Periscopes!

Thursday, June 14 | 6:00-7:30 PM | Traverwood Branch | Program Room

Kick off the summer with our first science program! Make a simple periscope and learn how it works.

Check out this list of Periscope related materials:

Fun with Periscopes

This event is for grades K - 5.

Scientific Illustration Drawing Lab: Saturday June 9, 2012: 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Downtown Library

Ever wonder who does the illustrations you see in Gray's Atlas of Anatomy, top science magazines such as National Geographic, Scientific American and Nature; and at New York’s American Museum of Natural History, the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History and at zoos, aquaria and botanical gardens such as the National Zoo and the Kew Botanical Gardens?

Join us this Saturday, June 9th at our downtown location for a visit from Megan E. Foldenauer, a certified medical illustrator from Wayne State University.

Megan will demonstrate her incredible artistic gift and skill and then you can practice your own illustration skills with all specimens and art supplies provided.

Turn Left At Orion

If you're waiting to check out a telescope, there are a couple books in our collection well worth looking at to help you get the most of your time with the Starblast 4.5. Turn Left at Orion: A Hundred Night Sky Objects to See in a Small Telescope and How to Find Them is a simple, practical book with large format drawings of nearly 100 objects, showing exactly what you'll see in the finder and eyepiece, as well as an an indicator of how dark the sky needs to be to see them. Stargazing: Astronomy without a Telescope is another good choice for amateurs who aren't yet familiar with the night sky and not quite ready to be overwhelmed by a detailed star atlas. A little time with both of these books and a pair of binoculars and you'll be ready when your telescope comes in! Read more about our telescope collection and what to look for.

It's now - or never!

transittransit

Tuesday, June 5 | 4:30 - 9:00 | Traverwood Branch & Leslie Park

If you're old enough to read this, then June 5 is your last chance to see one of the most rare predictable celestial events - and the astronomical highlight of 2012 - the Transit of Venus. It's only happened four times in the past 234 years and the next Transit is 105 years from now in December 2117.

The Transit of Venus - when the planet is visible as a black dot crossing the disk of the sun - will last 6.5 hours in total, and we'll catch three of those in Michigan, from 6:04 p.m. until sunset at 9:08 p.m. And since you can't look at the sun directly (please don't!), the Library will be giving out FREE SOLAR SHADES for safe viewing at AADL's Traverwood branch following a brief talk by the University Lowbrow Astronomers at 4:30.

Since the diameter of Venus is near the limit of the eye's capability, we also recommend you follow us after the talk to one of several locations where local astronomy groups will be stationed with telescopes properly fitted with solar filters for magnified viewing:

The Lowbrows will have telescopes at Leslie Park (map), and the corner of Washington and Ashley streets (map). The UM Department of Astronomy will offer public viewing on top of Angell Hall and the Detroit Observatory will have telescopes out on their sidewalk (map). (Note: Viewings will be cancelled if the weather completely obscures the sun, in which case the Library will provide a live video feed of the Transit from sure-to-be cloudless Hawaii in the Traverwood program room.)

The Science Behind The Magic: A Doctor And Director Discuss 3D

Saturday June 2, 2012: 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Have you ever gone to the theater and watched a movie in 3D? Ever wonder how 3D actually works in your eyes or on the screen? This fun, informative lecture reveals the science behind 3D big screen magic.

Optometrist Dr. Jon Wieringa (Bennett Optometry) and filmmaker Jacob Mendel (a recent UM graduate with a 3D technology focus) present an afternoon of 3D zaniness with the hard science to prove it. 3D glasses will be provided!

This event is co-sponsored by the Michigan Theater as part of the Cinetopia International Film Festival

Free MiniMaker Faire this Saturday, June 2


Saturday, June 2 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | Saline Fairgrounds

The Ann Arbor MiniMaker Faire returns this Saturday! The fourth annual free event will be held this Saturday, June 2, at the Saline Fairgrounds. There will be exhibits and demonstrations by builders, artists, students, and Makers covering a range of subjects: robotics, learn to solder, and mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, wood, metal, glass, paper, microcontroller, and radio-controlled devices of all sorts.
More information is available at the a2makerfaire.com.

Geek Pride Day

"Towel Day", "Glorious 25th of May", or "Star Wars Day", whatever you prefer to call it, May 25th is Geek Pride Day and what better way to celebrate it than by visiting your local library? You don't have to be a Sci-Fi geek, or a math geek to celebrate Geek Pride Day, just celebrate whatever you "geek". "Whatever you geek, the public library supports you." Geek The Library reminds us that "No matter who you are, there are things you are passionate about—things you geek. The Geek the Library project is a community public awareness campaign aimed at spreading the word about the vital and growing role of your public library, and to raise awareness about the critical funding issues many U.S. public libraries face." Think of all the resources your library has to offer, be they entertainment like Star Wars or Douglas Adams books or movies, Homework Help or Test Prep, Foreign Language Materials or Foreign Language Learning from our Services and Research pages that you have access to through our website, our super nifty new Orion Starblast 4.5 Astro Reflector Dobsonian Telescope, or one of our neat Science To Go Kits from our Unusual Stuff to Borrow collection.

Crafty Magazines for Kids

Fun, new, crafty ideas for kids are always waiting for you at the AADL. Check out the Library's diverse range of youth magazines for your next in-home project, be it a dynamic science experiment, a creative craft, or a racing vehicle.

Let's start with Muse: the magazine of life, the universe, and pie throwing. Yes, "pie throwing" really is in the magazine title, for this publication is all about maximizing the fun while learning about the natural world. Several of their science experiments are on their website, including the relevant Cell Phone Slip Up experiment that tests whether talking on a cell phone affects your concentration.

You may have seen Family Fun kids: fun stuff to make and do on the magazine shelf and wondered what kinds of projects were hiding inside. From Candle Making 101 to Cozy Bird Cottages to French Toast Casserole recipes (YUM!), this magazine -- as well as its website -- is a well so deep with ideas that if Tikki Tikki Tembo fell in, he might never come back out.

The AADL owns 68 youth magazine titles covering topics such as crafts, science, homeschooling, gaming, music, sports, nature, and everything in between. You can now request magazines for pickup at your local branch library.

Looking for a telescope? Try Peach Mountain!

If you're in line for a Library telescope but not all that familiar with the night sky, consider attending one of the public open houses scheduled twice a month at Peach Mountain. Hosted by the University Lowbrow Astronomers, these open houses are a great way to learn what there is to find in the night sky with experienced observers and powerful telescopes. In addition to looking through members' scopes, you can also look through the 24-inch McMath telescope located on site, or simply gaze in awe at the silhouette of the 26-meter radio dish.

Public open houses are scheduled twice a month at Peach Mountain, 16 miles northwest of Ann Arbor, off North Territorial Rd in Stinchfield Woods. Guidelines, parking information, and a map are here. Open houses will be cancelled if conditions are unusually cold or if it's cloudy. If in doubt, call (734) 975-3248 after 4 p.m. the day of the event to determine the status.

The remaining open house dates through this season are: May 19, June 16, June 23, July 14, July 21, August 11, August 18, and September 15.

Fun Friday Night at the U-M Museum of Natural History

The U-M Museum of Natural History is having their Fun Friday Night tomorrow, May 4, 2012. They'll be staying open until 9:00 p.m. to offer dinosaur tours and other activities, including several discounted ($3) planetarium shows - at 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 - that focus on what you can see in the night sky. If you're waiting to check out one of our new circulating telescopes and aren't familiar with the constellations and stargazing in general, this is a great first step toward getting the most out of your telescope when it comes in! The Museum also holds regularly scheduled weekend planetarium shows throughout the year.

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