Celebrate & Eat the Pies

When the Event Horizon Telescope sent back the images of Sagittarius A* I was excited; but, it wasn't until Katie Bouman of CalTech started to speak that I cried (Link to broadcast, 24:21). As someone in late middle age, I saw Dr. Bouman and instantly thought "wow, she could have been one of my students". It was a moment of pride in both my content and my classrooms. It was a moment that reminded me of the connections of our cosmos and the importance of collaboration
Nearly a month later it seemed as if the whole world was looking up again as the
JWST images came in every news cycle. The hexagonal shape of the mirrors reminded me of bee hives and the proverbial "hive mindset" that surrounded all pieces of the project. For me it was a moment of awe and I was reminded by Merriam Webster that "awe" is a feeling of "reverential respect mixed with fear and wonder", I let that sit for nearly a month and then watched capitively as we were headed to the moon.

At the time of this newsletter, Artemis was scrubbed. On Monday, despite the 200 moonpies I had purchased in anticipation, I was left with a belly ache and dread. Seriously friends, I was gutted and the fear part of my awe was brought into reality... but when I got home that night I was humbled. My husband, a second year teacher who handed out the moonpies reminded me that it wasn't over. I thought it was silly that he had let them eat the pies and then proud. One of the most magestic pieces of our content is that it's not over... in the fine words of Kennedy “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept..."

It's not over friends, the window for launch on Saturday kicks off at 2:17 p.m. ET and ends at 4:17 p.m. ET. If need be, the launch can be pushed back to Monday. We continue on.
Ad Aspra Per Aspera

Upcoming Professional Development

Collaboration Meetings- Community Collaboration

Did you know monthly PD sessions are recorded? Find recordings here: (Link)

Call for Content

Are you doing something amazing in your classroom that you would like to share with others? Please submit ideas to mrichard@ksde.org to be showcased in the "Content Corner" next month.


Content Specific Virtual PLCs

Content specific PLCs are back! All content areas will meet on the second Thursday of the month at 4 pm. Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Elementary will all have content specific breakouts; but, all are welcome.

Register here: LINK

Regional Professional Development Communities

Along with our KSDE Science Teacher Leader Team we are VERY excited to be offering quarterly regional professional development meetings. Each meeting will consist of a morning of typical professional development followed by an afternoon to workshop.

Session Descriptions (Click to expand details)

Quarter 1

Title: Science Regional PLCs- 1st Quarter, Anchoring Science with Student Driven Discussions

Description: During this regional PLC, KSDE Teacher Leader TBD will offer a deep dive into our science standards by providing strategies to help anchor lessons in phenomena and student questions. The morning will provide a scaffold and the afternoon will provide support for implementation in specific classrooms with collaboration from those in attendance.

Quarter 2

Title: Science Regional PLCs- 2nd Quarter, Navigating Science Shifts and Supporting Students

Description: During this regional PLC, together we will offer a look into how to navigate and change lessons with the "navigation routine" from our standards. This will help participants to see how the Science and Engineering Practices can be used to assess student understandings and build future curiosity. The morning will provide a scaffold for this approach and the afternoon will provide support for implementation in specific classrooms with collaboration from those in attendance.

Quarter 3

Title: Science Regional PLCs- 3rd Quarter, Investigating Routines and Rigor for Science

Description: During this regional PLC, together we will introduce participants to the investigation routine from our standards framework and walk through how it can help to determine appropriate rigor for our students. The morning will provide a scaffold for this approach and the afternoon will provide support for implementation in specific classrooms with collaboration from those in attendance.

Region 1 (Registration)

K-State Olathe
(Click for Location)

Quarter 1 - September 28th, Register Here: LINK
Quarter 2 - November 16th, Register Here: LINK
Quarter 3 - February 20th, Register Here: LINK

Region 2 (Registration)

Smoky Hill Education Service Center
Click for Location)

Quarter 1 - September 23rd, Register Here: LINK
Quarter 2 - November
18th, Register Here: LINK
Quarter 3 - February 20th, Register Here:

Region 3 (Registration)

Fort Scott Community College
(Click for Location)

Quarter 1 - September 19th, Register Here: LINK
Quarter 2 - November 14th, Register Here: LINK
Quarter 3 - February 20th, Register Here: LINK

Region 4 (Registration)

ESSDACK Regional Service Center
(Click for Location)

Quarter 1 - September 21st, Register Here: LINK
Quarter 2 - November 16th, Register Here: LINK
Quarter 3 - February 20th, Register Here: LINK

Region 5 (Registration)

Northwest Kansas Educational Service Center (NKESC)
(Click for Location)

Quarter 1 - September 20th, Register Here: LINK

Quarter 2 - November 15th, Register Here: LINK

Quarter 3 - February 20th, Register Here: LINK

Region 6 (Registration)

Southwest Plains Regional Service Center
Click for Location)
8:30-3:30 pm
Quarter 1 - September 19th, Register Here: LINK
Quarter 2 - November 13th, Register Here:
Quarter 3 - February 20th, Register Here: (TBA)

Fields and the Framework

We are excited to announce the launch of the "Fields and the Framework" Podcast as another opportunity to engage in Kasnas Science practice. In the first episode we hear from Robert Hamilton, current KATS president who shares his strategies for building a culture of trust in his classroom which leads to high quality sense-making all year long.

Listen to Episode 1 here: https://open.spotify.com/show/4ypDkxbCRBfA3n34mYY5LQ

Elementary Science Specific

K–5 teachers, do you have an innovative idea for improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning in your classroom? Does your idea involve project-based learning with measurable outcomes? What do you need to make learning STEM subjects fun for your students? Apply for these grants of up to $1,000. (Deadline October 1). Learn more here: LINK

The Samull Classroom Herb Garden Grants

The Herb Society of America awards grants to public and private school teachers of grades 3–6 with classes of at least 15 students. The society will award 15 $300 grants to establish indoor or outdoor herb gardens. The funds may be used for supplies such as soil, plant trays, containers, and child or youth sized tools. (Deadline October 1). Learn more here: LINK

National Geographic Explorer Classroom Events

These free, live interactive sessions for grades K–2 and 3–8 bring National Geographic Explorers—scientists and researchers from around the world—to your classroom. Students will hear behind-the-scenes stories and interact with experts. September sessions will feature the theme “Conserving Ecosystems.” In October, sessions will address the theme “Water Conservation.” Events for grades K–2 happen on Mondays at 11 a.m. ET; events for grades 3–8 take place on Thursdays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET. Classes can be featured on screen in Zoom or watch the session live on YouTube. Educators will receive an instructional guide to accompany the session. Learn more here: LINK

Kansas Science and Engineering Fair

While the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have implemented 8 Science and Engineering Practices; we know that there is still merit in students (especially elementary students) going through opportunities to discuss and conduct scietific thinking. Did you know that Kansas has a Science and Engineering Fair that happens every spring? Science fairs are a great opportunity to promote cross curricular learning as students write their reports and practice their speaking and learning skills. It is also a GREAT opportunity to build their elementary IPS portfolios. Learn more about the Kansas fair here (Link) and please reach out if I can help with this in any way.

Secondary Science Specific

Nominate outstanding grades 7–12 science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) teachers by January 9, 2023, for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government specifically for STEM teaching—or apply for one yourself by February 6, 2023. Awards are given to teachers from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity schools, or the U.S. territories as a group (American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and U.S. Virgin Islands).

Awardees receive the following:

• A certificate signed by the President of the United States;

• A paid trip to Washington, D.C., to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities;

• A $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation; and

• An opportunity to build lasting partnerships with colleagues nationwide.

STEAM: Using Paint to Teach Stoichiometry and Solutions

During this American Association of Chemistry Teachers webinar on September 8, a chemistry teacher will share key components of a unit design that uses paint as a framework to learn stoichiometry and solutions. The unit uses three main checkpoints to weave the paint theme throughout before culminating in a lab experience in which students make their own paint to use in a class mural. Attendees will be introduced to the flow of this unit, as well as the format of each checkpoint activity and the final lab component. Advance registration is required. Learn more here (Link).

Experience EPI’s methods for teaching field science as you conduct hands-on conservation research during these eight-day fellowships. Fellowships are open to formal and informal educators worldwide who teach in any subject area. EPI’s curriculum is appropriate for middle level, high school, or university educators. EPI funds most of the fellowship costs. Choose from the Baja Teacher Fellowship (March 4–11, 2023), the Winter Yellowstone Fellowship (March 4–11, 2023), or the Costa Rica Teacher Fellowship (April 22–29, 2023). (Deadline September 1) Learn more here (Link)

KATS Corner (Kansas Association of Teachers of Science)

We want teachers to have fun as scientists and experience the cosmosphere as well as have the opportunity to engage with pedagogy with their peers. The cosmosphere confirmed that these simulators & interactive exhibits are exclusive to school tour groups so it's very exciting that we get to experience them!

Families are welcome! We're just asking that when you register, you pay for their lunch ($10). The schedule will have options built in for family members. Recommended age for children to attend is 10+ though there are lots of fun things like a salt mine tour which are also in the area for the day.

  1. Past, Present & Future Missions to the Moon 1 hour. Mission control must communicate to the astronauts the solution to fixing the carbon dioxide filter. Based on the Apollo 13 disaster. Will you be able to fix it before time runs out?

  2. Simulated space mission in the Astralis Capsule

  3. Astronaut Training Simulators 1 hour. Train like an astronaut in our 4G centrifuge and feel the change in Gs that an astronaut would experience during a typical rocket launch. Feel what it would be like in an out of control tumble in a spacecraft in our Multi Axis Trainer.

  4. Battery Challenge 1 hour. Experiment with building a battery using different types of metals and electrolytes. Test to see the best combination in a battery modeled after Volta's very first battery.

  5. Drones 1.5 - 3 hours. Learn the basics of flying a drone, and practice drone photography.

AND MORE! Register Today at: https://kats.org/events

NSTA 2023 Wendell G. Mohling Scholarship

This scholarship, in honor of Dr.Wendell G. Mohling, will be awarded to a Kansas science teacher, to attend a National Science Teachers Association Conference. The scholarship, to be used sometime during the school year it is awarded, will be in the amount of $1000.00. Application deadline is September 24th.

The applicant must meet all of the following requirements:

  1. The teacher is currently teaching science in a Kansas school, in grades K-12, and has

been teaching science for a minimum of 2 years.

  1. The teacher will continue teaching science in a Kansas school during the following school year, after the scholarship is awarded. A letter of support from the teacher’s superintendent/ principal will be required, and must accompany the application.

  2. The teacher has never attended an NSTA convention.

  3. The teacher will provide receipts to the foundation, to document the teacher’s expenses while attending the convention.

  4. The teacher will join or renew his/her Kansas Association of Teachers of Science membership for the year. The foundation will reimburse the cost of this membership.

Additional Opportunities

From Outside of KSDE

Beetles - The Coleopterists Society Grants / Awards

Youth Incentive Award

The Coleopterists Society, an international organization of professionals and hobbyists interested in the study of beetles, has established a program to recognize young people studying beetles. The Society has pledged to provide up to $1200 each year for the Youth Incentive Award Program. The Junior award is a monetary grant of $400 and the Senior award is $800. In addition, award recipients will each receive a one-year subscription to the society journal, The Coleopterists Bulletin

This is for children of grades 7-12 only.

The objectives of the Youth Incentive Award are to:

  • provide encouragement and assistance to young beetle enthusiasts (grades 7-12).

  • promote the study of beetles, the most diverse group of insects, as a rewarding lifelong avocation or career.

  • provide opportunities for young people to develop important life skills such as leadership, cooperation, communication, planning and conducting a scientific study, grant writing and managing funds.

  • provide some financial support to enrich activities or projects.

A Youth Incentive Award Committee from the Coleopterists Society will evaluate the applications and will select up to two winners annually; one each in junior (grades 7-9) and senior (grades 10-12) categories. The selection committee invites proposals for topics such as field collecting trips to conduct beetle species inventories or diversity studies, attending workshops or visiting entomology or natural history museums for special training and projects on beetles, studying aspects of beetle biology, etc. The proposed activities or projects will be evaluated on their degree of creativity, educational benefit to the applicant, scientific merit, feasibility and budgetary planning. This Award is for proposals by individuals only. Each applicant is strongly encouraged to find an adult advisor (teacher, youth group leader, parent, etc.) to provide guidance in proposal development, but the proposal MUST be written by the applicant. The Coleopterists Society would also be happy to assist in establishing contacts between youth and professional Coleopterists.

Additional details and application forms for The Coleopterists Society Youth Incentive Award Program can be obtained from: Dr. David G. Furth; Entomology, NHB, MRC 165; P.O. Box 37012; Smithsonian Institution; Washington, D. C. 20013-7012 (phone: 202-633-0990, FAX: 202-786-2894, email: furthd@si.edu). Also check The Coleopterists Society WebPage: https://www.coleopsoc.org/society-info/prizes-and-awards/

Applications for this year must be submitted by 1 November 2022.

Multi Section Meeting of American Association of Physics Teachers

Save the date: April 15, 2023 for a multi-section meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers. Contact: Larry.Browning@sdtate.edu for additional information

2022 Kansas & Missouri EE Conference

Time & Location

Nov 04, 8:00 AM CDT – Nov 06, 12:00 PM CST

The Kauffman Foundation Conference Center, 4801 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA

About the Event

The 2022 Kansas & Missouri Environmental Education Conference will be held at the Kauffman Foundation Center in Kansas City, Missouri on Friday, November 4th - Saturday, November 5th. There is an (optional) field experience on Sunday, November 6th.

For information on hotel accomodations and other conference information, click here.

PLEASE NOTE: All conference presenters and attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and able to show proof of vaccination.

Learn more here: LINK

TechRise Challenge

NASA is calling on middle and high school students to join the second NASA TechRise Student Challenge. Students in sixth to 12th grades attending a U.S. public, private, or charter school –including those in U.S. territories –are challenged to team up with their schoolmates to design an experiment for a high-altitude balloon under the guidance of an educator. The challenge offers hands-on insight into the design and test process used by NASA-supported researchers. Teams should submit their experiment ideas by October 24th, 2022. Sixty winning teams will be selected and awarded $1,500 to build their experiment, an assigned spot to test it on a high-altitude balloon flight, and technical support from Future Engineers. To learn more about this exciting opportunity and get involved as a student, educator, or judge, visit NASA TechRise Student Challenge, and sign up for the Educator Event on August 27th, 2022 and a Student Virtual Field Trip in September!

Wind Energy Workshop (Sub Stipend and Kit)

To help prepare new teachers and coaches for the 2023 Kansas KidWind Challenge, the Kansas Energy Program has scheduled the following six wind energy teacher workshops across the state. There is no cost to attend! Each person attending the workshop will receive a substitute stipend (if necessary), reimbursement for mileage to/from the workshop and your school, lunch, and a Vernier KidWind Basic Wind Experiment Kit (valued at $129). Learn more about KidWind with this quick overview video.

Follow the links below for more details and registration: