|Teachers conducting fieldwork|
Pictures courtesy of Tom Platt and Peggy Schultz
The 2019 Ecosystems of Kansas Summer Institute was held June 17-21, 2019 at the Konza Prairie Biological Station as part of the Microbiomes of Aquatic, Plant and Soil Systems (MAPS) across Kansas education and outreach initiatives. Ten high school science teachers from across the state were invited to attend. The teachers participated in activities related to aquatic, terrestrial and soil ecosystems. Kansas State University (KSU) MAPS faculty, staff, and graduate students led field experiments, facilitated group discussions, and guided lesson planning. The MAPS faculty leading the activities included Peggy Schultz, Director of the Ecosystems of Kansas Summer Institute and Associate Specialist with the Environmental Studies Program at the Unversity of Kansas (KU); Walter Dodds, University Distinguished Professor of Biology at KSU and Co-PI of the MAPS project; Tom Platt, Assistant Professor of Biology and MAPS Plant Research Team Lead at KSU; and Lydia Zeglin, Assistant Professor of Biology and MAPS Aquatic Team Lead at KSU. Other KSU Biology Department facilitators included Teacher Assistant Professor Anna Larimer, Research Assistant Professor Mark Mayfield and graduate students Jaide Allenbrand and Ashlee Herken. Jill Haukos, Director of the Konza Environmental Education Program (KEEP) also led group discussions and outdoor activities.
Each day began with a whole group aquatic, plant or soil activity which was followed by afternoon breakout sessions focusing on the teachers’ area of interest (aquatic, terrestrial, or soil systems). During the lunch hour, teachers participated in open discussions related to the current issues Kansas science teachers are facing.
|Teachers conducting experiments|
Pictures courtesy of Evan Brandt and Tom Platt
|2019 Ecosystems of Kansas Summer Institute Participants|
Picture courtesy of Jill Haukos
Teachers attending the 2019 Ecosystems of Kansas Summer Institute:
- Eric Beckman, Russell HS
- Evan Brandt, Shawnee Mission North HS
- Brian Gahagan, Chanute HS
- Ruth Hudson, Blue Valley HS
- Michelle Loeffler, Leavenworth HS
- Jennifer Karr, Manhattan HS
- Chris Morrison, South HS
- Walter Pitts, Onaga HS
- Pesha Ptacek, Southeast of Saline HS
- Anna Thornton, Eureka HS
Workforce Development, Education and Outreach funding for the Ecosystems of Kansas Summer Institute 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 workforce development and 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.