The Ames Room

The Michigan Science Center has debuted our Ames Room, an optical illusion designed to trick your brain & challenge your perceptions of reality. In a year where we’ve all had to consider different perspectives, we are excited to offer this experience to our guests. Drop by on your next visit and experience this fantastic visual experience.

Aramco iExplore expands to Michigan Science Center

A version of this article was first published by Aramco Americas.

With a strong commitment to research and development, Aramco Americas debuted its “Aramco iExplore: Energy” program in Detroit through a collaborative partnership with the Michigan Science Center, Michigan State University’s CREATE for STEM Institute, and the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD).

The program was created in 2013 with 50 students from the Galena Park Independent School District at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It has grown to reach nearly 2,000 students and science teachers in the Greater Houston area alone. The curriculum has also expanded its focus areas: energy, chemicals and biodiversity.

The curriculum for “Aramco iExplore: Energy” in Detroit will reach more than 4,000 students, who will visit the Center with field trips in February and March. The collaborative energy literacy program integrates Next Generation Science Standards—nationally benchmarked K-12 science content standards—into the learning experience. This is the first time in MiSci history in which a program was developed and specifically tailored to high school students and to a specific school district’s science curriculum.

Students from the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) gathered at the start of the inaugural field trip to the Michigan Science Center in Detroit, Mich.; pictured in the center (from left to right): Abdulrahman Bayounis, Director of Public Affairs, Aramco Americas, and Christian Greer, President and CEO, Michigan Science Center.

Students toured various areas within MiSci, including the Science Stage, which focused on components of atoms; Sparks Theater, where they participated in an electricity presentation; the Science Hall, where they demonstrated experiments related to static energy; and various MiSci galleries to explore energy transformation and atomic interactions.

Each student used their smartphone to download and utilize a digital app called “Nearpod” containing a custom activity guide—all part of the collaborative effort to create a comprehensive, branded curriculum for the students as they journeyed through the Center.

“This is a rare opportunity to give the next generation of scientists and engineers the tools to tackle the grand challenges of energy,” said Christian Greer, President and CEO, Michigan Science Center. “This makes STEM education more accessible and shines a light on career pathways for our future workforce.”

Aramco iExplore continues through the end of March. To read the rest of this story, please visit Aramco Americas.

Amanda: Volunteer of the Month February 2020

Amanda Orris is our February 2020 Volunteer of the Month. Continue reading to learn why she continues to volunteer at MiSci.

When I started volunteering, I was initially concerned about time. Would I have the window to do it? Would I feel overwhelmed or out-of-place? I was always passionate about education and finding the opportunity to volunteer around an educational environment was thrilling. What I found, beyond that, was that the staff at the Michigan Science Center (MiSci) was extremely kind and dedicated. They were passionate about their jobs and loved being a part of inspiring young learners. Also, the Science Center is not all about the kids! I met “adult kids” on dates who enjoyed the various exhibits just as much as any child would. Volunteering awakened my passion for continuing education. My time at MiSci has been a real joy.

I embrace each hour I’ve given to MiSci and look forward to future opportunities to contribute more. Whenever I volunteer, I find myself feeling appreciated at the end of the day and I hope that I positively affected at least one child or adult that I interacted with that day. I always find myself interested and intrigued by each person’s knowledge or experience and I feel it’s my “job” to make their experience at MiSci as comfortable and convenient as possible.

I love the interactions with the people, the smiles of parents and children and the joy and enthusiasm of the staff that keep the MiSci running. I am grateful and feel very lucky to have found this opportunity. I look forward to any events coming soon!

Maria: Volunteer of the Month January 2020

María González is our January 2020 Volunteer of the Month. Continue reading to learn why she continues to volunteer at MiSci.

My name is María González and I am 46 years old. Since I was a child, I have always liked science. I wanted to be an astronaut, an architect, or an archaeologist like Indiana Jones. I became a mechanical engineer. I am a very passionate and curious person, and always feel the need to understand how things work. I love hands-on activities. It is the best way to learn new things!

My husband is from England and I am from Spain. We have traveled around the world for work and for leisure. In many of our vacations, we enjoyed visiting science museums. We are like big kids playing with the exhibitions! When we moved to Michigan in 2014 for my work as an Operations Manager in an automotive company, I discovered the Michigan Science Center, and we visited it several times.

I like to keep busy, learning new things, and it was visiting the Michigan Science Center booth at TEDxDetroit 2018 that I learned about the MiSci Volunteer opportunity and about the STEMinista Project and the STEMinista Role Models. I thought: “I’m in!”

I joined both teams: MiSci Volunteers and STEMinista Role Models and I love it!I have participated in several activities since then and it is a win-win situation. Both the visitors (adults and kids) and myself, always learn something in these events. I like teaching, coaching and motivating others to help them develop their potential. If I can help with my own experience and with examples I have seen along my professional career, even better.

I think what Michigan Science Center employees and volunteers are doing, not only for future generations but also for the adults, is amazing and invaluable work that, undoubtedly, will positively mark the lives of the visitors and the future of many kids.

Thank you for letting me be part of this!