Spring 2015 Workshop - Wednesday April 15th

Spring 2015 Workshop – Wednesday April 15th

The KBS K-12 partnership cordially invites you to our spring 2015 workshop, themed Inferring Function from Form. This will be the last workshop will a full set of GK-12 Fellow presentations (though neverfear, we will have many more workshops) so expect it to be grand! The workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 15. As usual, the schedule will run from 8 AM to 4 PM. Below you’ll find our daily agenda well as details on our plenary sessions and concurrent sessions. Check back often for updates. Please rsvp to Sarah at bodbyl@msu.edu if you plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you! Agenda (PDF) 8:00am – Welcome and Introductions 8:30-9:30am – Plenary: Dr. Ryan Bebej, Calvin College. Walking with whales: the origin and evolution of cetaceans. 9:45-11am –  Session 1: Fellow-led and special guest sessions 11:15am-12:30PM – Session 2: Teacher-led sessions 12:30-1:30PM [...]

Thornapple-Kellogg teacher recognized in book by former student

Thornapple-Kellogg teacher recognized in book by former student

K-12 Partnership teacher Jamie Bowman is named in a new book by a former student, who made a strong impression during her early education. The full article is below, taken from the Thornapple Kellogg Schools webpage (http://www.tkschools.org/apps/news/show_news.jsp?REC_ID=454025&id=0): Amy Purdy, an actress, writer, inspirational speaker, and famed “Dancing with the Stars” competitor, wowed millions with her will and determination to compete even after having both legs amputated. In her new book, Purdy remembers one special teacher – Jamie Bowman – a TKMS teacher for 15 years. Thornapple Kellogg Middle School teacher Jamie Bowman has a new favorite book containing a very personal message. Bowman’s former student Amy Purdy acknowledges a special connection with her one-time elementary teacher in her new book “On My Own Two Feet: From losing my legs to learning the dance of life.” Bowman was in her first [...]

K-12 Partnership in the News - March edition

K-12 Partnership in the News – March edition

It’s been a busy spring for the partnership! Here are some of the most recent updates. Click on the photos for more information. 1. GK-12 project featured on the BEACON blog. 2. K-12 partnership and GK-12 teacher educator Liz Ratashak featured in the February MEA voice. 3. Former GK-12 Fellow Liz Schultheis receives the Tracy A. Hammer Graduate Student Award for Professional Development. Congratulations to Liz!   4. Fellows present the KBS GK-12 story at the MSU CREATE for STEM conference.  

Data Nugget manuscript published in ABT!

Data Nugget manuscript published in ABT!

The American Biology Teacher has recently published a Data Nuggets manuscript by former GK-12 Fellows Melissa Kjelvik and Liz Schulthuis! In case you’re curious what Data Nuggets are, here’s a quick excerpt from the paper: Data Nuggets (http://datanuggets.org) are free K–16 educational resources that bring data collected by scientists into the classroom, giving students the chance to work with data from cutting-edge research. They were designed in response to teacher requests for lessons that would help students meet quantitative learning goals. Data Nuggets are built from recent and ongoing research; each worksheet provides a brief background to a research topic, the researcher’s process as they developed their ideas, and a data set from their work. Students are challenged to answer a scientific question using the data set to support their claim and are guided through the construction of graphs o facilitate [...]

Fellow Bonnie McGill receives new ESPP Service Award

Fellow Bonnie McGill receives new ESPP Service Award

GK-12 Fellow Bonnie McGill was presented with a brand new award last Tuesday, November 18, at a town hall meeting of the Environmental Science and Policy Program at MSU. ESPP director Jinhua Zhou presented Bonnie with the ESPP Outstanding Service Award in recognition of her attendance and participation in ESPP seminars and research symposiums over the last two years and her contributions to the program through volunteering to help at events and serving on the research colloquia planning committee.  Bonnie is the first person to receive this new award. Congratulations, Bonnie!

Fellow publishes inquiry lesson in ABT

Fellow publishes inquiry lesson in ABT

Former GK-12 Fellow Tomomi Suwa recently published an inquiry lesson she developed addressing rhizobia-legume mutualisms! The lesson is based on Tomomi’s graduate research and was originally developed for and presented at K-12 partnership workshops. The publication arose from a collaborative effort with visiting scholar and co-author, Brad Williamson, from the University of Kansas. Congratulations, Tomomi and Brad! Click on the image to read Tomomi’s contribution to the literature.  

Fall Workshop - Wednesday November 12: Co-evolution and Cross-cutting Concepts

Fall Workshop – Wednesday November 12: Co-evolution and Cross-cutting Concepts

The KBS K-12 partnership cordially invites you to our fall 2014 workshop! The theme is Co-evolution and Cross-cutting Concepts and will be held on Wednesday, November 12. As usual, the schedule will run from 8 AM to 4 PM. Below you’ll find our daily agenda (pending) well as details on our plenary sessions and concurrent sessions. Events will continue to update as we develop content. Please rsvp to Sarah at bodbyl@msu.edu if you plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you! *Agenda Drafts (click to view): Concurrent Session Abstracts:  Session 1:  9:45am Effective “talk moves” for helping students explain their ideas: Findings from our analysis of interviews. With Hannah Miller, Wendy Johnson, & Andy Anderson, Terrace Room, All Levels. As part of the Carbon TIME research in 2012-3 we asked each teacher to interview two students because we wanted to identify the range [...]

Fellow Bonnie McGill presents at ESPP symposium

Fellow Bonnie McGill presents at ESPP symposium

GK-12 Fellow Bonnie McGill (Plainwell partnership) recently presented a poster at the 2014 MSU Environmental Science and Policy Program’s annual research symposium. The ESPP program is a campus-wide degree specialization program that facilitates interdisciplinary environmental research at MSU. This year’s symposium theme was Environmental Risk and Decision Making, which is a topic tailor-made for Bonnie’s research on how human activities, specifically agricultural management, influence ecosystem functioning. Bonnie’s conference contribution was titled “Coupling biogeochemistry and sociology to understand groundwater use and inorganic carbon flux in southwest Michigan corn fields“. If you see Bonnie, ask her about her research, and congratulate her on a great conference presentation!    

Plainwell Middle STEM academy visits Pierce Cedar Creek Institute

Plainwell Middle STEM academy visits Pierce Cedar Creek Institute

On October 2, over 90 students from Plainwell middle school’s STEM academy visited the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute for Environmental Education. K-12 partnership and STEM teachers Lisa Wininger, Heather Damick, and Momoko Montgomery teamed up with GK-12 Fellows Di Liang and Bonnie McGill, plus PCCI educator director (and former KBS K-12 partnership coordinator) Sara Syswerda to lead students through activities on PCCI grounds. Students were split into three groups and rotated through three activities: water sampling, macroinvertebrate sampling, and a geology hike. During the water sampling activity, students were trotted down to the beautiful Cedar Creek and were guided through sampling of water temperature, flow rate, pH, and dissolved oxygen. Leader Sara S. engaged the students with lots of questions and hypothesis formation on how the creek’s abiotic factors contributed to the diversity of animals that could be found there. On [...]

Fellows give research overviews at the LTER/GLBRC Field Tour for Investigators

Fellows give research overviews at the LTER/GLBRC Field Tour for Investigators

On Friday September 19, KBS welcomed new faculty and other interested researchers with the annual LTER/GLBRC Field Tour. The tour highlighted current agriculture-based research undertaken on KBS grounds and opportunities available for new researchers. GK-12 Fellows Di Liang, Bonnie McGill, and Brendan O’Neill helped plan the event, showcased their research with the LTER and GLBRC cropping systems, and entertained attendees with ‘PI trivia’ at the dinner following the tour.

Fellows share the KBS GK-12 story at 2014 Ecological Society of America meeting

Fellows share the KBS GK-12 story at 2014 Ecological Society of America meeting

On Tuesday August 12, GK-12 Fellows Dani Fegan and Jake Nalley presented at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Sacramento, California. Their talk was titled:  KBS GK-12 BioEnergy SusTainability (BEST) Project: Using schoolyard research plots to grow ecological and energy literacies (abstract here) and was included in a special organized session: Achieving Energy and Ecological Literacies for All: Towards Best Practices in Science Education and Outreach at the Interface. The talk highlighted the initial and realized project goals, the BEST plots, challenges, success-stories, and some of the amazing products that have been developed by participating Fellows (e.g. classroom-ready lesson plans and Data Nuggets). Despite an initial technology failure during the talk, the presenters used their hard-won GK-12 presentation-skill-mastery to give a brilliant team talk, receiving some rave reviews! Jake and Dani also handed out GK-12 lesson plans and newsletters to interested attendees of a materials ‘Share-fair’ [...]

Fellow Jake Nalley Featured at BEACON's Researchers at Work

Fellow Jake Nalley Featured at BEACON’s Researchers at Work

Former GK-12 Fellow Jake Nalley is featured in this week’s BEACON Researchers at Work. Jake, lab-mate Danny O’Donnell, and REU undergraduate Farhana Haque blog about their summer research projects  on how phytoplankton  may respond to global climate change. Check out the article on the BEACON website HERE. If you’re interested in learning more about Jake’s work, check out his website and some of his GK-12 lessons for K-12 classrooms available here, here, and here.

Fellow receives SARE grant

Current GK-12 Fellow Brendan O’Neill has received a SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) grant for research investigating soil health in agricultural systems. Agricultural management typically utilizes basic soil testing to inform management – helping farmers decide when and how much fertilizer or pesticides to apply to their fields. The SARE grant will allow O’Neill and other MSU researchers to complement traditional soil testing in local area farms with new tests gauging soil health through physical, chemical, and biological assays. O’Neill is interested in how new soil health testing results may be useful to and influence farmer management decision making and hopes that the new information will improve agricultural sustainability practices. Congratulations to Brendan on this achievement!    

Comstock and GK-12 partner to participate in NestWatch

Comstock and GK-12 partner to participate in NestWatch

GK-12 Fellow and ornithologist Cara Krieg and Comstock STEM academy teacher Mary Grintals worked together to get STEM academy students outside and directly observing and recording bird nesting behavior! In April, Cara Krieg donated 10 cedar bird nestboxes to the STEM academy and helped the students site and install them in good locations to attract birds. Cara researches house wrens at Lux Arbor Reserve, a research property managed by the Kellogg Biological Station. Her research includes maintaining a vast network of nest boxes for the wrens so she was able to give the Comstock students some very practical advice to assist with their nest monitoring experience. Mary Grintals recruited her 5th grade students to participate in a nationwide, citizen science nest monitoring program run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, called Nest Watch. The students learned where birds nest (other [...]

Plenary speakers at the K-12 Partnership Summer Institute

Plenary speakers at the K-12 Partnership Summer Institute

The 2014 KBS K-12 Partnership, sponsored by the NSF GK-12 and KBS LTER, invites you to join us for our morning plenary research talks at the Summer Institute. Events will run from Monday June 23 – Wednesday June 25. Plenary talks will be in the KBS Auditorium from 8:30 – 9:30 AM each day. Monday June 23, 8:30-9:30 AM Dr. Jason Gallant MSU Zoology Talk Title: Shocking tails from around the world: electric fish in the genomics era Brief excerpt from online bio: I completed my postdoctoral research in July, 2013 working in the evolutionary genetics laboratory of Sean Mullen at Boston University, where I studied the genetic basis of mimetic wing patterns in Limenitis and Heliconius butterflies.  I received my Ph.D. in July 2011, working with Carl Hopkins and David Deitcher at Cornell University.  Here, I studied the evolution of signal form and electric organ morphology among the Mormyrid electric [...]

2014 Summer Institute - June 23-25

2014 Summer Institute – June 23-25

The KBS K-12 partnership cordially invites you to the 2014 Summer Institute! Mark your calendars for this three day event, from Monday June 23 through Wednesday June 25. The schedule will run from 8 AM to 4 PM each day. Below you’ll find our daily agendas well as details on our plenary sessions and concurrent sessions. Events will continue to update as we develop content. Please rsvp to Sarah at bodbyl@msu.edu if you plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you! ***Please note: This year we will be capping a $75/day stipend for teacher attendees to the first 60 with an rsvp.*** Agenda Drafts (click to view): Agenda -DAY 1  Agenda -DAY 2 Agenda -DAY 3 Concurrent Session Abstracts: Cosmos, Part Deux!! With Lisa Wininger, Stack 145, EL/MS, Monday at 1 PM In this session, elementary and middle school teachers will learn about [...]

GK-12 Fellows receive spring awards

Congratulations to former GK-12 fellows Cara Krieg, Melissa Kjelvik, and Liz Schultheis for receiving awards to further their research. Cara Krieg received the 2014 George J. Wallace and Martha C. Wallace award, supporting ornithological research, from the Zoology department. Cara’s research focuses on unexpected behaviors observed in female house wrens, specifically female-female aggression and female song. Follow along with Cara’s research at her summer blog.  Melissa Kjelvik and Liz Schultheis were awarded a grant from NIMBIOS – the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (http://www.nimbios.org/). The grant funds will be used to continue to develop and evaluate an exciting educational tool they developed while in the GK-12 program, called Data Nuggets. Check out the Data Nugget website.        

Gull Lake students learn about native plants

Gull Lake students learn about native plants

In mid-May, Gull Lake 8th graders learned about landscaping with native plants with the help of fellows Tyler Bassett and Brendan O’Neill. Friday, May 16 was cool and a bit rainy, but that didn’t stop Jamie Bowman’s 8th grade class from planting nearly 300 native plugs at the Gull Lake Middle school. Tyler and Brendan took turns helping the students settle the plants and teach them about some of the benefits of native plant landscaping, including: improved wildlife habitat, erosion and run-off control, and reduced water use.  Ms. Bowman hopes plans to use the newly planted area in future years as an extension of the BEST plots and the Gull Lake Outdoor Classroom, which includes lake access and a greenhouse. Students have used the outdoor classroom to sample lake water for water quality analyses, learn about aquatic  invertebrate life, and [...]

Royer and Schultheis publish BoxCar2D lesson in ABT journal

Royer and Schultheis publish BoxCar2D lesson in ABT journal

GK-12 Fellows Anne Royer and Liz Schultheis published a paper in the April issue of American Biology Teacher on the use of the evolution simulation software, BoxCar2D, in the classroom. Many of you will recognize the activity from previous K-12 workshops, where Anne and Liz refined the lesson and received helpful feedback from partnership teachers. Congratulations to Anne and Liz! Royer, A. M. and E. H. Schultheis. 2014. Evolving better cars: Teaching evolution by natural selection with a digital inquiry activity. The American Biology Teacher. 76(4):259-264 For a PDF copy of the manuscript, please email GK-12 leadership at kbsgk12project@kbs.msu.edu    

April 23, 2014 Workshop - STEM: Environmental Engineering for Sustainability

April 23, 2014 Workshop – STEM: Environmental Engineering for Sustainability

The KBS K-12 partnership cordially invites you to: STEM: Environmental Engineering for Sustainability Wednesday, April 23 from 8 AM to 4 PM. Below you’ll find our agenda for the day as well as details on our concurrent sessions. Events will continue to update as we develop content. Please rsvp to Sarah at bodbyl@msu.edu if you plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you! Agenda 8:00 AM Breakfast, Announcements, and Introductions 8:30 AM Speaker: Dawn Reinhold (Assistant Professor of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at MSU) – Auditorium 9:30 AM Concurrent Session Teasers 9:45 AM Concurrent Session 1 MS/HS: Bread Making as Biological Engineering (Kolonich, Lee, Doherty and Anderson) Terrace Room EL (elem): Bringing Biology to Urban Design: All aboard the Poop Train! (Jake Nalley and Sara Garnett) Stack 140 MS/HS: The Pig Bang Theory: The Implications of Ignoring Evolution (Amanda Charbonneau [...]

Russ Stolberg awarded Calhoun Conservation District Educator of the Year Award

Russ Stolberg awarded Calhoun Conservation District Educator of the Year Award

On February 27th, Russ Stolberg, a GK-12 partner teacher from Olivet Middle School, was awarded the 2013 Educator of the Year award from the Calhoun Conservation District at their annual meeting held at FireKeeper’s Casino Hotel. This past year, Russ partnered with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to bring the “Salmon in the Classroom” program in his 8th grade Earth Science classes where students helped rear almost 100 King salmon throughout the school year. This project culminated in a student led fish release into the Red Cedar at Michigan State University where Michigan DNR and MSU Fisheries and Wildlife representatives spoke with students about what life after release would be like for the salmon, including discussing river ecology and identifying aquatic invertebrates. Russ also has a strong partnership with the Calhoun Conservation District, this year they provided the 8th [...]

Winter is for the Birds!

Winter is for the Birds!

Students in Comstock have been having some strange encounters of the feathered kind.  Fifth graders at the STEM Academy have been learning about the kinds of birds that will visit winter feeders.  Although the world might seem like a harsh polar-vortex tundra this time of year, many native birds stay here in Michigan.  Some arctic birds even migrate down to Michigan for the winter to escape the cold temperatures!  GK-12 fellow Cara Krieg taught Mrs. Grintal’s students how to identify the different Michigan birds common at this time of year.  The class was so excited about this lesson that they were identifying birds outside the classroom window the next day.  Students will use the skills they practiced in this lesson to count birds at a feeder outside of their classroom.  The data they collect will contribute to citizen science efforts [...]

Call for 2014-2015 GK-12 Fellows

Call for 2014-2015 GK-12 Fellows

The KBS GK-12 Bioenergy Sustainability Project is now accepting applications for graduate student fellowships for 2014-15.  This graduate training project is funded by grant from the NSF Division of Graduate Education. Fellowships are intended for students who have completed their first year of graduate coursework.    The NSF GK-12 program is meant to advance the professional development of STEM graduate students while they continue to make good progress on their dissertation research.  NSF stipulates that fellows will spend a maximum of 15 hours per week directly involved in GK-12 project activities, with approximately 10 of these hours devoted to activities in K-12 partner districts or at KBS.  KBS activities will include a one-day orientation in May, an intensive summer science institute in late June, two one-day school year workshops and weekly Friday fellows meetings associated with a course focused on [...]

K-12 Partnership Recognized at Gobles STEM assembly

K-12 Partnership Recognized at Gobles STEM assembly

On Thursday, November 21, Gobles Public Schools announced that it would be launching a special Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education program (STEM) that will increase student exposure to cutting-edge science. GK-12 Fellow Cara Krieg (second from left, below) took the stage at the middle/high school assembly to represent the MSU KBS K-12 Partnership, along with Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley, Representative Aric Nesbitt, Senator John Proos, and school leaders. The K-12 partnership would like to thank Gobles for the recognition at this important event and look forward to continuing to work with the teachers and students to improve science education at Gobles in the years to come. Coverage of the announcement can be viewed by clicking the image above (Channel 3 video story) and visiting the Gobles district homepage here.

Project GREEEN update

Project GREEEN update

Earlier this year at the spring (March 21) KBS K-12 Partnership workshop, we partnered with Project GREEEN, a collaborative initiative to ‘develop research and educational programs, ensure and improve food safety and protect and preserve the quality of the environment.’ Project GREEEN funds sponsored the plenary talk, the concurrent session “Big Roots for Big Problems”, and follow-up projects utilizing native plants at three different schools. As an extension of the workshop, the Graduate Fellow-led “GREEEN team” chose to use the remaining funds to sponsor community schoolyard native plantings. A call for proposals was sent out to the teachers participating in the March 21 workshop. The first funded proposal was led by Russ Stolberg, 8th grade science teacher, Olivet Middle School. Russ reports that his 8th grade students planted 400 Eaton Co. native grass seedlings, from Hidden Savannah, in two rain gardens [...]

GK-12 program featured in the Kalamazoo Gazette, MLIVE, and KBS Station to Station

GK-12 program featured in the Kalamazoo Gazette, MLIVE, and KBS Station to Station

KBS volunteer Bill Krasean contributed to this lovely article about our K-12 partnership which is published in the Kalamazoo Gazette and on MLIVE! A special thanks to Plainwell schools partner-teacher Sandy Brietenbach and GK-12 Fellow Cara Krieg for their contributions!   GK-12 Fellow Jake Nalley, partnered with Olivet Middle School and KAMSC, was featured in the November KBS Station to Station November newsletter here. The article describes some of the projects he’s been leading this fall in his partner schools; his students have been experimenting with with termites, algae, and even brewing root beer in class!