of experimental design with a focus on recognizing and minimizing experimental bias.  Adapted from Dr. Charles Drewes, Iowa State University ( Dix, Olathe North High School; and Sandy Collins, retired (Lawrence, KS)

Cricket Frog Citizen Science                                                       
Dan Smalley (Augusta High School)
The goal of this presentation is to describe and inspire teachers to have students help to gather data about cricket frog populations. I will be describing a project I did last year with my students where we collected data about a population of cricket frogs near our school. I want to make a proposal that other classes join in and study the frogs too. In several other states these frogs have been used to describe environmental pollutants, as well as emerging evolutionary patterns. What patterns may our students find if they too looked at data about these frogs from Kansas?

Planting Science                                                                             Bill Welch (Wichita Northwest)
How to use the website and integrating it into the classroom setting.

Cool Grasshopper Picture


Caught this shot with my Droid phone while the grasshopper was crawling on a car window.

I’m sure many of your naturalist biology folks out there can quickly identify this critter. I grabbed this picture on the way to dinner a couple days ago, and I think it does a pretty good job of showing the kinds of cool pictures that camera phones can take these days.

Johnson County Science Cafe

Bring Back the Monarchs

Speakers: Jackie Goetz, Idalia Society (local chapter of Lepidoptera Society) and has tagged Monarch butterflies for 15 years.
Date: September 11, 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.

Monarch butterflies migrate to central Mexico every fall and back every spring. Monarch Watch is an organization which tags Monarchs and uses recapture information in an ongoing effort to understand monarch biology. Jackie will provide a live Monarch tagging demonstration with information linking to Monarch Watch and their ongoing conservation of the Monarch and its habitats. She will discuss the need for providing replacement habitat for Monarchs and other wildlife, planting milkweeds and native plants.  She will include thoughts about how individuals can take actions which will benefit all butterfly populations including monarchs. This will include information about volunteer opportunities in the development of a Pollinator Garden at a toxic waste site in Olathe.

Information about Monarch butterfly population trends can be found on
Powell Gardens conducts an annual Butterfly Count and has statistics available on their website.

Jackie has been raising and photographing local butterflies for over 20 years. She has been a Johnson County Extension Master Gardener for 15 years. Her home has been on the Home Butterfly Gardens on Jo Co Garden Tour in 1998 and 2008 and she participates in the Speakers’ Bureau for Butterfly Gardening programs. She has participated in Monach Watch tagging for 15 years with 20 tag recoveries and her home is a registered Monarch Waystation, #3. Jackie has provided local butterflies, moths and caterpillars for display at Powell Gardens’ Festival of Butterflies for 15 years and provides critters and tagging materials for Junior Master Gardener, school and community programs

For more information: