Time to Sign Up For First Lego League!

Would your child like to participate in a First robotics competition with other gifted kids?  We are now assembling our annual Southeast Michigan Mensa / Gifted In Michigan First Lego League team and need participants!

Age range is typically 9-14, but we accept younger kids if they are interested in participating, and often younger kids are!  We will be meeting at Melissa Jenkins’ house in Berkley, MI at days/times convenient for everyone.  Most will probably be on weekends.  A parent will typically attend with your child.

This competition involves designing and building a Lego Mindstorms robot that can solve missions on a robot field!  The kids will also invent a solution to a world problem and learn how to be a great scientist or engineer!  The theme this year is “FLL World Class”.  Teams will design new methods for gathering knowledge and skills in the 21st century.

We plan to have a few non-mandatory meetings beginning in early August to learn how to build and program Mindstorms robots and assemble our Lego robot game models.  Work will begin in earnest once the challenge is released the last week of August and will continue, weekly or bi-weekly until our qualifying competition most likely in Nov.

Total cost per participant will be $30.    Please send an email ASAP (at latest by Sept 1st) to gifted_in_mi@sbcglobal.net, with name, age, address and phone, if your child wants to participate.  Once all slots are taken, the team will close!  We currently have 7 slots available.

To learn more about FLL check out the following website: http://www.firstlegoleague.org/. To see how much fun our trophy-winning team had last year, check out our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/minotaursfirstlegoleague.

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SpaceMath@NASA Retiring – To Continue Receiving Content, Support The Astronomy CAFE

As you may know, NASA has dramatically changed how it funds its education programs during this fiscal year and perhaps beyond.

SpaceMath@NASA has been generously supported through two consecutive NASA education grants, but the last of these grant monies have now expired. Consequently, SpaceMath@NASA is no longer an active resource with new updates as of July 1, 2014

NASA has long been a proponent of finding ways to leverage its resources in the commercial sector, and encourages education programs that it funds to make every effort to insure that the program can be expanded and maintained without further NASA financial support which they consider to be seed money and not intended to be permanent support. To that end, I am offering a way to continue supporting the development of mathematics resources based on real-world space science and discovery themes.

The Astronomy Cafe http://www.astronomycafe.net has begun the design of math resources that integrate Common Core Mathematics Standards with popular space science topics taken from press releases and other sources.

This is an experiment. If we receive little or no support for these products at Astronomy Cafe, I will abandon this program altogether as a privately extended venture. All that will remain will be a largely archival form of SpaceMath@NASA<mailto:SpaceMath@NASA> with little or no further problem development in the coming years. Moreover, after February 2015 the entire website will be taken down because for IT Security reasons, NASA cannot have public-facing websites that are not sponsored by NASA-affiliated civil servants or contractors.

Numerically, over 35,000 people visit SpaceMath@NASA every month, and since its inception in 2004 have downloaded over 9 million mathematics files and problems. I am still committed to providing Educators with these popular resources. Please support the resources at The Astronomy Cafe:

The Astronomy Cafe main page: http://www.astronomycafe.net
Educator Store: http://www.astronomycafe.net/store/storeEducation.html

I have also set up a Facebook page for Space Educators so that you can provide comments and suggestions, and read new announcements about current and future resources. Please visit this page and ‘Like’ it to give us a sense of how many of you want to continue to support the creating of future math-science real-world resources.

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AstronomyCafe

mes in the coming months.

Dr. Sten Odenwald
Director of STEM Resource Development
National Institute of Aerospace
Hampton, VA
Heliophysics Division
Code 672.4
Goddard Spaceflight Center
Greenbelt, MD

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Sweet Deal for Stanford EPGY for Mensans Only

New, sweeter deal for Mensans just announced for Stanford EPGY! You, your child, or another family member much be a Mensan to participate!

Dear GYCs,
Please share with your local group!

Stanford EPGY has changed their policy and gives everyone the open enrollment rate we’ve had, so they’re sweetening the deal for Young Mensans (applies to kids in Mensa and children and siblings of Mensans) – you can get 10 months of access for the 5 month price. For any existing people that who renew, you can have 6 months for the 5 month price or 12 months for the 10 month price. You can also waive the activation fee! You need a code from me for this to work, so email me at lisav@americanmensa.org to get it (don’t call Stanford – that won’t work).

And lastly, we’re giving a Young Mensa member a FREE twelve-month EPGY registration! Just send me the child’s name, and we’ll draw from a hat on May 15th!

Lisa Van Gemert
Youth & Education Ambassador |mensafoundation.org
lisav@americanmensa.org | 817.607.5578
get resources: pinterest.com/brightkids
find more: mensaforkids.org

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Robot Garage Owner’s Daughter Wins First Robotics Competition World Championship!

We here at Gifted In Michigan want to congratulate, Jane, daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Jacobs, owners of the Robot Garage in Birmingham, for winning the First Robotics Competition World Championship with her team, team 469, this year!!!

Here are some words about the win…

Blmfld Hills International Academy Team 469 Alliance which included Holland Michigan Team C.H.A.O.S., wins world championship.
Congratulations to Dan Kimura of The Robot Garage and coach of team 469.

“I’m proud of our championship FIRST Robotics teams as well as the other Michigan teams and the mentors working with them,” Gov. Rick Snyder said, Monday. “This is another example of the top talent in our state. Michigan leads the nation in the number of FIRST Robotics teams. These public-private partnerships not only produce champions, they are creating a new generation of people with in-demand skills who will continue to help our state grow and thrive long into the future.”

Here are some videos of the most memorable moments… from Jonathan and Sarah:

President Obama: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz_t68hrNAw

Will.i.am: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkJ48YjPnM4

Clarkston Team 27’s Win: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCz2yTVPxbM

Final Championship Match: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvEq4IMirZ4

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Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering May 2nd – 4th

Have you registered for our upcoming Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering yet? It’s coming up this weekend! Don’t forget all the exciting kids’ events we have planned! See a full list, plus all the other details in our March newsletter. We have the following exciting events planned, among others:

Weekend Long Lego and Minecraft Block Build plus Lego building contest
GameStart 90 minute Minecraft programming class
Kids’ Take-It-Apart Party
First Lego League Mission Model Programming
Arts & Scraps and Origami art classes
Kids’ Karaoke
Harvard Intro to Neuroscience and Backyard Brains Labs
Kids’ Ice Cream and Pool Party
Vault of Midnight Strategy Gaming Session
Kids’ Pajama Party with Wacky Shakespeare Theme
Bricks4Kiz Lego Engineering Workshop

You won’t want to miss out on all the fun! Plus this is your chance to socialize with other families with gifted kids. A number of families have already signed up to join us!

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Michigan Association for Gifted Children Parent Support Group Meeting Sunday

A Support Group for Parents/Teachers

Parents/teachers of clever, gifted children will learn about these kids who ‘know everything’, but their grades don’t always show it. They exhibit high emotions, sensitivities and signs of perfectionism.


Social and Emotional Needs & sharing coping skills

Sunday, April 27, 4-5:30pm

For more info see flyer.

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Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering May 2nd – 4th

Hey, have you thought about attending our upcoming Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering?  We have a ton of great activities planned (see descriptions below).  We’d love to see you there!

Here’s our registration page: http://mensadetroit.com/ Online registration is available this year. If you do not have a family member who belongs to Mensa, but would like to attend and see what it’s all about, contact us at gifted_in_mi@sbcglobal.net prior to registering so that we may sponsor you as our guest.  And here’s our grid of activities: http://giftedinmichigan.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/grid-2014-mar-26.pdf, plus a detailed list of kids’ activities:

• Weekend long Lego building and Life Size Minecraft Block building.
• Weekend long Lego Building Contest, winner awards to be presented at Sunday’s presentation of prizes.

6-7 pm – Mystery Icebreaker and Pizza
7-8:30 pm – Minecraft Programming with GameStart School: http://www.gamestartschool.org/ – Learn to program Minecraft mods using the Python programming language.  This is a great intro to programming class that will appeal to many kids who already love Minecraft!
8:30 pm – Kids’ Ice Cream!
8:30-9:30 pm – Kids’ Pool Party!

9-10:30 am – Kids’ Take-It-Apart Party – A number of people have volunteered to bring “old junk” in for this event.  We’ll have basic electronics, computer equipment, etc., and we can always use more.  Bring your old junk to find out what is inside of it!  We will have our special head screwdriver set and some other tools available, but please feel free to bring your own wrenches, screwdrivers, pry tools, socket wrenches, nut drivers, adjustable wrenches, hex drivers, or pliers, if you would like.  Please do not bring dangerous tools such as hatchets, hammers, razors, chisels, saws, etc. to help us insure everyone’s safety.  Thank you!
10:30 am – noon – Kids’ First Lego League Mindstorms Mission Models Programming – This is your kids’ chance for a crash course in Lego Mindstorms programming used to solve real First Lego League missions!  We will have a full set of mission models on site ready to challenge the kids to solve the missions!  It’s great preparation for future participation in FLL.
1:00 – 1:30 pm – Learn to Make Origami – Learn how to perform this ancient Japanese art and take some colorful origami creations home with you!
1:30-2:30 pm – Kids’ Karaoke – Does your kid like to “ham it up” at home?  Does she/he love to sing and/or dance?  Come to our Kids’ Karaoke Workshop and have some singing fun!
2:30-4:30 pm – Harvard Intro to Neuroscience Crash Course and Backyard Brains Labs – We will learn basic neuroscience via excerpts from the Harvard Fundamentals of Neuroscience edX Course with labs created by Backyard Brains.  We have lab equipment and lab animals and your kids will get to first learn the theory and next do actual neuroscience lab experiments!
4:30 – 5 pm – Arts & Scraps Workshop – Let’s learn to finger weave and make some great hippy headbands!
5-6:30 pm – Vault of Midnight Strategy Gaming – The Vault of Midnight Comic and Gaming Store in Ann Arbor is lending us some great strategy games for our kids’ gaming event.  Games for younger and older kids will be provided!
7:30 – 9:30 pm – Kids’ Saturday Night Pajama Party – Wacky Shakespeare Theme, plus “Champagne” (aka sparkling water) and hors d’oeuvres reception afterward – Come in your pajamas to our fabulous Shakespeare production of  Act 2 scene 1 of the play, Much Ado About Nothing, produced and directed by our kids!  The younger kids will be the opening act.  Bring weird and wacky costume items (and or theatrical improve) to spice up the production!  Every effort will be made to honor your child’s request to play a particular character!  He/she may enjoy practicing and/or learning about the play prior to the RG!  Cast and crew will be honored and congratulated at the closing reception.

11 am – noon – Lego Project Judging – Be sure to have your child’s Lego project ready for judging in the Kids’ Room at this time!
11 am – noon – Bricks 4 Kidz Lego Engineering Workshop – Bricks 4 Kidz: http://www.bricks4kidz.com/michigan-annarbor-dexter/ presents Lego workshops that use real engineering principles with themes such as space, amusement parks, etc.  Our local Ann Arbor Bricks 4 Kidz owner, Lori Stevens, specializes in Lego workshops that don’t use computers, but instead use pure child imagination.
Noon – Prizes Ceremony – Lego contest prizes to be awarded here!

We’d love to see you there to share in the fun!  Sign up on our facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/237686603083592/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming, if you can, to see which other families will be attending with you!

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