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: (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 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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Kids’ and Teen Events at the Upcoming Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering

Kids and Teen events at the upcoming Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering on the weekend of April 24th through 26th, 2015 at the Holiday Inn at 37529 Grand River Ave., Farmington Hills, MI 48335.

Further details about the event can be found here, including registration information:  If you prefer to register by mail or at the door, please use this Registration Form.  If you do not have a Mensa member in your household, please note the registration fee for guests is an additional $10. Guests must be sponsored by a Mensa member. Gifted In Michigan typically sponsors non-member families for this event. Please contact us at if you need a sponsor! Thank you!

• Weekend long Lego building and Life Size Minecraft Block building. This year we have added Lego Mindstorm robot 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 – Video Games Programming with GameStart School: – At GameStart School, we teach kids how to program using video games! Design, build and write code for games like Minecraft, StarCraft, Roblox and Portal in a variety of software development environments. Our 90-minute workshop will give you a chance to write Python code that directly impacts the Minecraft world around you!

8:30-9:30 pm – Kids’ Pool Party!
9:00 pm – Kids’ Attend Chocolate Orgy – We’ll have some great kid-friendly options at our chocolate orgy this year. We have a chocolate fondue fountain and sprinkles!


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’ Karaoke – Everyone loved our Kids’ Karaoke workshop last year. This year we will be having a Karaoke contest! Our Karaoke machine uses your mobile device, so download your song ahead of time, if you can and practice at home! Bring your device in for the contest. Many Karaoke songs are downloadable for free from the web. If you can’t bring a mobile device just bring the name of your favorite song and we will bring it up for you at the event!

Noon – 1 PM – Lunch

1:00 – 2:30 pm – Genes and ConSEQUENCES Lab – Have you heard of bioinformatics? This field merges molecular biology with computational techniques. Do you want to use the same tool geneticists worldwide use to analyze genetic sequences and use detective work to find out what has caused a patient’s disease? Then this is the lab for you! This is a great chance to learn about the BLAST tool: and the Human Genome Project, too.

1:00 – 4:00 PM – Teen/Adult Rainbow Loom workshop with Cat Allison of Party On in Farmington Hills – Bring your own Rainbow Loom for this workshop or buy one at the event for $10-$15. You will use the Rainbow loom board and a variety of colorful rubber bands to make a 3D design. You will learn about the different styles of bracelets, charms, animals and 3D designs that can be made.

3:00 – 5:00 pm – Mystery Chemical Lab – Learn first hand about the properties of chemicals and reactions in this lab. You will be given a set of mystery chemicals and reagents, and will use them to create multiple reactions. You will follow the scientific method, making careful observations like a good detective, which every scientist must be. With your careful technique, you will successfully identify these mystery compounds and learn about chemical stoichiometry in the process!

5:00 – 6:30 pm – Finger Loom with Cat Allison of Party On in Farmington Hills: – There will be a short lecture about the history of Rainbow Loom, products, and creations. Then we will use a variety of colorful rubber bands and a small Finger Loom to create bracelets. This is a great class for beginners of any age who enjoy crafting with their hands. Adults are encouraged to join in on the fun and either assist younger students, or make their own. Not recommended for 4 years and younger.

6:30 – 7:30 pm – Dinner

7:30 – 9:30 pm – Kids’ Science Fiction / Gamer Convention – Bring your favorite Sci Fi Costume to wear to this fun event. We will have games, snacks, Sci Fi movies, etc. for your favorite young Sci Fi fan. We’ll also have a contest for best costume!


10 am – 11 am – Polyhedra Power! – Have you heard of Stella This is a funky software program which allows you to design, print and assemble your own personal polyhedron. We will be operating Great Stella and a color printer to produce polyhedra only limited by your imagination! Come join us for fun polyhedra creation!

11 am – noon – Arts & Scraps Workshop – Let’s learn to finger weave and make some great hippy headbands!
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!
Noon – Prizes Ceremony – Lego, Karaoke and Sci Fi Costume contest prizes/certificates to be awarded here!

If you can, please RSVP to our facebook event.  Thank you!  Can’t wait to see you there!!

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Two Summer Scholarships Available from the Michigan Association for Gifted Children

The Michigan Association for Gifted Children is pleased to announce that in 2015 it will once again offer Summer Scholarships. This year, two $300 scholarships will be awarded. Interested students can use our online application, which provides applicants with an easy, streamlined method of applying.

To be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must be nominated by a current MAGC member, and agree to submit verification that the scholarship money was used as planned, as well as a short review of the summer experience for possible publication in the MAGC newsletter. MAGC membership is only $25 per year, and you can join online using the MembershipApplication.   

The online application will be available from now until the deadline of midnight, March 1, 2015. Applications must be received online by the deadline to be considered for an award. There are no exceptions to the due date. Scholarship recipients will be notified by Monday, March 31, 2015. Check out the website,, for more information, or go directly to the scholarship application form at scholarship application.


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Edison Invention Challenge Deadline Approaching Dec. 8th

On October 2014, we announced our 5th Annual Edison Invention Challenge for grades 6 to 12. Students and others are encouraged to create a new invention using alternative technology (wind, solar or fuel cell technology). In the spring of 2015, the winners and their school and teachers will be announced at an awards event. If you are in grades 6 to 12, you can join the invention challenge. December 8, 2014 is final entry date.

Learn more details by logging onto:

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