Red Planet Day - November 28th

Did you know that November 28th is Red Planet Day? Spacecraft Mariner 4 launched on November 28, 1964, and during its eight-month voyage it collected the first ever up-close images of Mars!

Exciting developments from the Mars rover "Curiosity" mission are to be announced in December, so now is a great time to read up on the fourth planet from the sun. From our catalog, check out The Case for Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must for adults, Mars for children, or the documentary Can We Make It To Mars?, part of the PBS Nova scienceNOW series. Just for fun, try the Edgar Rice Burroughs' science fiction series John Carter of Mars.

Find out more about Mars by visiting NASA's Mars Exploration Program website.

Science Fair Expo

Saturday, November 17 | 12 - 2 pm | Downtown | 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.

After the presentation, try several of our hands-on science experiments, and be the first to test some of our new Science Tools including two types of microscopes!

Ask questions, get answers about Science Fair projects this Saturday at the Downtown library.

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.

Solar Eclipse Today (Only Visible in Australia)

The only total solar eclipse of 2012 will begin around 3:35pm EST today, November 13, and it will last all of two whole minutes, so try not to blink. Unfortunately, it will only be visible live from certain areas of Queensland, Australia and some empty parts of the Pacific Ocean. The good news is that you can watch the solar eclipse live online via streaming sites, including Cairns Eclipse 2012 on USTREAM, which will begin streaming around 2:00 pm.

More resources on eclipses are available here from the AADL, and don't miss one of the newest additions to our collection, the Orion Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Dobsonian Telescope, which checks out for two weeks at a time.

Teen Stuff: Young Naturalist Awards Offer Cash Prizes

The Young Naturalist Awards is an annual contest put on by the American Museum of Natural History that encourages scientists in grades 7 - 12 to explore a natural science question by making observations and reporting their findings. It is an essay contest that is designed like a scientific study, focusing on the fields of Biology, Ecology, Earth Science and/or Astronomy.

Entries may be submitted on the AMNH website from December 1, 2012 to March 1, 2013. Twelve cash awards, two for each grade level, will be awarded to the authors of the winning essays. The winning entries will be published on the Museum's website. Up to 36 finalists will receive a cash award of $50 and a certificate of recognition. Up to 200 semifinalists will receive a non-cash award and a certificate of recognition. The teachers of the top twelve winners will receive classroom resources and a free Seminars on Science course.

The AADL has many resources for those looking to enter the contest, including books on studying nature and exploring space and astronomy. We also have the Academic OneFile database available at all of our branches and available remotely to AADL cardholders, where you can find articles from many peer-reviewed journals in science, social science, and the arts for in-depth, scholarly research. The Stapp Nature Area is a great place to observe nature and it is adjacent to our Traverwood Branch.

For more information about the Young Naturalist Awards, including Rules & Regulations, How to Get Started and much more, please visit their website.

Spinners, Gliders, & Projectiles!

Sunday November 4 | 2:00 - 3:00pm | Pittsfield Branch Program Room

What goes up must come down, but good design means more hang time. Come play with paper to design your best planes, spinners, and other things that fly.

While learning a bit about the science of keeping objects in the air, we'll be making, testing out, and tweaking our best paper-made floaters and flyers. Simple designs and materials sometimes make surprising planes!.

Also, check out this list of AADL materials for easy flying projects and other resources.

This event is for kids in grades K-5.

Join us for a Voyage to the Edge of the Universe

Thursday, November 1 | 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. | Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Terence Dickinson was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1995—that nation's highest civilian achievement award—for his commitment to popularizing the wonders of astronomy. The editor of Canada's SkyNews magazine; author of the internationally bestselling Nighwatch: A Practical Guide to the Universe and The Backyard Astronomer's Guide; and a commentator for Discovery Channel Canada, Dickinson is perhaps better known for the distinctively accessible narrative style found in his several stargazing guidebooks (14 of which are still in print with over 2 million sold). In short, Dickinson is one of that rare breed of astronomer’s astronomer who, like the late Carl Sagan, is also a gifted people’s astronomer.

Who better then to explain the science behind those mind-blowing Hubble telescope photos of the cosmos comprising his latest book, Hubble's Universe: Greatest Discoveries and Latest Images? There is no one better—and Dickinson will be here in Ann Arbor to do just that at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, with his illustrated talk, “A Voyage to the Edge of the Universe.” He’ll then sign copies of the book (which will be for sale) following the event.

Sacred Scents And Aphrodisiacs: An Olfactory Writing Workshop

Tuesday October 30, 2012: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Michelle Krell Kydd is a flavor and fragrance expert and award winning blogger who uses her training as a "nose" to bring stories to life. She is editor of an award-winning blog on smell and taste called Glass Petal Smoke.

Michelle will take you on a journey of storied scents used in perfumery and gastronomy. Attendees will smell ingredients reserved for use by chefs and perfumers, and learn how to use "smell mapping" to transform the emotion summoned by scent into words and stories.

See which emotions, stories and memories are conjured from different scents!

Make Your Own Cast Fossil

Wednesday, October 17 | 7-8pm | Pittsfield | Grades K-5

National Fossil Day is October 17! 'Rock' out with us and make your own cast fossil out of clay and plaster of paris while exploring a process that has created fossils in sedimentary rock for billions of years. We will also have fossils found in Michigan on display.

Fossils in the earth can be formed out of plants, or invertebrates like mollusks and arthropods, or vertebrates like dinosaurs and woolly mammoths. Fossils are found in different forms too. Sometimes they are turned to stone or preserved in amber, and other times they leave an imprint in the earth that is filled in by different minerals, forming a cast. We will replicate the process of creating cast fossils.

You're welcome to bring a small, hard item that can fit in the palm of your hand -- for example, a dinosaur toy or a sea shell -- or you can use the objects the library provides. Looking for more information on fossils? Check out these great books and videos from the AADL collection.

Celebrate Astronomy Day at Peach Mountain!

Saturday, October 20 | 7:00 - midnight | Peach Mountain, Dexter, Michigan

Saturday, October 20, is Astronomy Day! and AADL is partnering with the University Lowbrow Astronomers for a public viewing starting after sunset at Peach Mountain, a dark sky area roughly 16 miles northwest of Ann Arbor off North Territorial Rd. in Stinchfield Woods.

You'll be treated to views through large-aperture telescopes, including the 24-inch McMath telescope located on site. Guidelines, maps, directions and parking information are available. Open houses will be cancelled if conditions are unusually cold or if it's cloudy. If you're unsure, check back here for an update at 4:00 p.m. October 20.

US Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center

Wednesday, September 19, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey Great Lakes Science Center will discuss their research that takes place on the Great Lakes, including deep-water science, invasive species, coastal ecosystems, restoration ecology, and environmental health.

Headquartered in Ann Arbor, The Great Lakes Science Center exists to meet the Nation's need for scientific information for restoring, enhancing, managing, and protecting living resources and their habitats in the Great Lakes basin ecosystem.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 9 and up).

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