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Cranbrook Institute of Science Teacher Newsletter

January 2011
In This Issue
Lecture Series
The Expedition Continues!
Mineral Collection Expansion
New Astronomy Program
Educator Quick Links
Science on the Go!

Lecture series: New Late Cretaceous Snakes and Dinosaurs from India
Dr. Jeffrey A. Wilson-University of Michigan

Fri., Feb. 18 7:30pm

Jeff Wilson discusses his research on a remarkable 3.5 meter long Cretaceous snake, Sanajeh indicus, preserved feeding on a sauropod dinosaur hatchling inside an egg nest! He'll also describe his field studies of dinosaurs in India and how they compare to faunas from Africa and Madagascar. Tickets are $8 for Members and $10 for non-Members. Register by CLICKING HERE or call 248 645.3210.  More information.
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Young Scientists

Cranbrook starts the New Year with exciting news for teachers planning a field trip to the Institute. Due to its popularity, our temporary exhibit World of Dinosaurs: Land Sea and Air has been extended through Labor Day! One of the Institute's most popular exhibitions in more than a decade, World of Dinosaurs is free with every field trip visit booked to Cranbrook.  New fossils, a look at the evolution of triceratops and other experiences will be added. World of Dinosaurs: The Expedition Continues officially opens on February 11 but the exhibition and certain new components are accessible at all times during the transition.

Another new "exhibition" is our Virtual Museum. Make sure you bring your Smartphone the next time you visit Cranbrook as we have recently added QR codes to several of our exhibits. The codes, consisting of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background allow access to additional or related information about select exhibits and events by scanning a QR barcode reader or Smartphone over it. Look for the codes throughout the museum.

Lastly, a reminder that the Institute is closed to the public on Mondays between Labor Day and Memorial Day but is available to any group interested in an all-Institute program.

Go Science!

World of Dinosaurs: The Expedition Continues!

nothronychusThe Institute of Science continues and expands its blockbuster World of Dinosaurs exhibition through summer with the addition of several new dinosaur skeletons and cast installations, guest lecturers, an expanded play area and related events. The experience begins when visitors are greeted at the admissions desk by a giant skull of the massive 40-foot-long, 9-ton alligator Deinosuchus, a deadly shore zone predator along the Western interior seaway.


Other notable new additions to the World of Dinosaurs include a stunning full skeleton of Nothronychus, a bizarre pot-bellied plant eating cousin of typical theropod dinosaurs like T. rex and Velociraptor, standing ten feet high with huge sickle-like claws; an exploration of the mystery as to why the skeleton of Nothronychus was found in sea deposits 100 km from the paleo-shoreline where it lived, and What's Up with Triceratops? Evolution of the Horned Dinos a look the evolutionary history, anatomy and function of the headgear of the horned dinosaurs.


World of Dinosaurs is free with every field trip or admission and runs through September 4, 2011.

Donation Expands Mineral Collection

FluorapatiteThe Mineral Collection at Cranbrook Institute of Science is considered the museum's seminal collection. Acquired mostly by Cranbrook Founders George and Ellen Booth Institute, the collection has grown to more than 11,000 specimens and is acknowledged as one of the finest show collections in the world. Recently, the collection grew once again courtesy of a donation of 34 exquisite specimens by Jonathan and Sheri Boos. Especially noteworthy are: the group of stibnite crystals from Jiangxi, China; a deep azure blue lapis crystal group from Badakhshan, Afghanistan; a remarkable mint green fluorapatite crystal from Nasik, India; and a large razor sharp pyrite with associated clusters from Logrono, Spain. A selection of these new acquisitions, along with Cranbrook's 471-gram gold specimen (considered one of the finest crystalline leaf gold specimens in the world), are on temporary display in the Mineral Gallery.
New Astronomy Program Combines Science and Mythology

CypressThe Institute of Science has launched a new program this year for Fifth Graders and above that takes students back to ancient Greece to examine the "pictures" the Greeks saw in the skies and why they gave them the names they did. Most ancient cultures carefully studied the stars of the night sky and some of the earliest attempts at recording star positioning date back almost 6000 years. The Greeks often gave these pictures the names of gods from their mythology. Many of these names are still in use today; Andromeda, Perseus, Ursa Major, Cassiopeia and Orion are all familiar to many people but to the ancient Greeks they meant much more. For instance, in Greek mythology, Andromeda, was a princess who was chained to a rock to be eaten by a monster because her mother, Cassiopeia, bragged that Andromeda was more beautiful than the daughters of Neptune. Fortunately, Perseus rescued Andromeda. These types of stories are sure to fascinate and give a new perspective to the study of Astronomy. For more information about other Astronomy programs at the Institute CLICK HERE.