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Cranbrook Institute of ScienceMarch 2012
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In This Issue
Lecture Series
Explorathon Showcases Opportunities
Behind the Scenes at Cranbrook
Summer Camp
Social Media
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Observatory to Close for Upgrades
The observatory at the Institute of Science will close early this summer as a series of upgrades are implemented. Three new telescopes, architectural changes in the viewing space, a new dome, and compatibility with the planetarium will create an experience unparalleled anywhere in the Midwest when the observatory re-opens in late summer. The New Acheson Planetarium will remain open during construction. Preview program trailers here.


March at the Institute of Science is highlighted by evolution in both the traditional sense and in the sense that evolution can mean change.


We start with a lecture by visiting scholars from Ursinus College Ellen and Robert Dawley on March 9. The Dawleys will take visitors to the Galápagos Islands to reveal what about this fascinating place that helped trigger Darwin's theory of evolution. This lecture is a fantastic complement to the Life on Earth featuring Explore Evolution exhibition currently at the Institute of Science. Don't miss a rare chance to see the Institute's own first edition On the Origin of Species on display in the lobby while you are here.


A look at the changes in the Great Lakes brought about by invasive species is the topic of a second lecture on March 15. Jim Robinett of the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago will discuss the ways the lakes have changed from the introduction of outside species and also look at efforts to prevent further species entering our waterways.


Finally, Astronomy studies "evolve" at Cranbrook sometime later this month when we begin exciting upgrades and changes to our observatory. You'll be hearing more about that throughout the spring and summer months. If you are not a fan of the institute on Facebook, friend us now to watch developments!


We hope to see you soon.


Go Science!

The Institute Lecture Series Studies the Galapagos and the Great Lakes

The Institute Lecture Series presents: Evolution in the Galápagos on Friday, March 9, at 7:30pm. Ursinus College Professors Ellen and Robert Dawley will discuss the observations of Charles Darwin during his visit to the Galápagos Islands in 1835 which helped trigger his theory of evolution, plus current research on the reptiles and birds that inhabit the Islands today. Both Professors of Biology, the Dawleys have traveled extensively in Central and South America, and have conducted field courses in Costa Rica, Mexico, and the Galápagos Islands.  


On Thursday, March 15 at 7pm, Jim Robinett, Senior Vice President, Conservation and Regulations at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, will look at the breadth of invasive species in the Great Lakes and the impact some of the more than 180 invasive species have already had. In addition, efforts to prevent other species such as the Asian Carp from establishing themselves in the Lakes will be examined. This is a unique opportunity to hear from one of the leading experts on Great Lakes issues!  


Both lectures are free and seating is on a first come, first seated basis.

Explorathon Showcases Opportunities for Women in Science 


Explorathon 2012 returns to Detroit Country Day School on April 4. A joint project of the American Association of University Women Birmingham (MI) Branch, Cranbrook Institute of Science, and Detroit Country Day School, Explorathon is a day of interactive workshops with female scientists, engineers, mathematicians and health professionals for students in grades 8-12 designed to expand the horizons of girls in science, technology and mathematics. Male students are welcome to attend as well.  


The day begins at 7:45am with a keynote speaker, followed by three break-out sessions. Lunch is provided, and the conference concludes by 1:30pm so students return to their respective districts in time for district dismissal. Fee is $15 per person. Registration must be received by March 14 and total attendance is limited to 550. For more information visits or call 248 865.7257.


Behind the Scenes at Cranbrook Returns     

The Cranbrook Educational Community continues its popular Behind the Scenes tours with five new lectures for the 2012 season offering access to collections and areas not usually open to the public. Now in its fourth year, Behind the Scenes offers special viewing of objects and artifacts, tours conducted by Museum Directors, and the chance to learn more about the art, science and history of Cranbrook.


On Tuesday, April 17, at 6:30pm, Institute Director Dr. Michael Stafford will examine the cultural collections held by Cranbrook Institute of Science in Digging into the Past: The Archaeology Collections of Cranbrook Institute of Science. From Inca gold to

prehistoric ceramics to stone tools and more, the Institute's archaeology collections are of extraordinary quality and depth. The Institute's very best artifacts will be available for inspection as part of this program.  


Other Behind the Scenes tours in the March through May season include Around the World in 120 Minutes: A Tour of Cranbrook Art Museum's Textile Collection with former Cranbrook Academy of Art Director Gerhardt Knodel and a look at the Arts & Crafts Movement at Cranbrook House.  Tickets are $30 per person or $20 per person for Cranbrook Art Museum, Cranbrook Institute of Science or Cranbrook House and Gardens Members. Space for each event is limited so pre-registration is required. Register online at or call 248 645.3210 for a copy of the 2012 Behind the Scenes at Cranbrook brochure.

Summer Camp at Cranbrook Institute of Science!


Summer Explorer Camp at the Institute of Science is marked by a Harry Potter-themed camp II, and a new camp that invites the technologically curious camper to "Hack This Camp!"  


Popular summer camp classics such as Explorer Camps and Museum Boot Camp return to offer Campers ages 4-14 the chance to utilize Cranbrook's 319-acre "outdoor laboratory" and the resources of a museum to discover science and create a lifetime of memories and learning experiences.


Registration for week-long camps that run June 11 through August 20 has begun. To review camp selections visit here or call 248 645.3210 for a 2012 Summer Explorer Camp Guide.

Life on Earth