AADL Talks to Mary Stewart Adams

Mary Stewart AdamsMary Stewart Adams

Mary Stewart Adams is a star lore historian, storyteller, and program director for the Headlands International Dark Sky Park, a 600-acre park in Michigan's Emmet County. She was also instrumental in securing the recent passage of Michigan Public Act 251, which establishes a 23,000-acre Dark Sky Preserve in Michigan. On her way to a signing ceremony with Governor Rick Snyder, Mary stopped in to talk with me about the process of securing a dark sky designation, the importance of dark skies, and her passion for telling stories about the stars.

Mary will be at the Downtown Library on the eve of the autumnal equinox - Friday, September 21, 2012 - for an evening of Storytelling with the Stars.

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Neil Armstrong, first person to set foot on the moon, has died

Neil Armstrong, the Ohio born NASA astronaut who thrilled the world on July 20, 1969, when he stepped out of the Apollo 11 space capsule and onto the surface of the moon, died today.

After three years as a Navy pilot, in 1955 he signed on with NASA's precursor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. In 1958, NACA became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Armstrong continued his stellar career under the renamed organization.

In 1962, he became an official astronaut. Four years later he was the first man to dock two vehicles in space.

On July 20, 1969, a global gasp went up when, as Commander of Apollo 11, he set foot on the moon and said, "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."

That very day, then Ohio Governor James Rhodes proposed that Armstrong's hometown of Wapakoneta build a museum in his honor. Three years later to the day, the Armstrong Air and Space Museum opened its doors to the public.

Over the years, Armstrong earned endless accolades, awards, degrees, and the adoration of a nation. The latter puzzled him the most as he was, indeed, a reluctant hero. He always maintained he was just doing his job.

His family summed up his life thus: "For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request: Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink."

Armstrong, who had had heart surgery a few weeks ago, was 82 years old.

Print Extravaganza... Make A GLOWSTER!

Sunday, August 19 | 1-3pm | Multi-Purpose Room | Downtown | All Ages

Join us for a day of print making! You’ll get a chance to screen print a glow-in-the-dark dino poster- a GLOWSTER! While that’s happening we’ll also have pre-carved blocks, paints, and assorted paper for you to do some stamped prints of your own. All the fun happens in the multi-purpose room at the Downtown branch this Sunday. See you there!

Take a hike @ Furstenberg Nature Area

Thursday, August 16 | 7:00-8:30 PM | All Ages

Join us for a nature walk through Furstenberg Nature Area with the City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation staff. We’ll walk through prairie and woodlands viewing native plants and trees, and learning about the ecological restoration going on at this site.

Park in the lot off Fuller Road (across from Huron High School). We’ll meet near the restrooms.

Family Camp-in at Pittsfield!

Haven't had a chance to camp yet this summer? Join us at the Pittsfield Branch
on Tuesday, August 14, 2012 from 7 - 8 p.m. as we have our annual camping night.
This year we'll feature moose. They can be very funny, those mooses.
We'll have a campfire that we'll gather around. We'll have Sara Keller lead us in
some camp songs, hear a couple of moose stories, eat s'mores and make
moose antlers to wear. What a fun night for the whole family!

7th Annual LEGO Contest Winners!

As always one of the most anticipated events of the year did not disappoint! We were in a new location this year and the competition was as stiff as it always is. Our judges this year were AADL Associate Director of IT & Production, Eli Neiburger, Comics Are Great Podcaster and Kids Read Comics founder, Jerzy Drozd and local artist, Jeremy Wheeler. It takes a full three hours for the judges to pour over the 200 or so entries, but they had a blast doing it and made their decisions. NEW this year were the PEOPLE's CHOICE awards! Anyone who attended the contest and saw the entrires from 6-7:30 were invited to vote for their favorite within each of the six age categories. Congratulations to the 2012 winners! We will have photos loaded soon as well.


1st Place = Milo Varnum
Runner-Up = Iggy Reem
Honorable Mention = Emma Khu
People's Choice = Milo Varnum
Best Motorized = Alexander Smith
Best Architectural/Engineering = Kevin Chu
Coolest Robot = Kaiden Davis
Best Vehicle = Dominic Nazario
Most Creative = William Epps
Most Sophisticated = Theo Sacks-Thomas
AADL LEGO Master Builder = Daniel Mazza
Most Enigmatic = Elijah Davis

Grades K-2

1st Place = Hudhaifah Rehman
Runner-Up = Maxwell Mayman
Honorable Mention = Devayani Pradhan
People's Choice = Micah Davis
Best Motorized = Armann Kamat
Best Architectural/Engineering = Keegan Globke
Coolest Robot = Joseph Bonenberger
Best Vehicle = Ocean Brabbs
Most Creative = Heeryun Kim
Most Sophisticated = Adir Vuppala
AADL LEGO Master Builder = Noah Nieman
Most Magical = Elise Meints

Grades 3-5

1st Place = Betsy Nieman
Runner-Up = Derek Mrachko
Honorable Mention = Anisha Fujii
People's Choice = Elliot Varnum
Best Motorized = Koen Van Nieuwstadt
Best Architectural/Engineering = Kyan Stevdle
Coolest Robot = Grant Pierfelice
Best Vehicle = Liam Farr
Most Creative = Sofiya Palcyzinski
Most Sophisticated = Alina Mankowski
AADL LEGO Master Builder = Elliot Varnum
Most Delicious = Abby Dobson
Most Sustainable = Aakarsh Verma
Most Career-Advancing = Bach Nguyen

Grades 6-8

1st Place = Leah Fleming
Runner-Up = Celeste Forester
Honorable Mention = Ryan Sauer
People's Choice = Lesh Fleming
Best Motorized = Robby Duquette
Best Architectural/Engineering = Justin Nieman
Coolest Robot = Hamza Khan
Best Vehicle = Taras Palczynski
Most Creative = Jeffrey Brooks-Conrad
Most Sophisticated = Kareem El-Tawil
AADL LEGO Master Builder = Casmir Mankowski
Best Flyswatter Based Summer Blockbuster = Peter Johnson
Leafiest Giant = Beatrix Dergis
Best Simulation of Ann Arbor Zombie Apocolypse = Oliver Mayman

Grades 9-12

1st Place = Logan Benton
Runner-Up = Cameron McLaughlin
Honorable Mention = Kevin Tian
People's Choice = Logan Benton
Best Architectural/Engineering = Alianha Porter
Coolest Robot = Alex Morey
Best Vehicle = Luke Thompson-Kolar
Most Creative = Bethany Pletzer
Most Sophisticated = Lee Thompson-Kolar


1st Place = Allen Ano
Runner-Up = Nieka Apell
Honorable Mention = Brian Mickey & Max & Rose Locke
People's Choice = Allen Ano
Best Architectural/Engineering = Sherif El-Tawil
Coolest Robot = Michele Loewe
Most Creative = Richard Mascotto
Most Sophisticated = Joshua Bartell
AADL LEGO Master Builder = David Papp

Free Books for the Downloading!

Wanna know where you can have access to TONS of free books? Beside the library, of course. An industrious blogger has put together this mighty fine list of free Audio Books. There are sites for literature, children's lit & lullabies, and a site for downloading classics, to name just a few genres. Perfect for on the go reading and to accrue points for the Summer Reading Game!

Huron River Day!

The City of Ann Arbor is hosting its annual celebration of the beautiful Huron River this week-end. The public is invited to Huron River Day! Haven't been? It's tons of fun! New this year is the TRI the Huron! This Huron River Adventure Triathlon starts by Bike - 4 miles from Gallup to Argo, A Fun/Walk - 2 miles around Argo Pond and Kayak/Canoe - 4 miles down the Huron River from Argo to Gallup. To enter go to this website. Otherwise, come on down to Gallup Park for a canoe ride, a fun craft or a GAMECODE! For more information about Huron River Day call (734) 794-6240.

Ventriloquist Vikki Gasko returns to Ann Arbor!

Ventriloquist Vikki Gasko returns to Ann Arbor for two performances on Tuesday, July 10, 2012!
She'll be Downtown at 2:00 p.m and at the Traverwood Branch at 7:00 p.m.
If you saw her last summer, you'll want to come back and see her again. If you didn't see
her, now is your chance. She is an amazing performer!!

To learn how to become a ventriloquist yourself, click here.

Kids Read Comics at AADL July 7-8: A Brief Look at Saturday

Can’t make it to the San Diego Comic Con this summer? No worries.

Join the fun in downtown Ann Arbor at the Ann Arbor District Library the weekend of July 7-8 for the 2012 KIDS READ COMICS convention, a comics convention - offered at NO admission charge - for comics creators and fans of all ages. This convention is for all “kids” whether 5 or 45!

Saturday, July 7 will be jam packed with fun stuff like voice actor Neil Kaplan reading Winnie the Pooh in multiple voices, puppetbending with Kevin Coppa, turning your life into a comic with Eisner Award winner Raina Telgemeir, creating an Ellie McDoodle/Wimpy kid book, making a mini-comic with Matt Feazell, video game creation via playing Underwater Tomato Ninja, live recording of Comics are Great! podcast, and so much more.

Check the schedule to see how you can visit/shop with 60 cartoonists in Artists Alley, attend the many workshops, and take in Quick Draw sessions.

AADL Summer Game Players – you’ll be able to pick up MULTIPLE Game Codes throughout the two days of this convention!

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