Michigan Association for Gifted Children (MAGC) Fall Conference

Come one, come all to the MAGC Fall Conference which will be held on the campus of Michigan State University on November 5. See all the details on the MAGC Website.

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Michigan Renaissance Festival Discount Opportunity

Would you like to attend the Michigan Renaissance Festival on the Festival Friday School Day Program, Friday, September 28th at a discount?

Mensan Paul Hitch (paulnhitch@gmail.com) is organizing a group. You don’t have to be a Mensan or have a Mensan in your family to attend.

Event Details:
Michigan Renaissance Festival
Festival Friday School Day Program
Friday, September 28th, 2018
10:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Discount Ticket Prices:
Grades 1-6: $9 (reg price $14.95)
Grades 7-12
and adult chaperones: $11 (reg price $23.95)

Please contact Paul if you are interested, so that he can get a count (paulnhitch@gmail.com). Thank you!

When you arrive at the festival, mention “Mensa group” at the ticket gate.

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Please Book Your RG Hotel Room Via Phone

For those who are unaware, the RG hotel registration website is having problems. They don’t anticipate the problems will be fixed prior to the RG, so we suggest you please register for your hotel room by phone instead. The phone # is 734-729-7555. Sorry for the inconvenience!
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SEMMantics 2018 – Southeast Michigan Mensa’s Regional Gathering – April 20-22, Romulus, MI

Come one, come all to SEMMantics 2018, our Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering taking place from April 20-22, at:

Detroit Metro Airport Marriott
30559 Flynn Drive
Romulus, Michigan 48174

Check out our website for full details on the kids’ track and registration information: http://mensadetroit.com.

Hope to see you there!

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Last Minute Meal Change for SEMMantics

Please note that our Friday dinner meal will be a Taco Bar instead of pizza.  Hope to see you there.  SEMMantics starts tomorrow afternoon!

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Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering (SEMMantics 38) Coming Up April 21st – 23rd

Check out the lineup at this year’s Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering.  Please note that the event will be at a new hotel this year, the Detroit Metro Airport Marriott in Romulus, Michigan.  Register and get all the pertinent details here: http://mensadetroit.com/semmantics/.  Please note that you’ll get a cheaper price if you register prior to April 8th, when the price goes up!

The Kids’ events are listed below:


5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Learn and Explore in the Kids’ Room!
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
“Free Build” in the kids’ room with Legos, Snap Circuits, marble maze, puzzles, games, and life-sized Minecraft Blocks all weekend!  Learn microscopy techniques, play with robots.  Don’t forget to enter our weekend-long Lego-building contest.  Judging right before our award’s ceremony Sunday morning!

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Icebreaker & Pizza
Melissa Jenkins
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Let’s get to know each other over pizza with a mystery ice-breaker!

7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Build a Marble Maze
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Let’s build a marble maze we can use to play with all weekend.

7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Computer Tips & Tricks for Kids and Parents
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Bring your computer/tablet and questions!  I will also speak on how to get/use a computer to meet your needs, how to keep viruses, ransomware and malware from spoiling your fun, how to safely download and install Minecraft mods, how to play XBOX games on your Windows 10 PC, etc.

8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Kids’ Pool Party
Pool Area
Let’s let loose in the pool and have some fun!

9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Chocolate Feast
Hospitality #227 (2nd Floor)
Kids’ participate in the chocolate feast.  Get your chocolate fix!


8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Learn and Explore in the Kids’ Room!
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
“Free Build” in the kids’ room with Legos, Snap Circuits, marble maze, puzzles, games, and life-sized Minecraft Blocks all weekend!  Learn microscopy techniques, play with robots.  Don’t forget to enter our weekend-long Lego-building contest.  Judging right before our award’s ceremony Sunday morning!

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Kids’ Take-It-Apart Party
Livonia Room
Electrical and Mechanical Take-It-Apart party complete with all our old stuff!  This will give your kids a chance to see what makes common household items tick, such as computers, old cell phones, appliances, plumbing, etc.

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Introduction to Electromagnetics and Acoustics
Will Robinson, Bose
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Bose engineer, Will Robinson presents a brief tutorial on electromagnetics and acoustics in preparation for his “Build a Speaker” workshop.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Build Your Own Paper Plate Speaker
Will Robinson, Bose
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Bose Engineer, Will Robinson, teaches workshop attendees how to build a simple speaker out of a paper plate.

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Kids’ Freeform Karaoke
Melissa Jenkins
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Let’s have some fun singing alone or together just for fun!  Let’s get some choruses and duets going too!  We will use our Karaoke machine with mobile devices again this year.  Use ours or bring your own.  This year our iPad will use a Karaoke app to make your song selection easier!

2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Around the World with Teens and Tweens
Dave Cahn
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Join Dave, Martin (15), and Heather (12) on an interactive slide trip around the world. The children will see and discuss the Tower of London, Eiffel Tower, Pyramids, and other famous places they often recognize.  It’s a great geography lesson and shows how kids can enjoy international travel.  This talk is for kids of all ages.

4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Make, Take and Interpret Your Own Blood Smear Slide
Melissa Jenkins
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Have you ever wondered what happens when you get your blood taken at the doctor’s office and it gets tested?  What does the lab tech check for to make sure you are healthy?  A blood smear has several indicators that can be used to predict your overall health.  Make, stain and learn to interpret a slide of your own blood.

7:30 p.m. –10:00 p.m.
Kids Dance with Musician and Dance Competition
Melissa Jenkins
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Let’s party at the kids dance!  Dancers bring your best moves for the dance competition.  Musicians (Karaoke singer(s) or homemade band), sign up in 15 minute increments.  Signups begin at the beginning of the RG.  Kids and Adult Musicians are welcome!


8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Learn and Explore in the Kids’ Room!
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
“Free Build” in the kids’ room with Legos, Snap Circuits, marble maze, puzzles, games, and life-sized Minecraft Blocks all weekend!  Learn microscopy techniques, play with robots.  Don’t forget to enter our weekend-long Lego-building contest.  Judging right before our award’s ceremony Sunday morning!

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Arts ‘N Scraps – Build Your Own Outer Space Home
Melissa Jenkins
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Here’s your chance to figure out all the logistics for a home built on Mars or other outer space world.  What material do you need to use?  How will you oxygenate your home, heat/cool your home?  How will you provide water/food and entertainment in your home?  You figure it out and then build it!

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Make and Take a Birdhouse for Your Backyard
Melissa Jenkins
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Let’s construct a natural cedar birdhouse that you can use to attract birds to your backyard.  We will be making basic bluebird houses and learning more about attracting and observing songbirds!

11:00 a.m. – 12 noon
Lego Project Judging
Southfield Room (Kids’ Room)
Be sure to finish your Lego Contest projects by 11:00 a.m. Sunday.  We will line them up then for the judging session!

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Steppingstone Talk, Thurs. Sept. 29th, Parenting Gifted Children to Reach Their Full Potential

Steppingstone School in Farmington is having a talk this Thursday 9/29 at 7:00pm. “Parenting Gifted Children to Reach Their Full Potential” with Tom Clynes, author of The Boy Who Played With Fusion.  Please see the presentation flyer for more info.


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Robotics Workshop Opportunity by Amy Simko

Maker Faire 2016 at The Henry Ford

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  – Einstein

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”  – Edison

“The most dangerous notion a young man can acquire is that there is no more room for originality.” – Ford

The greatest inventors of all time knew that great innovation comes from an open mind filled with imagination, curiosity and wonder.  When we are born, the world around us is truly a magical place.  Everything is new.  The world is one giant tinker box set in front of us to be explored.  Gifted children hold onto this beautiful gift as they grow and they are natural inventors and innovators.  Gifted children tend to accelerate even deeper into the world of tinkering, figuring out how things work, inventing new things and improving upon existing things.  For these children and teens, Maker Faire is a rich haven for them to immerse themselves into and spend hours exploring.

Last year was the first time my family visited the Maker Faire at The Henry Ford.  There is a plethora of tech-based vendors who fill most of the museum inside and have an even larger presence outside.  There is so much to see and do there.  Many vendors go beyond offering just literature and business cards and provide hands on demonstrations and activities for adult and children tech fans alike.  This is a smorgasbord of brain food for gifted children and teens.

Last year, my son met a teacher at Maker Faire who has become a mentor to him.  Keith Young, owner of Kinvert, has taken my son’s dream of creating his own working R2 unit and mapped out a path for my son to achieve his goal.  At just 8 years old, my son, like most gifted children, has big dreams.  Kinvert is a relatively new company, but already Keith is leading our gifted children toward their goals in such a short amount of time.  He offers hands on learning with a lot of child led invention and innovation.

This year, Keith is offering an amazing opportunity to children and teens that exhibit advanced abilities or interest in robotics, electronics and programming and have the ability to work in a team environment.  He is holding a robotics competition complete with lessons to prepare the teams on their quests of SumoBot battling.  The teams of up to 5 children will work together to learn how to code the robot to leverage sensors in order to locate the competitor’s robot  and locate the edge of the arena ring to try to be the first to push the competitor’s SumoBot out of the ring to win the match!  What makes this learning experience and competition unique is that the kids will not be controlling the robots directly through a remote control.  Instead, they will learn directly from Keith how to program the robot to make decisions on its own and operate autonomously using sensors.  The kids will then present their skills at Maker Faire 2016 at The Henry Ford.  Teams will compete there for great prizes and fun while being encouraged to learn not only team work, but the value of helping others as they learn together.

This is like a dream opportunity for so many gifted children and teens.  They will learn robotics, electronics, coding and life skills from a highly educated and experienced coach and teacher.  Keith holds two engineering degrees and has won two robotics competitions at the graduate level!  As a gifted individual himself, Keith “gets” gifted children and teens.  He is able to encourage a 5 year old to take her or his learning to any level the child desires without the age assumptions often placed on these kids.  He can help them through asynchronous abilities so they don’t have to stop coding just because they are struggling in one area or another.  As a gifted teen, it’s often difficult to connect with those who share like interests and it can feel lonely and isolating to have such a deep passion, but no one who speaks your same language.  Keith has taken on this problem and has worked diligently to bring together teens who share common interests and speak the language of all things tech-y.  He supports his students to learn by exploration which promotes learning how to accept mistakes and getting back to it to try again.  Finding a gifted instructor for our gifted children is rare.  Keith is an exceptional find.

If your gifted child is into robotics, programming, electronics or wants to be, then this is the opportunity for them to dive in and learn it all.  For more information on the lesson dates/times, costs and details on the competition itself, please visit: http://kinvert.com/Kinvert_Robotics_Competition_Summer_2016



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qpTZNQQ9BY (one of the guinea pig groups getting their robots working for the first time 🙂 )


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Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering (SEMMantics 37) Coming Up April 15th – 17th

This year’s Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering is an absolute not-to-be-missed! We can’t possibly replicate this year’s visit by Miss Michigan, who loves reading so much, she’ll be giving each child at the RG an autographed bookmark! Miss Michigan will also be speaking with the kids privately from 7:30-8:30 PM Saturday.   Just prior to that, during the dinner hour, families will have the chance to take a picture with Miss Michigan, so be sure to bring your camera!

Emily Kieliszewski Official

Here’s the general outline of events throughout the weekend:

All weekend long the kids’ room will be open with lots of learning activities for curious kids!   We will have Lego building (and a Lego contest) as well as Lego Mindstorms Robot building. A microscope will be available for viewing prepared slides, as well as wet and dry mounts your child learns to prepare. We’ll have large Minecraft building blocks for those who like to use their hands. For others, who like to move things with their minds, we’ll have our mind-controlled helicopter and other mind-control games. We’ll also have snap circuits and lots of regular games and puzzles.

Friday evening from 6-7 PM, we’ll have pizza and an ice-breaker in the kids’ room.

Immediately afterward, from 7-8:30 PM, we’ll plan to investigate a forensic mystery. There’s been a murder in one of the conference rooms at the hotel! The murderer has left forensic clues behind. Can your kids figure out which of the suspects has committed the crime? It will take deductive and scientific reasoning to figure this out. Remember, forensic experts only (kids) past the caution tape!

After all that thinking, your kids can relax for the rest of Friday evening at the kids’ pool party and the chocolate feast. Last year’s favorite for us there was dipping strawberries into the chocolate fondue!

Saturday morning starts early from 8:30 – 10 AM with our annual Take-It-Apart party! This year we should have lots of great new stuff to take apart, and the kids should have tons of fun tearing apart more old stuff to reveal what is inside!

Next, from 10 – 11:30 AM the kids will gather in the boardroom with Rainbow Loom expert Cat Allison to make dragon scale bracelets. Bring your own finger loom if you have one. Then it will be time for lunch. Parents, if you would like to take the adult Rainbow Loom workshop, you can take a ½ hour lunch break with the kids, and then head back for the adult workshop at 12 noon. The adult workshop involves making a beautiful 3-dimensional dragon! This workshop is for ages 12 and over.   Either bring your own Rainbow Loom for this workshop or borrow one for free.

Dragon Pic 7

After lunch, the kids will head back to the kids’ room from 12:30 to 1:30 PM for Karaoke singing.   Remember to bring your mobile device with your kids’ favorite karaoke song, or look up the song on our iPad!

Do your kids like genetics, but might enjoy a more interesting and easier workshop than last year? From 1:30-3:30 PM, we will be having the kids make necklaces of their own DNA! They will learn how to extract DNA from their cheek cells and isolate it to create their own personalized necklaces.

Experts dealing with the Flint Water Crisis will be speaking at 3 PM on Saturday. Along that same theme, from 4-6 PM, our kids will be learning how to test their home water supply for various chemicals, including lead.   Please have your child bring a small water sample from your home, about enough to fit into a ½ size water bottle, and he/she will test it for you.

During the dinner hour, get your picture with Miss Michigan, and then return to the kids’ room from 7:30 – 8:30 PM for additional photo ops and Miss Michigan’s conversation with the kids.

After that, hang out from 8:30-10 PM for our kids’ gaming and puzzle competition! Prizes will be awarded for the gaming winners and most complex puzzle completion.

Sunday morning we will assemble and operate an intricate marble maze from 10 AM till 12 noon.   This is a great activity for the young engineer or youngster who just likes to play with marbles! Hope to see you afterward at the Award Ceremony!   Don’t forget if you register for next year by the Award Ceremony, you qualify for a deep discount on admission.   Check with our registrar, Larry Arbanas, for details.

If you don’t have a Mensan in your household, do not despair. Our SEMM Gifted Youth Coordinator can sponsor your family.   Please email GiftedCoord@mensadetroit.com with a request to be sponsored and we will arrange your sponsorship. Thank you!

A registration discount applies through April 1st, but you may register anytime prior to the event, and at the door.  Register online here or use our paper form.  View our program grid and other info via our information page.  Check out our facebook event to see who else is coming!

I just know I will see you there this year! You just can’t miss it!

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Miss Michigan To Be At This Year’s Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering

Emily Kieliszewski Official

This year’s Miss Michigan, Emily Kieliszewski, will be at this year’s Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering to be held April 15th – 17th, 2016 at the Farmington Hills Holiday Inn, 37529 Grand River Ave., Farmington Hills, MI  48335

Miss Michigan will be visiting with us Saturday evening, and will speak with the kids in the kids’ room from 7:30-8:30 PM Saturday night, with the adults from 8:30-9:30 PM, and will be available for photo ops during the dinner hour of 6-7:30 PM.

Miss Michigan has a soft spot for kids in her heart.  She and her siblings were adopted and she is a great advocate for the placement of foster kids into adoptive homes.

We can’t wait to have her speak for us and answer questions for the kids!

Here is a flyer explaining how to register for the regional gathering.  Register by January 31st or April 1st for a tiered discounted admission price!

And don’t forget we will have a full track of exciting kids events for your kids to enjoy the entire weekend.  Details on additional events forthcoming very soon!



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