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STEM Quest at OCC to offer hands-on learning, robots and rockets

Sure, making pancakes with a 3D printer and assembling Snap Circuits kits into electronics sounds like fun, but wouldn't it be cool to know the mechanics behind making those pancakes or how those kits come to life from parts and pieces?

A daylong STEM QUEST event November 10 at Oakland Community College’s Auburn Hills Campus, 2900 Featherstone Road, will provide answers to these questions and a more.  The event, open to Scouts and non-Scouts, will let young people interact with staff from businesses and organizations such as Legoland, Magformers and the Michigan Science Center.

Kevin M. Bratton, Ph.D., dean of social sciences and human services at OCC, said the college’s collaboration with the Boy Scouts was driven by the need to expose more young people to fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In addition, Magformers will demonstrate principles of conceptual geometry using materials other than paper, pens and calculators.

Participants will get hands-on training in STEM areas such as building cars for a Lego Pinewood Derby, using pieces of fruit to learn how parts of coding communicate with each other, and seeing what underwater robotics is all about.

“With the economy growing at one of the fastest rates of all time, employers are lacking highly skilled workers,” Bratton said.  “OCC and the Scouts are partnering together to produce an event that introduces students to STEM disciplines as well as to the college’s high-tech programs, where  students can develop their skills and earn a degree or certificate for successful entry into the workforce.”

Said Eric Suender, STEM executive with the Michigan Crossroads Council of the Boy Scouts of America, “We were very intentional in making sure that each activity offered will give our participants hands-on learning under the direction of experts in their fields.”

The activities will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m.  Suender said participants should bring a sack lunch or snacks and water if they plan to stay for the entire day.

The cost of STEM QUEST is $10 per person. To register, visit the Michigan Crossroads Council website.

For additional information, contact Suender at Eric.Suender@scouting.org or call (517) 885-3618.

13 Michigan schools earn coveted Blue Ribbon awards

Excerpt: 

Does your school deserve a blue ribbon?

Thirteen Michigan schools received the coveted 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools award Monday  — a recognition of either overall strong academic performance or progress toward closing achievement gaps. It's the biggest honor a school can receive in the U.S.

Read more

LTU hosts Girls in Future Technologies (GIFT) Day

Lawrence Technological University, in partnership with the Women of AT&T, hosted the second annual Girls in Future Technologies (GIFT) Day Saturday, Sept. 22. 

This year’s event in the Marburger STEM Center marked the first time the occasion was hosted on campus. More than 30 girls, mostly hailing from area middle and high schools, engaged in programs aimed at sparking their interest in a STEM career. 
“Our goal today is to break down barriers and let the girls to know that you can do this,” said event organizer Denisha Williams, who also serves as a board member and vice president of membership for Women of AT&T.

“Girls need to know that STEM and the evolution of technology does not have to be a male-dominated field,” agreed Shawn Caggins, vice president of programs for Women of AT&T and GIFT Day chair.  “The event is designed to educate, inspire and empower young girls to think about how they would like to have an impact on society through STEM.”

After a motivating welcome from Sibrina Collins, executive director of LTU’s Marburger STEM Center, the girls dove into various science and technology-themed activities. They started with a computer coding workshop, which challenged each girl to test their skills in the C programming language. Next, a mother-daughter law enforcement team led a candid talk with the girls about cybersecurity and safety. The dialogue was followed by more hands-on activities such as “Cards to the Sky” – a group engineering exercise which involved building the most effective structure out of playing cards and tape – and an interactive robotics demonstration, featuring a remote-controlled robot from LTU’s own Robofest.

The day ended with a fireside chat led by female professionals in STEM. Crystal Young, Mashia Tate, Angel Turner, and Yakita Turner shared their personal journeys, struggles, career advice, and encouragement with the eager youngsters. Girls of all ages took the opportunity to ask them many questions about career pathways, especially in STEM.

Said one attendee, Shelby, a student at Middle School North in Macomb Township: “I wanted to be a biomedical engineer before coming here today, and after today, I feel more confident” about a career in STEM. Added Nylah, a student at Berkley High School: “The workshops helped me know that I can do different things, and if do go into STEM, I can take some of what I learned today into it.”

Williams said she hopes that next year’s event will draw even more girls from more Detroit-area schools, adding to the momentum and interest towards girls in STEM careers.

Record number of students and companies participated in Manufacturing Day

Excerpt

Nearly 1,000 local high school students took part in a national program geared towards showcasing careers in advanced manufacturing.

Manufacturing Day, an annual celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers, was celebrated locally, once again, at over 40 companies across Oakland County on Oct. 5. Since 2012, over 265,000 students have participated in Manufacturing Day events nationwide. 

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STEM Quest at OCC to offer hands-on learning, robots and rockets

Sure, making pancakes with a 3D printer and assembling Snap Circuits kits into electronics sounds like fun, but wouldn’t it be cool to know the mechanics behind making those pancakes or how those kits come to life from parts and pieces?

A daylong STEM QUEST event November 10 at Oakland Community College’s Auburn Hills Campus, 2900 Featherstone Road, will provide answers to these questions and a more.  The event, open to Scouts and non-Scouts, will let young people interact with staff from businesses and organizations such as Legoland, Magformers and the Michigan Science Center.

Kevin M. Bratton, Ph.D., dean of social sciences and human services at OCC, said the college’s collaboration with the Boy Scouts was driven by the need to expose more young people to fields in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In addition, Magformers will demonstrate principles of conceptual geometry using materials other than paper, pens and calculators.

Participants will get hands-on training in STEM areas such as building cars for a Lego Pinewood Derby, using pieces of fruit to learn how parts of coding communicate with each other, and seeing what underwater robotics is all about.

“With the economy growing at one of the fastest rates of all time, employers are lacking highly skilled workers,” Bratton said.  “OCC and the Scouts are partnering together to produce an event that introduces students to STEM disciplines as well as to the college’s high-tech programs, where  students can develop their skills and earn a degree or certificate for successful entry into the workforce.”

Said Eric Suender, STEM executive with the Michigan Crossroads Council of the Boy Scouts of America, “We were very intentional in making sure that each activity offered will give our participants hands-on learning under the direction of experts in their fields.”

The activities will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m.  Suender said participants should bring a sack lunch or snacks and water if they plan to stay for the entire day.

The cost of STEM QUEST is $10 per person. To register, visit the Michigan Crossroads Council website.

For additional information, contact Suender at Eric.Suender@scouting.org or call (517) 885-3618.


Women's Divorce Resource Center launches support group


Whether it’s a new life stage, a pivotal event or some other reason to end a marriage, the process of divorce can be confusing, overwhelming and sometimes, downright terrifying. New this fall, the Women’s Divorce Resource Center is launching an empowerment support group to arm individuals with the support they need to effectively and humanely shift their situation.
 
The six-week seminar will meet on consecutive Thursday evenings, beginning September 20, 2018, at SheHive (2505 Hilton, Ferndale), 6:45-9 p.m. Space is limited. Subject matter will include financial, emotional, legal and parenting aspects of divorce, with speakers to include Nancy Warkentin Houdek, MA, LPC, NCC, PLLC, and Natasha Kendal, PHD, LMFT and Robin Breckenridge, CPC, an educator, public speaker, certified relational advocate and professional coach.
 
Warkentin Houdek is a nationally certified professional counselor and psychotherapist based in Farmington Hills. Kendal is a marriage and family therapist in Bloomfield Hills. Breckenridge works in unison with PIVOT- a relational alignment group, where she helps people struggling with relational challenges shift into a healthy relational alignment. 
 
“We help people learn how and when to talk to their kids about an impending divorce, and how to keep kids out of the middle of negotiations,” says Vicki McLellan, WDRC co-founder. “We firmly believe that the more information and support women have during divorce, the more confidence they’ll have after. When women are empowered, it has a positive impact on the entire family, especially their children.”
 
“The legal process can be confusing. There are concerns about finances. And emotional wellness during divorce is difficult for everyone. We want to empower women to weather the process well, and know they are not alone,” says Angela Zangarola, WDRC Co-Director and Board Member.
 
The Women’s Divorce Resource Center offers workshops and special topics seminars throughout the year. A seminar on self-esteem through transition is set for October 11, followed by a women-to-work workshop in collaboration with JVS December 3.
 
Women’s Divorce Workshops take place on Saturdays (September 15 and December 15) as well as some weekday evenings (November 1 and 8). Speakers include McLellan, Houdek, Kendall as well as Alisa Peskin-Shepherd, Randy Pitler, Jessica Pospiech Heltsley and James Chryssikos.
 
About Women’s Divorce Resource Center
Founded in 2012, the Women’s Divorce Resource Center helps educate women on the divorce process. The nonprofit organization was co-founded by Vicki McLellan, CFP®, CDFA EA, MA and Rebecca Abel  CFP®, CDFA™. Both have worked extensively on the financial side of divorce. Current co-directors include McLellan, Nancy Warkentin Houdek, MA, LPC, NCC, and Angela Zangarola, MBA, CDFA.
 
The mission of the Women’s Divorce Resource Center is to empower and educate women contemplating and going through the divorce process. We strive to provide educational opportunities about the various legal, financial and emotional aspects of divorce. We believe the more support women have during this difficult process, the more confident they will be with their decisions. This empowerment will positively affect women and their children post-divorce.
 
For more information, please visit www.womens-divorce.org.

U.S.-Japan Council President is keynote speaker for Women's Leadership Conference

The president of the U.S.-Japan Council is the featured speaker at the U.S.-Japan Women’s Leadership Conference set for September 26.

Irene Hirano Inouye, president of the Washington D.C.-based organization, headlines the program which focuses on women who hold leadership positions. It is sponsored by the U.S.-Japan Council and hosted by the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs.

“We are honored to host Irene Hirano Inouye for this important leadership event and excited about our partnership with the U.S.-Japan Council,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “This is a singular opportunity to hear from Mrs. Inouye and others in leadership positions and learn first-hand how they advanced in their professions.”

The conference will be held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. There is no charge to attend but advance registration is required at AdvantageOakland.EventBrite.com. A light lunch is included. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The U.S.-Japan Council is a non-profit educational organization that contributes to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations by bringing together diverse leadership, engaging stakeholders and exploring issues that benefit communities, businesses and governments on both sides of the Pacific. Japan-based companies have significant investment in Oakland County, owning more than a quarter of the nearly 1,100 international firms in the county.

Inouye, who founded the council in 2008, also administers the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the government of Japan that invests in young Japanese and Americans through educational and cultural exchanges and leadership programs. She is former president and founding CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, a position she held for 20 years.

Inouye is the widow of U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and World War II hero. He represented Hawaii in Congress for more than 50 years and was the first Japanese-American elected to serve in both the House and the Senate. He died in 2012 at age 88.

The conference includes panel discussions that highlight women in leadership positions in Oakland County government and the paths Japanese American women have taken to become leaders.

The Oakland County government panel includes:
  • Irene Spanos, director of economic development and community affairs
  • Jordie Kramer, director of human resources
  • Kathy Forzley, director of health and human services

The Japanese American panel includes:
  • Yuki Sakai, deputy Counsel General of Japan, Detroit
  • Izumi Suzuki, president of Suzuki, Myers & Associates, Novi
  • Motoko Tabuse, professor, Eastern Michigan University
  • Yuka Sato, former world champion figure skater and U.S. Women’s Figure Skating coach

Both panel discussions will be moderated by Laurie Van Pelt, director of management and budget for Oakland County.

Other sessions include:
  • A presentation from Mary Kamidoi, treasurer of the Detroit Chapter of the Japanese American
  • Citizens League, entitled “What Doesn’t Break You Makes You Stronger”
  • A leadership training workshop led by Deputy County Executive Phil Bertolini entitled, “You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello: The Art of Communicating”

Pontiac revs up for Phoenix Derby Races


Among the creative and energetic minds in Pontiac, inspiration can spring from the everyday.

When folks from Main Street Pontiac recognized the natural slopes on some downtown Pontiac streets, they sparked an idea for a fun community event that takes advantage of the forces of gravity. What if Main Street Pontiac sponsored a race down one of those hills and invited the creative talent of high school students and local businesses?

The idea went from zero to 60 very quickly.

On August 25, Main Street Pontiac will host its first ever Phoenix Derby Races, an old-fashioned event designed to spark friendly competition while offering the chance for kids to put some design and STEAM skills to work to build and race a wooden, non-motorized car.

The event, open to Pontiac resident high school students, will encourage kids to form a team, work with mentors to build wooden gravity-powered cars, and race the cars down a select Pontiac street which will be closed to traffic, all in one day. There will also be a bracket-oriented competition for adults who want to join in the fun.

“This originated as a fun idea for racing a car, soapbox derby-style, down a city slope,” says Daniela Walters, president of Main Street Pontiac. “We turned it into a placemaking event for the community.”

During their brainstorming sessions, Walters met with friends and fellow Pontiac supporters Marijayne Renny and Joe Kalle to hammer out details. They bounced around ideas for different types of sponsorships, worked through logistics, and talked about having a “Best Derby Hat” contest to encourage attendees and supporters to dress the part.

They also selected a standard car kit to supply to each team to kick off the event. “Folks will need to be comfortable using tools,” says Kalle. “But the kit will be easier to put together than anything I have assembled from IKEA.”

To test ease of build, Walters corralled a group of law clerks, interns, and attorneys from Dobrusin Law in Pontiac, where she is a patent attorney, to build their selected kit. Ideally, engineer and design professionals from Pontiac businesses will sponsor and mentor teams to help the kids create, refine, and decorate their vehicles.

Several businesses and nonprofits have committed their support already, including Main Street Pontiac, Dobrusin Law, DASI Solutions, General Motors Global Propulsion Systems, LocalHop, LBI Limited, Alley Cat Café, the City of Pontiac, and McLaren Hospital. Event organizers are seeking additional sponsorship.

A goal of the event is to build scholarships for rising seniors who enter the race.

“We wanted to create a scholarship opportunity, hopefully up to three to five scholarship to any post secondary education, including trade school, two- or four-year college. It’s not based on winning the race, it’s based on an essay,” says Walters.

The event is free for kids to enter and participate, and is designed to be a fun, team-oriented event for students, mentors, and sponsors.

“Our goal is to promote STEAM careers, to spark an interest in building and designing, and to help kids learn how to communicate as a team and with mentors,” says Walters.

Find more information about the Phoenix Derby Races here and here.

New Braille books for the youth department at the Orion Township Public Library

The Orion Township Public Library, with assistance from Seedlings Books in Livonia, MI, recently received a generous $1,000 grant from the Village Club Foundation in Bloomfield Hills, MI to enhance and expand their Braille book collection in the youth department.

 

“We focused on adding books that included words and pictures along with braille, so they can be used by a wide variety of kids and families, helping kids with vision loss along with teaching sighted readers about braille,” said Ashley Lehman, youth services head. “We also added a few longer Juvenile chapter books, Like Palacio’s Wonder, and Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach.”

 

The Village Club Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The Village Club in Bloomfield Hills, MI. The foundation's purpose is to further educational, cultural and civic activities; to promote philanthropic projects; and to operate for the good of the community.

 

For more information about the Braille book collection visit the Orion Township Public Library at 825 Joslyn Road, Lake Orion, MI 48362, orionlibrary.org or call 248.693.3000.  The library is open 9:30a-9:00p Monday through Thursday and 9:30a-5:00p Friday and Saturday.


Learn about trails and parks during Trail Blazer Walking Series

Put on your walking shoes and learn about Oakland County Parks by hiking through different parks on summer evenings as part of the Trail Blazer Walking Series.

Beginning July 10, the program will feature one-mile hikes led by Oakland County Parks and Recreation staff who will discuss unique park facts throughout the walk. Held each Tuesday for six weeks beginning at 7 p.m., the walk schedule includes:

  • July 10  Addison Oaks   
    1480 West Romeo Road, Leonard
    Learn about invasive species and other ecological features in the area
     
  • July 17  Waterford Oaks  
    1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford
    Learn about bluebirds and other animals in the area
     
  • July 24  Catalpa Oaks
    27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield
    Discover historical tidbits about the Catalpa Oaks community
     
  • July 31  Lyon Oaks 
    52251 Pontiac Trail, Wixom
    Learn about invasive species and other ecological features in the area
     
  • Aug. 7  Independence Oaks 
    9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston
    Join a naturalist on a hike around Crooked Lake
     
  • Aug. 14  Red Oaks Nature Center
    30300 Hales St., Madison Heights                       
    Explore the Sensory Trail


Programs are free. Park entry fee is required at Addison Oaks, Lyon Oaks, Independence Oaks and Red Oaks County Parks. Walkers are urged to bring bug spray and a refillable water bottle. Free pedometers will be given while supplies last. For details, contact Sandy Dorey at 248-424-7077.

For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


They're big, they're bold, they're baaaack

More than 40 lifelike animatronic dinosaurs that snarl and move – and some that spit – have taken up residence at the Detroit Zoo to provide a mega-dose of Vitamin Z for visitors of all ages.  Dinosauria, presented by Children’s Hospital of Michigan, runs May 25 through Sept. 3, 2018.  The blockbuster summer attraction – the largest outdoor dinosaur exhibit of its kind in the country – was last featured at the Zoo in 2015.

Visitors enter a veritable “zoorassic world” as they travel back in time along a lush, winding, 3-acre DinoTrail recreating prehistoric life.  The enormous creatures lurk at every turn, including adult dinosaurs, youngsters and even a nest with eggs and hatchlings.  The robotic dinosaurs are built on steel frames and covered with foam rubber skin painted in intricate detail.  High-tech electronics and air pistons power the dinosaurs’ menacing claws and gnashing teeth while a sound system gives them their “voices”.

Dinosauria is open daily through Labor Day, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (until 8 p.m. Wednesdays in July and August).  Tickets are $6 with Detroit Zoo admission for visitors ages 2 and older and are available at main admissions, the Dinosauria ticket booth or online.

A dino dig site and fossil-sifting station give budding paleontologists the opportunity to search for clues about the lives of dinosaurs.  Kids can also build a dinosaur from magnetic parts.  Knowledgeable volunteer DinoGuides are stationed along the DinoTrail where guests can examine dinosaur skulls, teeth, claws and other biofacts.

The DinoStore at the DinoTrail’s exit is stocked with dinosaur-themed T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, games, gifts and other tempting remembrances to help visitors take the Dinosauria experience home.

The prehistoric adventure continues at the Wild Adventure Zone in the Ford Education Center.  Featured at the 4-D Theater is “Sea Monsters 4-D: A Prehistoric Adventure”, a 15-minute movie that takes audiences back 82 million years for a look at the sea’s most dangerous predators.  “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs – The Ride” at the Simulator Ride finds the sub-zero heroes from the worldwide blockbuster venturing into a mysterious underground world after Sid the sloth stumbles across three abandoned dinosaur eggs and decides to raise the hatchlings as his own. Tickets for both experiences are $5 with Detroit Zoo admission and are available at main admissions, the Wild Adventure Zone ticket booth or online.

Farmington High School unveils performing arts center

Excerpt

You couldn't blame Lily Talevski for not immediately recognizing her surroundings Wednesday when she walked into the Performing Arts Center at Farmington High School.

After all, it looks dramatically different than it did the last time Talevski, a 2014 Farmington graduate, performed on its stage.

Read more

Goodwill Industries expands reach in Oakland County managing Michigan Works! office in Pontiac

The Oakland County Workforce Development Board today approved the selection of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit as the new service provider for the Oakland County Michigan Works! center in Pontiac.

The announcement gives Goodwill Industries its third Michigan Works! service center in the county. It also manages locations in Highland Township and Novi.

“We are excited to expand our relationship with Goodwill Industries,” said Irene Spanos, the county’s director of economic development, which oversees workforce development. “Oakland County Michigan Works! remains fully committed to the citizens of Pontiac and the surrounding communities. We expect a smooth transition and this move will significantly enhance the breadth and quality of services offered to job seekers and businesses in the area.”

Goodwill Industries will begin operating the Pontiac center July 1 and the transition should be completed early this fall. The building location is expected to be announced by early summer. Goodwill Industries replaces Oakland Schools, which did not bid to renew its contract.

“Goodwill Industries is pleased to further expand its work into Oakland County as operator of the MI Works! Service Center office within the city of Pontiac,” said Dan Varner, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. “We’d like to thank the Oakland County Workforce Development Board for this opportunity and look forward to deepening our partnership.”

Oakland County Michigan Works!, a partner of the American Job Center Network, helps more than 45,000 job seekers prepare for careers and conduct job searches each year. The agency provides services to businesses, including talent recruiting and training support. Other centers are in Ferndale, Oak Park, Southfield, Troy and Waterford.

“We’re excited to welcome Goodwill Industries to Pontiac,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, workforce development manager for Oakland County. “We expect this transition to be seamless and we’re committed to offering quality services to Pontiac and the surrounding communities.”

Robotics champions of the world

Excerpt: 

Hugs and high-fives started a few seconds before the countdown reached zero, making it official – Team RUSH 27 is the 2018 World Champion. “The team was excited beyond belief,” said Clarkston High School senior Jason Richards about Team RUSH 27’s victory at the FIRST Robotics World Championships at Ford Field in Detroit.

Read more

Amtech sponsors the First Annual Acton Oakland Children's Business Fair

Could a ten-year-old invent the next Über? Attendants will find out at the First Annual Acton Oakland Children’s Business Fair on May 19.

Designed to showcase kids’ entrepreneurial genius, this event is sponsored by Acton Academy of Oakland County, the Acton School of Business, Amtech Electrocircuits and generous support from donors and volunteers. It runs from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at 530 Pine St, Rochester, 48307. This event is free and open to the public.

At this event, 30 young entrepreneurs, aged 6-13, will be challenged to create a product or service, develop a brand, build a marketing strategy, and then open for customers. The children are responsible for the setup, sales, and interacting with customers.

This event has acted as a springboard to many successful ventures. One previous competitor from 2009, Makaila Ulmer of Bee Sweet Lemonade, is now sold in Whole Foods Market in Texas as a result of her young business savvy.

“Today’s youth are tomorrow’s business innovators and leaders. The Children’s Business Fair gives students the opportunity to spread their entrepreneurial wings and get a head start on promising business careers,” said Jeff Sandefer, founder of the Acton School of Business, one of the sponsors of the fair.

Both adult sponsors and young entrepreneurs are available for interviews on camera or off.

For more information, please contact Jay Patel at 248-607-0648 or cbf@acton248.org.
377 Education + Learning Articles | Page: | Show All
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