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Cranbrook Institute of ScienceDecember, 2011
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In This Issue
Holiday Sale
Special Lecture
Acheson Planetarium.
Holidays at Cranbrook
Life on Earth!
The Gift of Science
MASCO Corporation Foundation
Social Media
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Holiday Sale in the Science Shop
The offers 20% off on gifts for the holiday season during the pre-holiday sale December 8-11. The shop offers a wide selection of gifts for everyone on your list. The public is welcome to visit the Science Shop without paying admission. Click here for more information. 


December is here and the Institute is the place for your school break activities, a night out or some holiday shopping! Starting with a lecture by Dr. Brian Huber of the Smithsonian Institution, and continuing through the end of the year with special activities and events.


Daily planetarium programs the weeks of December 19 and 26, and special free science activities from December 26-30 make the Institute a perfect entertainment destination during the holidays.


Finish your holiday shopping and help the Institute by visiting the Science Shop or picking up a Gift Membership. Special sales and offers will save you time and money.


Don't forget the Observatory is open on Friday nights and winter's darkness makes for ideal viewing. A visit to the telescope is a great complement to our Michigan Sky Tonight planetarium show which is updated weekly to align with the current night sky. Our special holiday programs in the planetarium continue through Jan. 2.


As you make your holiday plans, please note we will be closed December 24, 25 and 31, 2011, and January 1, 2012. We look forward to sharing more science with you in the coming year.


Happy Holidays and Go Science!


Special Lecture: Asteroid Impact and the End of the Dinosaur Era


Dr. Brian Huber of the Smithsonian Institution will explore the asteroid impact theory for the cause of the Late Cretaceous mass extinction at the Institute of Science on Friday, December 9 at 7:30 p.m. Based on his studies of deep-sea drilling cores taken 500-580 km off the northeastern coast of Florida during an ocean drilling program cruise, Huber will focus on the evidence for, and environmental consequences of, this global catastrophe and how it influenced the evolution of life. Lecture is free with admission and seating is on a first come, first seated basis.


Special Holiday Programming in the New Acheson Planetarium 


acheson logo
The Institute continues its run of special holiday-themed programming in the planetarium through the end of December and offers a week day schedule December 19-23 and 26-30. The Mystery of the Christmas Star takes the viewer back 2000 years to Bethlehem to examine the possible scientific explanation for the Star the wise men followed. Using recorded sightings of significant astronomical occurrences during related historical events, we'll investigate possible dates for the birth of Jesus. The truly dazzling capabilities of the Institute's new Acheson planetarium are revealed in Christmas Lights! which melds favorite wintry tunes with spectacular digital effects. Both programs are suitable for all ages. To preview programs, click here.


Discover Science Potpourri During the Holidays at Cranbrook  

Take a fascinating and eclectic tour of the field of science when the Institute presents Holiday Science Potpourri from 1-4 p.m. each day December 26-30. Test your word skills on a holiday-themed crossword puzzle, learn an engaging game of dominoes, build a star, explore the universe in the planetarium, watch a lightning show, extract DNA from a strawberry, and more!  Stations set up throughout the museum will offer challenges for any age. Holiday Science Potpourri is free with admission.



Life on Earth! featuring Explore Evolution Reveals the Wonders our Planet 

Cranbrook Institute of Science opens its collections to reveal the stunning variety of life forms on our planet in Life on Earth! featuring Explore Evolution. Specimens from the Institute's collections, the Smithsonian Institution, and other sources, represent all major plant and animal groups to illustrate the astounding diversity of life on Earth and why maintaining it is important to humanity. As a complement to Life on Earth!, Explore Evolution examines seven exciting research projects that have made major contributions to our understanding of evolution, including work related to the rapid evolution of HIV, a look at fungus-growing ants and their coevolving partners, and research focusing on the fossils of walking whales. Junior scientists will follow Charles Darwin's scientific journey in a specially-designed play area which features activities and games related to the exhibitions set beside a facsimile of Darwin's ship HMS Beagle. Coral Reef tanks as part of the exhibition, and live animal shows from the Bat Zone each Saturday, offer a living glimpse of the animals that currently share our world. Life on Earth! and Explore Evolution are free with admission.



Give the Gift of Science this Year!


The Institute offers a selection of gifts that will entertain and educate for an hour or a full year! For that special gift, stop by the Science Shop December 8-11 and save 20% during the pre-holiday sale. The shop offers a wide selection of books, games, activity kits, jewelry and more. Special Life on Earth! related gifts include, puzzles, magnet sets, mugs and kits to hatch a butterfly or lady bug! The shop is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; and Noon-4 p.m. Sunday. The public is welcome to visit the Science Shop without paying admission. To give a full year of science, special events, education and fun, consider a gift membership to the Institute of Science. Now through January 6, 2012, the Institute is offering one membership at 10% off, and any second Membership at 50% off. Call 248 645.3245 to order your gift memberships today or purchase gift certificates at Cranbrook Institute of Science during your next visit.


Party Like it's 250,000,000 BCE! 

Planning a summer birthday party? The Institute of Science offers a unique setting for a birthday party with and ready-made educational fun built in! We have a limited number of spaces for up to 20 children available Sat. and Sun. throughout the year. Each birthday party package includes private use of one of the Institute's Science Labs for up to two hours, access to museum exhibits and any free programs occurring the day of the party and a special Institute of Science gift for the birthday child. To review party details visit our website or call 248 645.3210.


MASCO Corporation Foundation First Fridays are FREE!



Courtesy of the MASCO Corporation Foundation, admission to Cranbrook Institute of Science is FREE after 5pm the first Friday of every month
through June 1, 2012.


Life on Earth