After winning the Kansas championship, Pleasant Ridge Middle School will represent the state at the 34th annual Science Olympiad National Tournament next month in Fort Collins, Colo.
Science Olympiad competitions consist of 23 team events in the areas of earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, engineering and technology. There are middle school and high school divisions with an emphasis placed on active, hands-on group participation.
During the state contest April 7 at Wichita State University, the Pleasant Ridge squad won seven gold medals, five silver medals and three bronze medals. The team was declared the winner both in the large school and the overall school categories.
Its 15 Science Olympiad team members are Aarzoo Aagarwal, Puneet Bagga, Ruhi Chand, Manya Gauba, Naveen Kannan, Humphrey Luo, Alisha Marakani, Srihari Meyoor, Chethani Perera, Sai Saketh Pradhan, Arya Shah, Saumil Sharma, Andy Sun, Richa Vallurupalli and Saakhi Washist. They were coached by Sasmita Chand and Prashanti Dandamudi.
Pleasant Ridge is a Blue Valley school located at 9000 W. 165th St. in Overland Park.
Tower 2 Tower race supports drinking water initiative
Here’s an unusual race route: Begin at one water tower and end at another.
That’s the one chosen to recognize National Drinking Water Week by organizers of the third annual Tower 2 Tower 5K to be held the morning of May 5.
The route is a loop along Renner Boulevard from WaterOne’s water tower in Lenexa to Olathe’s north water tower. Parking is available at WaterOne, 10747 Renner Blvd., and nearby businesses. The area can be reached from College Boulevard and Eicher Drive.
The 5K starts at 8 a.m., followed by a one-mile kids run, for ages 5 to 12, at 8:45 a.m. A free kids run begins at 9 a.m.
Runners may register at Tower2Tower5K.org. Proceeds benefit Water for People, a non-profit that provides clean drinking water for countries in need of it.
Bike route being marked in Leawood
Starting this month, crews are marking a recreational bicycle route in northern Leawood, which will guide riders riders from the northern city limits to Interstate 435 and back. An extension will go to Leawood Park across I-435.
The work includes sign installation and traffic control. Completion is expected in early June, weather permitting. Completion is expected in early June.
A map of the route can be found by clicking on the news release is at leawood.org.
A rare peek at adventure park
Unless someone reserves the Challenge Course or attends a special event there, Johnson County’s TimberRidge Adventure Center is generally off off limits to the general public.
But that will change on April 28, when the Johnson County Park & Recreation District will host an open house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the property, 12300 S. Homestead Lane in Olathe. It’s adjacent to the county-operated Kill Creek Park.
The Center’s 40-foot-tall Hawk’s Nest Climbing Tower also is conducting an open house from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For those 12 and over who register in advance, there will be a free opportunity to experience the tower’s two climbing walls.
Participants must complete medical and liability releases, and those under 18 will need the signature of a parent or guardian. To register, call Lysa Holladay Dvorak at 913-856-8849.
Other activities will include kayaking, canoeing and pedal boating, and use of the archery and BB gun ranges for ages 8 and older. Cops-n-Bobbers, a local non-profit that brings kids, police and the community together for events, will have a mobile station with rods, reels, and bait, or you can bring your own.
The center’s trails will be open for hiking, and fishing will be allowed for those who meet Kansas licensing requirements.
Grace Chisholm, a Shawnee Mission East High School senior awarded a $20,000 scholarship as a Coca-Cola Scholar, has proved to be a master of time management.
Coca-Cola Scholars are selected for their strong academic record, demonstration of leadership, and commitment to contributing to their communities. Chisholm is among only 150 students nationwide in the 30th class of scholars.
At East, she is the editor-in-chief for the school newspaper, a member of student government and a National Merit finalist. Chisholm participates in soccer, tennis, the choir and chamber choir and has appeared in the school musicals all four years at East.
Having been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 5, Chisholm is a youth ambassador for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation and serves on the teen advisory board for Children’s Mercy Hospital.
New event is Superhero Saturday
Children — and adults — are invited to dress in costume to celebrate National Superhero Day during a new event April 28 at Shelter No. 2 in Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Road.
Superhero Saturday will begin at 10 a.m. and include superhero training, a scavenger hunt, art activities and a party favor. Advanced registration is required, and sessions may be added if there is sufficient demand.
The cost for one 90-minute session is $12 for each Johnson County child 16 and under, or $13 for nonresident children. To register call 913-831-3359 or visit www.jcprd.com, click on “Activity Registration,” create or sign into an account, and search for barcode 41709.
In the event of bad weather, the event will be moved to the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Drive.
Shawnee schedules bulky trash pickup
During three weekends in late April and May, the city of Shawnee is organizing Tidy Town, an opportunity for residents to get rid of junk that’s too big for the weekly trash.
Up to five items — such as furniture, mattresses, appliances, push mowers drained of fuel and oil, and carpeting — may be placed at the curb on a resident’s pickup date. Crews will take rolls of carpet, up to four feet wide, that are tied and weigh under 50 pounds (two rolls count as one item).
Items should be set out by 7 a.m. according to this schedule:
▪ April 28: Switzer Road west to Interstate 435 and from Shawnee Mission Parkway north to the city limits.
▪ May 5: Switzer Road west to I-435 and from Shawnee Mission Parkway south to the city limits.
▪ May 12:Interstate 435 to the western city limits.
Items not accepted include wood fencing, decking and construction materials; glass panels larger than four feet; tires; paint and other household hazardous waste; automotive batteries; engine oil or fuel tanks; yard debris; and compressed gas cylinders.
Some, but not all, of those items can be taken to a drop-off center, which will be open Fridays through Mondays from April 27 to May 14 at Johnson Drive and Renner Road. See cityofshawnee.org for all the rules and drop-off site hours.
JCCC Foundation names Johnson Countians of the Year
David and Mary Zamierowski of Overland Park have been named Johnson Countians of the Year for 2018 by the Johnson County Community College Foundation.
In their retirement years, David, a retired plastic surgeon, and Mary, a Ph.D. biochemist, have supported health-care education here and abroad.
“The Zamierowskis are a brilliant and compassionate team,” JCCC President Joe Sopcich said in a news release. “They served others throughout their medical careers and continue in retirement to have a profound impact in our region and around the globe.”
The Zamierowskis will be honored at the JCCC Foundation’s 32nd annual “Some Enchanted Evening” gala on Nov. 10 at the Overland Park Convention Center.
The couple met at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the fall of 1967 and David proposed three weeks later. The couple married during spring break the following year.
David served two years in the Army after his internship, twice earning the Bronze Star for Achievement in Vietnam. He then completed his surgical residencies becoming boarded in both plastic and general surgery and later obtained certification as a wound care specialist.
The couple established a 25-year plastic surgery practice in Johnson County and raised two daughters, Amy and Nancy. David also founded the Wound Care Centers of Kansas City. In retirement, he became interested in simulation education, beginning with his volunteering at JCCC School of Nursing.
With the introduction of the V.A.C. external wound dressing in 1995, the Prevena surgical incision dressing in 2009 and, most recently, the SAFingerStick glucose testing simulation kit that JCCC markets, David Zamierowsk is among an small group of physician inventors who have had more than one commercially successful product.
Since retirement in 2003, the Zamierowskis have supported education and healthcare initiatives in Kansas City and in places such as Las Pintas, Mexico, and Gulu, Uganda.
Locally, the Medical Mission Foundation, Rockhurst University, Shawnee Mission Health, the University of Kansas Medical Center and the University of Kansas Hospital have benefited from their leadership and support. That’s in addition to their strong support of JCCC over the last 15 years.
“David and Mary are the epitome of community leaders,” said Mary Birch, president of the JCCC Foundation. “Simply put, their passion and generosity have allowed our students and faculty to learn things, go places and market innovations we never before thought possible.”
Blue Valley makes recycling change
The Blue Valley School District has joined Shawnee Mission and other area school districts in discontinuing community recycling in bins outside the schools.
Instead, residents are being asked to recycle at the curb or take their items to municipal drop-off sites.
Blue Valley will continue its recycling efforts by staff and students within district buildings, but can’t afford to take items from the community because haulers no longer pick them up them for free.
Kinetic art exhibit opens at Overland Park Arboretum
A temporary exhibit of kinetic art opened last weekend at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens — 8909 West 179th St., about a half-mile west of U.S. 69 — and will be in place through Sept. 30, 2019.
“Whirlwind: Art in Motion” features 13 kinetic sculptures created by 10 different artists whose pieces have been installed around the world. Each will be offered for sale, with a commission retained by the Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park to benefit arboretum projects.
While the exhibit is in place, the arboretum will offer classes, guided tours and field trips for children and adults. Private tours, including wine and refreshments, will be available to corporate and social groups. A list of activities can be found at https://artsandrec-op.org/arboretum/arboretum-exhibits/whirlwind.
Hocker Grove student wins Kansas geography bee
Wyatt Boyd, a seventh-grader from Hocker Grove Middle School in Shawnee, won the Kansas State National Geographic Bee and will advance to the national bee next month in Washington, D.C.
Wyatt’s became interested in geography when he received a globe at an early age, according to press release from the Shawnee Mission School District.
“Some children are obsessed with dinosaurs,” his mother, Amy Boyd, said. “Wyatt has always been interested in geography. He was making dioramas of Africa before he started school.”
After earning the top test score at Hocker Grove, Wyatt took an online test to advance to the state competition in Abilene, Kansas, where he competed with more than 100 other state qualifiers.
Citywide garage sale May 3-5 in Mission
Mission has scheduled its annual citywide garage sale for May 3-5. Residents must register by noon April 27 to have their sale included in the published list.
Go to www.missionks.org and find the link in the news release about the sale.
Prospective customers can see the list starting April 30 online and at the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center, 6200 Martway St.
County’s Mildale Farm welcomes public on April 28
Johnson County is hosting Mildale Farm Community Day on April 28 at the 158-acre property at 35250 W. 199th St. in Edgerton.
The five-hour event, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., will give visitors access to the site, which was purchased in 2005 by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. That includes a 22-acre area that is available for rent.
Anglers can bring their own bait and tackle and practice catch-and-release fishing in any or all of seven ponds within the 158-acre area. District fishing permits have been waived, but Kansas residents 16 to 64 and nonresidents 16 and older must bring a Kansas fishing license.
The centerpiece of the property is the equestrian-style barn featuring peg construction and a hand-laid brick floor. Arts and crafts activities for kids will take place in the barn, and visitors can explore and picnic on the grounds.
Breakfast focuses on everyday activism
Everyday activism will be the theme May 5 when the League of Women Voters of Johnson County holds its annual breakfast and meeting. The speaker will be Elizabeth Arnold, a co-founder of Stand Up Blue Valley, a grassroots organization that informs residents about legislation affecting public schools and documents how elected officials are voting.
The event will be at Atonement Lutheran Church, 9940 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park. It begins with coffee at 8:30 a.m. followed by the breakfast at 9 a.m.
The cost is $20. Register by May 1 at www.lwvjoco.org. There’s no cost to hear the speaker without breakfast, but those guests should arrive at 9 a.m.
Fairies and tales at Ernie Miller
Fairies and gnomes and trolls. Oh, my!
You’ll find creatures like those — along with live animals and music — on May 5 when the Ernie Miller Nature Center presents its eighth annual Enchanted Fairytale Forest event.
Participants can search for natural treasures, design a fairy house and wand, sit down for a tea party and hear stories told by the Fairy Queen. The program is for all ages, but anyone younger than 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Enchanted Fairytale Forest will be offered twice on May 5, from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. Each session costs $6 for Johnson County residents or $8 for nonresidents, including adults.
Advance registration is required. Call 913-831-3359 or go to www.jcprd.com, click on “Register for Activities,” and search for course ID 7244 for the morning session or 7245 for the afternoon event.
If the weather’s bad, the event will be moved indoors at the center, 909 N. Kansas 7.
Doggie Dash in Prairie Village
Prairie Village Animal Control will host the second annual Doggie Dash, a canine friendly 3K run/walk, at 9 a.m. on May 5.
The free event will begin and end at 7710 Mission Road with food and vendors at the finish line. Park at Shawnee Mission East High School, Harmon Park or the Prairie Village Police Department.
Register in person the day of the race or call Animal Control ahead of time at 913-385-4631.
Lenexa helps property owners curb runoff
The city of Lenexa is willing to reimburse property owners for 75 percent of the cost of landscaping improvements that divert or help treat excess stormwater before it reaches creeks and streams. Eligible projects include rain gardens, rain barrels, permeable pavers, and native vegetation.
Lenexa has received $15,000 for the program from Johnson County and has contributed $7,500 of city funds. The maximum reimbursement is $110 for rain barrels and $1,500 for rain gardens, cisterns, permeable pavers or native plantings. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
For details and the application, go to lenexa.com and click on Cost Share Program.
Miege student earns National Merit Scholarship
Bishop Miege High School student Aidan S. Gray is among about 1,000 students nationwide to receive a corporate-sponsored National Merit Scholarship.
Gray, of Shawnee, aspires to a career in theater. He will receive the National Merit Ray Shaw Memorial Scholarship sponsored by American City Business Journals. Each year, the company awards two four-year scholarships to children of full-time employees.
Legislative coffee in Lenexa
A coffee with Kansas legislators is scheduled for 10 a.m. on April 28 at Lenexa City Hall, 17101 W. 87th St. Parkway.
Sen. Dinah Sykes and Reps. Shelee Brim, Tom Cox and Linda Gallagher are expected to attend.
Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to The Star