March 2020

Upcoming events

UK Sky Talk
UK Chemistry-Physics Building Room 155

Bench Talk: The Week in Science
Podcast and Broadcasted every  Mon 7:30pm, Tue 11:30am, Wed 7:30am
Listen at

Registration Deadline for Kentucky Junior Academy

Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Chapter of the American Physiological Society
8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension Building
400 East Main Street
Frankfort, K 40601

Ky Psychological Association Spring Academic Conference
Bellarmine University

Kentucky Science & Engineering Fair
Alumni Coliseum on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University

UK Physics & Astronomy Dept Open House
10 am to 5 pm
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Kentucky
177 Chem.-Phys. Building University of Kentucky 505 Rose Street
Lexington, KY 40506-0055

UK Sky Talk
UK Chemistry-Physics Building Room 155

Kentucky Junior Academy of Science meeting
Kentucky State University, Frankfort, KY Hathaway Hall
400 East Main St.
Frankfort, KY 40601

MAUPRC (Mid America Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference)

Kentucky Junior Academy of Science meeting on April 18

Any middle or high school student doing science research is welcome at the Kentucky Junior Academy of Science meeting April 18.
Kentucky State University hosts the meeting. High school students with winning presentations are eligible to attend the American Junior Academy of Science meeting in Phoenix in February 2021.

Registration is open until March 18.
Details and registration here


Volunteer as a Judge for the Kentucky Junior Academy meeting

KAS Graduate & Professional members, please consider signing up as a volunteer judge on Saturday April 18. Log in at the KAS website and find the Signup Link in your member menu. We need judges in the morning and afternoon, and we provide breakfast and lunch. Thank you!

Science for the People! Join our Public Engagement Team

Would you like to bring your science out into the world to help improve science literacy & show people that science is fun and important?
Join our Public Engagement team! Bring us your enthusiasm--we are bringing our science to communities all over the Commonwealth, to events, into the media, and over the airwaves-- in fact, the sky's the limit.

Are you already doing public engagement work or do you want to do more? Join our team, or just join our next conference call. Email Executive Director Amanda Fuller to get added to the list. Our next call will be in mid-March.

Kentucky Delegates at American Junior Academy of Science

Naomi Kim. Tumor Mechanism in Immune System Evasion: Exosomes & Cancer- Associated Fibroblast

Jack Boylan and Kavya Koneru.  Room Temperature Specimen Preservation: Sol-Gel Encapsulation and PEG Extraction

Aamya Vorha. Comparing and Correlating Vexation with Testosterone Levels

Varun Chandrasekhar. The Effect of Light Tracking and Tower Based Systems on PV Energy Generation

Jiaen Hu and Eleanor Hummel. Designing a Novel Water Filter to Remove Pharmaceeuticals Using Nanomaterials


Congratulations to the 2020 KAS Research Grant winners

Find out more about KAS Research Grants HERE


Are Age Differences in Emotion Perception in Inanimate Objects Linked to Cognitive Decline? Andrew Mienaltowski, Western Kentucky University

Impact of intensive treatment for periodontal disease on the incidence of recurrent acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Doug McElroy, Western Kentucky University

From Paper to Sky: Elementary Astronomy Toolkit. Jing Wang, Eastern Kentucky University

Neuroscience Education Programs for K-12 Students in Eastern Kentucky. Ilsun White,  Morehead State University

Experimental Study of Stochastic Resonance in Dumped Driven Duffing Oscillator. Ivan Novikov, Western Kentucky University

The Vascular Flora of the Central Kentucky Wildlife Management Area. Nick Koenig, Eastern Kentucky University

Integrating Cloud Computing into VR Exposure Therapy in Order to Increase the Effectiveness of PTSD Treatment. Jeffrey Galloway,  Western Kentucky University

Does Resource Availability Influence Plant Mycobiome Interactions?  Kylea Garces, University of Louisville

2020 KAS / KSTA Annual Meeting

Mark your calendars for November 5-7 and plan to join us at EKU for our Joint Annual Meeting with the Kentucky Science Teachers Association.

Joint Session Proposals
We want your Joint Session Proposals, presented by a KAS member with a K12 science educator! Would you like to collaborate with an educator to present a 1-hour or 2-hour session? Some ideas for topics we'd like to see (or propose your own)
  • Earth Sciences- Share your favorite activities, materials, teaching tools
  • Experiences visiting classrooms or working with K12 teachers
  • Innovations & Collaborations in new Teacher training
  • Citizen Science projects involving teachers and scientists working together
  • Propose your idea! What can scientists & teachers learn from each other?
We'll be accepting session proposals at our Annual Meeting website, or send us an email to pitch your idea.

Book your hotel room early?
The Breeders Cup is the same weekend as our Annual Meeting and we are noting that pressure on hotels in Richmond may be higher than normal! We've posted our hotel blocks on our website extra early, so that you can reserve rooms early if you want to. You may want to reserve some now -- you have until October to change those reservations.

Check out our two keynote speakers who WILL inspire you to dynamic and inclusive science education:  Dr. Chris Atchison and Dr. Philip Bell

Opportunity for Teachers: Fossil identification and analysis for K-12 Science Classrooms

Dr. Kate Bulinski of Bellarmine University and Mr. Alan Goldstein of the Falls of the Ohio State Park have teamed up to offer a Kentucky Academy of Science grant-supported professional development workshop “The Waldron Shale Project: Fossil identification and analysis for K-12 Science Classrooms.” 
The workshop will take place on Tuesday, June 23, on the campus of Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.
This project is limited to just eighteen teachers from public or private schools in Kentucky.  Participants will be trained to perform a hands-on inquiry-based lesson using fossils in their classroom.  
The ultimate goal of this project is to equip teachers with the knowledge and materials necessary to teach their students how to collect, analyze, interpret, and write about paleontological data. 
Participants will receive: 
1) a day-long professional development paleontology workshop at Bellarmine University
2)  a set of classroom laboratory supplies including a bulk sample of fossiliferous shale and
3) ongoing professional support from Dr. Bulinski and Mr. Goldstein. 
Participation will be determined by the following criteria:
Must be a K-12 science teacher in Kentucky (public or private)
New to this project (i.e., has not participated in previous versions of the Waldron Shale Project)
Priority will be given according to when applications are received
Participants will be expected to:
Attend the workshop
Incorporate the Waldron Shale Project in their curriculum during the 2020-2021 academic year
Write a short report in the summer of 2021 summarizing the assessment of learning outcomes in their classrooms
Attend a half-day workshop in the summer of 2021 (either in-person or through teleconferencing)
Learning Objectives and Outcomes:
We intend that participating schools will use paleontology as a vehicle for integrating science across the curriculum.  We expect that the participating teachers will use the provided materials to implement hands-on inquiry-based education whereby students will learn about earth science, evolution, and the scientific method through an engaging and creative experience.
Recognize fossils (lower grades), classify fossils (mid grades) and identify fossils (upper grades) using project templates
Determine the difference between sedimentary rock types and how they form
Learn how fossils form through creating molds and casts (lower grades)
Use tools to extract fossils from shale
Create scale drawings of specimens and label the anatomy
Calculate and interpret paleoecological data like richness, percent abundance and body size (middle and upper grades)
Submit photos and data for posting to project website
Compare data with other participating schools
Write a report exploring an aspect of paleontology (lower and middle grades) or following the format of a professional paper (upper grades)
In order to apply, teachers should email to request an application. If more than 18 applications are received, applicants will be placed on a waiting list. 

Join the Ky Chapter of the American Physiological Society

Dr. Wasana Sumanasekera

About the KY Physiological Society / KY Chapter of the American Physiological Society         

The purpose of the Kentucky Physiological Society is to promote the physiological knowledge, its dissemination, and its utilization in the state of Kentucky. Advancing the field of Physiology will be sought in molecular, cellular, organ, and integrative systems in basic and applied disciplines of research to unite physiologists for this purpose in the state of Kentucky.  The 8th Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Chapter of the American Physiological Society will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY

Our executive / steering committee consists of members from several parts of Kentucky. These committee members include Dr. Irving Joshua, Dr. Suresh Tyagi, and Dr. Mahavir (University of Louisville); Dr. Wasana Sumanasekera (Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences), Dr. Robin Cooper and Dr. Francisco Andrade (University of Kentucky), Dr. David Thompson (Northern Kentucky University), and Dr. Scott Wicker (Kentucky State University).

We conduct meetings annually to provide opportunities for young scientists, graduate students, and undergraduate students to network and learn from senior established scientists.  Recently we have received an outreach grant from the American Physiological Society to promote science education activities for Kentucky high school students. Several high school students mentored by Drs. Sumanasekera and Cooper received funding through this grant. These high school students presented their findings at the 2019 KY-APS meeting and received awards.

Please see the photos from previous meetings held at the University of Louisville and Northern Kentucky University.


Pre-Healthcare Master’s Degree in Physiology at the University of Louisville

Jennifer Wells

An opportunity to improve academic credentials and experience to facilitate admission to professional schools – Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, etc.
  • One year, 30-credit-hour, non-thesis M.S. program
  • Advanced scientific training in the basic medical sciences
  • Exposure to problem-based learning and medical sciences success skills
  • Pre-professional career advising
  • 80% of graduates who apply for professional school achieve admission
For further information, please visit our website at:
To apply for our M.S. program, please visit the Graduate School website at:

Nathan L. Vanderford, PhD, MBA, Set to Release Book on Cancer Crisis in Appalachia

Nathan Vanderford

Cancer incidence and mortality rates are staggeringly high in Kentucky, especially in the eastern portion of the state that lies in the Appalachian Mountain region. The statistics that show that Kentucky ranks number one in the United States for cancer incidence and mortality rates are very important, but the data does not tell the personal stories of how cancer effects individuals, families, communities, and the entire region. Telling some of these stories was the premise behind The Cancer Crisis in Appalachia. This book consists of essays written by twenty-five students who are participants in the Appalachian Career Training in Oncology Program directed by Nathan L. Vanderford, Assistant Professor of Toxicology and Cancer Biology, at the University of Kentucky. Each student describes how cancer has impacted their lives or the lives of their family and they explore their thoughts on what could be done to lower the cancer burden in their communities. 

The Cancer Crisis in Appalachia: Kentucky Students Take ACTION will be released on April 7, 2020, but preorder is available via Amazon:


Book released by WKU faculty member Tony Simpao

Tony Simpao

The new book is titled Understanding the Schrödinger Equation: Some [Non]Linear Perspectives may be pre-ordered online:

Information from the publisher: The current offering from Nova Science Publishers titled Understanding the Schrödinger Equation: Some [Non]Linear Perspectives is a collection of selectively invited manuscripts from some of the world’s leading workers in quantum dynamics; particularly as concerning Schrödinger’s wavefunction formalism. The work is dedicated to providing an “illustrative sketch” of a few of the numerous and sundry aspects of the Schrödinger equation; ranging from a new pedagogical teaching approach, to technical applications and foundational considerations. Towards this end, the work is generally of a theoretical nature; expounding various physical aspects of both linear and nonlinear Schrödinger systems and their attendant mathematical developments.

Educational Programs at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

KAS Newsletter - March 2020