BioBuilder Professional Development Workshop in KS

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After a few years of integrating Synthetic Biology into our molecular course offering at CAPS, I am happy to announce that we will be offering a 3-Day BioBuilder Workshop at CAPS on July 8-10.  This three day professional development opportunity will prepare educators to bring biological engineering and synthetic biology into their classrooms and laboratories.  The workshop will include:

    • Lectures that connect the engineering/science/math and technology aspects of these fields.
    • Labs and classroom activities taught from the online www.BioBuilder.org resources.
    • Lunchtime discussions with members of the synthetic biology community.
    • Activities that address the nuts and bolts of running an iGEM team.

Attendees will receive lunch each day and 45 PDPs. Attendees must commit to implementing a BioBuilder activity in the 2014-2015 academic year and provide feedback on the effort.

Who should apply?

    • High school Biology teachers, especially those teaching introductory biology or those looking for new ways to teach the AP content or for compelling material to teach college-bound students after the AP exam is completed
    • College-level instructors looking for classroom and lab curricula to include in a biotechnology-style class
    • Science Club leaders, in particular anyone looking for ways to bring cutting edge content to students with a variety interests from math to biology to electronics.

How to apply?

    • The application is online: http://biobuilder.org/workshops/
    • 3 day workshop is $250/person (scholarships are available).
    • Registration fees include full tuition, lunch each day, and written materials.
    • A non-refundable registration/deposit fee of $50 is due upon application, reserving your place in a workshop. Balance is due one week in advance of the workshop.
    • Pre-registration is required for all participants, as space is limited.

What is Synthetic Biology?

Synthetic Biology is an emerging field that applies engineering and mathematical principles to the development of novel biological systems. These principles and technologies extend the teaching of molecular genetic techniques into real world, authentic applications.  Examples of synthetic systems include bacteria that smell like bananas, and light-sensitive bacteria that can serve as pixels in a photograph. These teachable systems are included in
the curriculum at Biobuilder.org.

Why teach Synthetic Biology?

Synthetic biology provides teachers and students an engineering context to learn molecular biology, genetic engineering and microbiology methods. This approach asks students to learn while designing, or testing designs of, engineered biological systems. In addition, this approach provides science teachers with a means of exploring numerous state and national technology standards that are hard to address in most science classes.

Workshop Instructors

Kevin McCormick is a science teacher at Summit Technology Academy in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. He teaches the Project Lead The Way capstone courses in the Biomedical Sciences, Medical Interventions and Biomedical Innovations. He participated in a week long BioBuilder workshop held at MIT in the summer of 2013.

Dr. Dave Westenberg is a microbiologist who has taught in the Department of Biological Sciences at Missouri University of Science and Technology for the past 17 years. He is co-advisor for the Missouri S&T iGEM team and teaches a course in Biological Experimental Design and Innovation. He also chairs the American Society for Microbiology Committee on K-12 Outreach.

Eric Kessler is completing his 22nd year as a biology instructor. He currently directs the Bioscience Program in the Blue Valley School
District’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS). He has received grants and awards that include the Milken Award, Kansas
Outstanding Biology Teacher, Kansas Wildlife Educator of the Year, and NSTA Ron Mardigian Bio-Rad Biotechnology Explorer Award. He participated in a week long BioBuilder workshop held at Purdue in summer of 2012, and has facilitated the high school iGEM program in 2012 and 2013.

Apply or Nominate for 2014 Kansas Outstanding Biology Teacher Award!

I am excited to announce that it’s that time again…

The new criteria for the 2014 Kansas Outstanding Biology Teacher Award is available!! If you would like to apply, please start working on the application (attached below). There is no need to let me know ahead of time that you are applying since we have always allowed self nominations.

If you would like to nominate someone else for this award, feel free to send me their name and I will contact them with the information.

Being either self-nominated or peer-nominated is not weighted differently in the committee evaluation process. All applications and letters of recommendation are due by FRIDAY, APRIL 25.  Click here for the application information: OBTA requirements_2014

Here’s a ditty from NABT about this fantastic award:
Every year, the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award (OBTA) program attempts to recognize an outstanding biology educator (grades 7-12 only) in each of the 50 states; Washington, DC; Canada; Puerto Rico; and overseas territories. Candidates for this award do not have to be NABT members, but they must have at least three years of public, private, or parochial school teaching experience. A major portion of the nominee’s career must have been devoted to the teaching of biology/life science, and candidates are judged on their teaching ability and experience, cooperativeness in the school and community, inventiveness, initiative, and student-teacher relationships. OBTA recipients are special guests at the Honors Luncheon held at the NABT Professional Development Conference, receive microscopes from Leica Microsystems, gift certificates from Carolina Biological Supply Company, and award certificates and complimentary one-year membership from NABT.

Please let me know if you have any questions!
Kelley Tuel

KATS Kamp Scholarships

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 from the the KATS website or from www.kcfs.org. Applications should be sent by email to Harry McDonald, KCFS President, biologycctrack@hotmail.com, by March 15.

Recipients will be contacted by March 22 by email.

Application
KCFS KATS Kamp Scholarship

Name ______________________________________________

Email address _______________________________________

School _____________________________________________

Grade/Subject taught _________________________________

Attended Kamp before Yes ______ No ______

Number of years teaching _____________________________

My district provides help with registration fees Yes ___ No ___

I agree to attend at least one of the KCFS-sponsored sessions at Kamp Yes _____ No _____

If you are in your first three years of teaching and have a mentor who is also applying, please name your mentor. If you receive a scholarship, so will your mentor.
____________________________________

What I hope to learn by attending KATS Kamp:

Submit by Mar. 15
Email to: biologycctrack@hotmail.com

Johnson County Science Cafe

Johnson County Science Cafe’

Zapping Charlemagne’s Power Grid: A Solar Superflare in 774 AD?

Speakers: Adrian Melott, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas
              
Date: March 11, 2014

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.

Solar superflares, their effects, how bad they might get, how often …

Dr. Melott received his Ph.D. at the University of Texas in 1981. He was one of the pioneers in simulation of the formation of structure in a dark-matter dominated Universe.  In 1996 he was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society “For groundbreaking studies of the origin and evolution of cosmic structure”, and in 2002 received the APS Joseph A. Burton Forum Award “to recognize outstanding contributions to public understanding or resolution of issues involving the interface of physics and society.”  He was an organizer and founder of Kansas Citizens for Science, which played a major role in restoring evolutionary biology to public science standards. Recently he shifted his research to “astrobiophysics”, beginning with the possible role of gamma-ray bursts in terrestrial mass extinctions, as well as long-term biodiversity fluctuations.  In 2007 he named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science “For distinguished contributions to cosmological large-scale structure, for organizing public support for teaching evolution, and for interdisciplinary research on astrophysical impacts on the biosphere.”

For more information: biologycctrack@hotmail.com