Hunters of the Sky - Monday June 25 at Malletts Creek Branch

Meet several raptors from the Leslie Science & Nature Center including an American Kestrel, Barn Own, and a Bald Eagle. We'll learn about habitats, adaptations for survival, life cycles, conservation efforts and the food web as we engage with live raptors and a hands-on exploration of feathers, skulls and other raptor parts. This event will be offered in its entirety for two sessions at the Malletts Creek Branch, once from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM and again from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM. The first show tends to fill up quickly, so if you want to try for a closer look at the raptors you may want to plan on attending the 1:00 PM program.

Parent Shelf Finds: Science Fun

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 phonics to tantrums to potty training to diet. These books are available for checkout, and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf,” if you’d like to have one sent to a branch of your choice.

This summer the library is full of fun science programs! To go along with that, here are some science-related books you’ll find on the Parent Shelf.

+ Picture-perfect science lessons: Using children's books to guide inquiry

+ Oobleck, slime & dancing spaghetti: Twenty terrific at-home science experiments inspired by favorite children's books

+ Sandbox scientist : real science activities for little kids

See here for more, and let's have a fun, science-filled summer!

Rebound Rumble: Local FIRST Robotics Teams Invade

Wednesday June 20, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

The FIRST Robotics teams from 3 local high schools will show off their robots and discuss how they built robots for competition. Rebound Rubble was the title of the 2012 Season's challenge, and teams built robots that could shoot or dunk a basketball at 3 different heights!

Don't miss the action and the chance to learn from these high tech teens!

This event is for teens in grades 6 - 12.

Cockroach Exhibit at Pittsfield Branch is Cause for Celebration.

Cockroaches often get a bad rap, and there's a whole host of misconceptions surrounding them, starting with the belief that they're dirty. Not so, and thanks to a new exhibit from the Leslie Science & Nature Center you can see just how clean they are by visiting the Pittsfield Branch. Two distinct species of live roaches will be on display for the summer, one winged and one flightless. Come learn about these oft-despised and misunderstood creatures, and make sure to look for the Summer Game code to earn 100 points for visiting the cockroaches.

Dragonfly Larvae and More at Traverwood Branch.

If you enjoyed visiting the Leslie Science Center's Cecropia caterpillars at the Traverwood Branch last summer, then you're in luck. You can now view the caterpillar exhibit at the Malletts Creek Branch, and you get a whole new exhibit at Traverwood: Aquatic Invertebrates! What exactly is an aquatic invertebrate you may ask? For the purposes of this exhibit, they're mostly going to take the form of small water bugs, such as Dragonfly larvae, but there will be lots of other little creatures living in the roiling, green pond water as well. The inhabitants of this tank are also going to fluctuate, as new critters will be added throughout the summer, and old friends will be eaten by new friends. Make sure and look for the summer game code to earn 100 points for visiting the Dragonfly larvae.

UPDATE: As some of you have noticed, we haven't yet added many Dragonfly larvae to the exhibit. We’re trying to make sure that all the critters who would love to eat the tasty, tasty dragonfly larvae (I’m looking in your general direction predaceous diving beetle larvae) are safely out of the tank, in an effort to avoid a larvae throwdown. In the meantime, please enjoy the toadpoles.

Return of the Caterpillars at Malletts Creek Branch.


Come visit the spawn of Cecropia! The descendants of last year's Cecropia caterpillars have returned from the Leslie Science & Nature Center. Not only that, but they've migrated from Traverwood to the Malletts Creek Branch, and will be spending the Summer Game season with us. Currently two moths have emerged from their cocoons. However, since the moths only live about a week, you'll need to act fast if you want to be sure of seeing them. While there are no guarantees when dealing with live animals, we're hoping that the moths will lay eggs, which will then hatch into teeny tiny caterpillars in another couple of weeks. We'll update this post when interesting developments occur. Make sure and look for the Summer Game code to earn 100 points for visiting the Moths.

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.)

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