Welcome to the Kansas NSF EPSCoR (KNE) news and announcements blog. Stay up-to-date with all the happenings, discoveries, events and funding opportunities associated with KNE. Enter your email in the "Follow by email" box below and to the right to stay notified of new posts. Feel free to leave comments.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Limited Submission Funding Opportunity: EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 4: EPSCoR Research Fellows (RII Track-4)

     The Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) promotes scientific progress nationwide and offers a number of funding tracks for researchers. The EPSCoR RII Track-4 provides opportunities for non-tenured investigators to visit the nation’s premier private, governmental, or academic research centers and build research collaborations.  During these visits, the EPSCoR Research Fellows will have the unique opportunity "to learn new techniques, develop new collaborations or advance existing partnerships, benefit from access to unique equipment and facilities, and/or shift their research toward potentially transformative new directions."  These Fellowship experiences are designed to enhance the Fellows’ research trajectories well beyond the award period.  These Fellowships can also improve the research capacity of their institutions and jurisdictions.  This opportunity is open to non-tenured faculty who have an appointment at an institution of higher education or an early-career career-track appointment at an eligible non-degree-granting institution.

Please work with your institutional research office to meet the limited submission proposal requirements.

Submission Deadline: March 13, 2018 by 5 pm of submitter's local time. 

For more information click on the following link:  NSF EPSCoR Track-4

Monday, December 11, 2017

MAPS Outreach Team Teaches a Lesson on Seed Dispersal to 3rd graders

Teaching students at New Your Elementary
   As part of the RII Track 1 EPSCoR Award, Microbiomes in Aquatic, Plants and Soils across Kansas, Education and Outreach (MAPS), education and outreach initiatives, Dr. Peggy Schultz has designed interactive elementary lessons related to the research.  On December 6, 2017, Dr. Schultz traveled with Ben Kerbs and Rebecca Wagoner, her lab assistants, as well as Tita Soberon, Project Teaching Adviser, to New York Elementary in Lawrence, KS to present a lesson on Seed Dispersal to Mr. John Bode’s third grade class.  The goals of the lesson were to 1) allow students to discover and learn the many ways seeds are dispersed; 2) examine different seeds and their dispersal methods; and 3) understand how animals aid seed dispersal.
Students create and test their seeds
    After a brief introduction on what plants need to live, students played a game of tag simulating how squirrels gather acorns for the winter and what happens to the nuts, or seeds, when they encounter their natural predators. If tagged in the game, students had to stop and dump their acorns at the tagged spot. This represented one way animals disperse seeds.  Back in the classroom, students played a game that involved rolling in feathers to simulate how seeds can be transported in an animal’s fur. Then, Ben and Rebecca led brief small group lessons demonstrating how some real seeds float, fly, explode and roll in order to disperse.  Following the small group discussions, students designed and created their own seed.  Once finished constructing their seed, they tested their creation on ramps, in water and in a breeze to see which method of dispersal worked best.  As the lesson concluded, Mr. Bode led the class discussion to check for understanding and to make connections between the seed dispersal lesson and other science topics the class had studied so far this year.  The students really enjoyed the lesson and hoped that Dr. Schultz and her team would come back again.
     This Seed Dispersal lesson was designed to align with the Kansas 3rd grade Next Generation Science Standards.  As part of the MAPS outreach, Dr. Schultz plans to teach this lesson and others to more 3rd grade classrooms in the spring of 2018.

Education and outreach funding is provided by the Kansas NSF EPSCoR RII Track-1 Award OIA-1656006 titled: "Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant, and Soil Systems across Kansas." The grant's educational objectives are designed to enhance STEM education in Kansas by supporting activities that will lead to an expanded STEM workforce or prepare a new generation for STEM careers in the areas of aquatic, plant and soil microbiome environments and ecological systems.