UMSI MakerFest

Are you interested in finding out more about the University of Michigan’s new Bachelor of Science in Information degree? Would you like to watch a demo of Google Glass, see a 3-D printer in action, learn how to crochet, or play with some of AADL’s music tools? If so, then you should definitely check out the UMSI MakerFest on Wednesday, March 26th from 12-2 PM at the Michigan Union.

So what is a MakerFest? UMSI's MakerFest grew out of the Maker Movement, which encourages people to combine their love of crafts and DIY projects with innovative technologies. MakerFest is an opportunity for "makers" of all types to get together, try out new tools, and most importantly, make new things.

This event is cosponsored by the School of Information, the Center for Campus Involvement, Ann Arbor District Library, All Hands Active, MakerWorks, U-M Computer and Video Game Archives, and Michigan Makers.

You can find out more at the UMSI MakerFest Facebook page.

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor: March 27, presented by AADL at LIVE 102 S First St.

Thursday March 27, 2014: 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm -- LIVE (102 S 1st Street)

This event is intended for Adults

For the last year, crowds have gathered each month in the early evening - in bars and venues around Ann Arbor. Around 7pm, it begins: three boisterous speakers geek out up front. What is this? Some secret club?

Nope! It's Nerd Nite Ann Arbor! And it's open to anyone and everyone who loves to learn or share what they love.

For the uninitiated, Nerd Nite (NN) has been described as “...like the Discovery Channel™…with beer!” Sounds fun, right? It is! NN is held monthly in 70+ cities, giving several folks the opportunity to give 18-21minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines. Imagine learning about everything from the science of the Simpsons to the genealogy of Godzilla. Fun stuff!

The next Nerd Nite will be Thursday, March 27 at LIVE (102 S 1st St.). Doors open at 6:30, and speakers start at 7pm.

What topics are on tap?
Did you know about Michigan's own "Forgotten Woodstock," held less than an hour away back in 1970? Have you ever wished you could tell what the heck a tree was just by looking at it? Want to learn a little more about the most effective world revolutionary of all time? Nerd Nite Ann Arbor teams up with Ann Arbor District Library this month to bring curious folks all of this with absolutely NO COVER!

Mark Deming – The Goose Lake Rock Festival
Ben Connor Barrie – Barking Up the Wrong Tree: A Crash Course in Tree Identification
Michael Leonard – Thomas Paine: How the First World Revolutionary Fell from Fame and Became the Forgotten Founding Father (of both America and France!)

Want to see past topics and a little more info? Check NNA2's site.

This month's event is NO COVER (usually $5), thanks to AADL's sponsorship!

Mark your calendars and spread the word! Any and all nerds (and non-nerds!) who love learning and having a great time are welcome to join us for the AADL + NNA2 Mashup!

Family Science Workshop: Meals with Megafauna: Sabertooth Cats, Dire Wolves, Mastodons & Man

Saturday February 15, 2014: 10:00 am to 11:00 am -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grades K - 5 with an adult

The giant mammals of the ice age not only had to worry about the climate, but there was a new contender for apex predator status: humans.

The U-M Museum of Natural History will explore the rise and fall of the megafauna and human's emerging role as apex predator. Learn about the strategies that predators and prey have used to keep a leg up on the competition.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, a star exploded and you can see it today!

As reported yesterday, astronomers have detected what appears to be a Type 1a supernova - an exploding white dwarf - in nearby galaxy M82, the closest to us in 40 years. Supernova 2014J, as it's been named, is a little hard to see in small scopes right now, but it's predicted to grow significantly brighter over the next two weeks before it fades away - easy enough to spot in the library's 4.5-inch telescope and even binoculars.

M82, also known as the "Cigar Galaxy" because of its shape, is part of a popular galaxy pair (M81-M82) in a relatively dim region of the constellation Ursa Major, about a fist's width above the bowl of the Big Dipper in the northeastern sky. It's visible by 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. in our region and will be visible throughout the night.

Sky & Telescope has some additional information and star maps to help you find Galaxy M82.

Family Science Workshop: Dining on Dinos: Long Necks, Sharp Teeth, Club Tails, Killer Claws

Saturday January 18, 2014: 10:00 am to 11:00 am -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for grades K-5 with an adult.

The world in the time of the dinosaurs was a brutal place. The U-M Museum of Natural History will explore what fossils can tell us about the lives and coping strategies of predators and prey and the strategies they used to give themselves a fighting chance.

Parent’s Corner: Science Fair Time!

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from language to behavior to safety to bullying. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.”

Winter is in high gear, the new year started and the kids are back in school. This means that science fair season will soon be upon us! Many children in the area will complete a project for school. AADL has a slew of books with a variety of science fair projects in them, including a few on the parent shelf. It’s not too early to browse through the experiments and see what might be a good choice for you to work on!

Audiobook: Scientists and Spies

Sometimes, the truth is even more exciting than fiction. At least it is in Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin. This non-fiction account of the scientists and spies involved in the development of the first atomic bomb is an amazing story, full of gentle humor, suspense and thoughtful insights into the cost of developing atomic weaponry. While written for youth, this book will appeal to science and spy lovers of all ages. Parents should note, however, that descriptions of the atomic bombings and their horrific aftermath are included.

The book was awarded a Newbery Honor medal in 2013.

Northern Lights Visible Thursday Night Over Michigan

You may have heard on the local news that the northern lights might be visible tonight due to a solar flare that occurred on Tuesday. If typical winter lake effect cloud cover dissipates then the lights will be able to be seen. If you’re typically early to bed then you might miss the show as the best viewing times are between midnight and four a.m.

If you’d like to learn more about how solar wind particles, magnetic fields and gases in the atmosphere interact to cause an aurora you can check out some books the library has on the subject.

Science Fair Tips and Tricks!

Monday, November 18 | 7 - 8 pm | Traverwood | Grades 6 - 12

It's Science Fair season! Students and parents are invited to hear Clague Middle School science teacher, Soon Morningstar, discuss the basics on planning and assembling a successful science fair project. Ms. Morningstar has been helping students create science projects for the Southeastern Michigan Science Fair for eleven years, and she has many helpful resources on her website.

Ask questions, get answers about Science Fair projects on Monday at the Traverwood branch.

Can't make the event? Check out this list of Science Fair resources available at the AADL. Also see the Science Fair Adventure website and the Science Buddies website for great project ideas.

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