DBusiness Daily Update: Michigan Science Center Gets Spooky with Two October Events, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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The Michigan Science Center is hosting two Halloween-themed events this month. // Courtesy of Michigan Science Center
The Michigan Science Center is hosting two Halloween-themed events this month. // Courtesy of Michigan Science Center

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Michigan Science Center Gets Spooky with Two October Events

The Michigan Science Center (Mi-Sci) in Detroit is offering two evening events in October — After Dark: Halloween and Community Trunk-or-Treat — for adults and families alike.

After Dark: Halloween will take place from 6-10 p.m. on Oct. 22, promising “an evening of spine-chilling science.”

Special guests include Atwater Brewery, Lacey’s Mobile Libations, and Mi-Sci’s own “Wonder Woman” DJ Lynda Carter. Attendees must be 21 and older with proper I.D. to participate.

Those dressed in their best costume will have a chance to win a secret prize and can join in on the museum’s one-night-only collection of party games. Guests also can carve up the dance floor, then explore the eerie side of science with the Creepy Chemistry Show.

Also showing for one night only is the IMAX Laser Show: Stranger Things.

Guests also can experience virtual reality gaming and explore Mi-Sci’s newest interactive exhibit, Level Up: Featuring Electric Playhouse Travels.

Tickets are $15 for members and $25 for non-members. Drink tickets are $10 (limit three for pre-order). Non-alcoholic beverages will be available and are complimentary. Food trucks also will be on site.

Tickets may be purchased here.

Community Trunk-or-Treat will take place from 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 28. This event is free with reservation and is an easy way for kids to get into their favorite Halloween costumes, explore the spooky side of science and fill their pumpkins and bags with some sweet treats. All Trunk-or-Treat activities and will take place outdoors in the Mi-Sci parking lot, with an indoor rain plan.

The Aramco Traveling Science van also will be on-site featuring spooky experiments like spider spin art and slime making.

Although the event is free, reservations can be made here.

“This is by far the best time of year to come to Mi-Sci to make slime” says Christian Greer, president and CEO of the Michigan Science Center. “We will have lots of Halloween-themed activities and science demos for the whole family to enjoy.”

The Townsend Hotel’s Rugby Grille Offers a Premium Coffee Blend

The Rugby Grille Restaurant in The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham is pouring its premium, signature coffee blend — The Townsend Blend — which has been served daily since the hotel opened in 1988.

This blend is locally roasted in small batches in Michigan at the Crazy Fresh Coffee facilities.

The Townsend Blend is a blend of Central and South American beans that are roasted separately, then blended. Approximately 2/3rds (67 percent) of the blend is roasted to a medium dark, semi-sweet chocolate color while the remaining 1/3 (33.3 percent) is roasted to a dark chocolate brown shade. Both components are then blended together for a finished flavor that satisfies the front, middle and back of the pallet, for a full, yet clean finishing, balanced flavor.

“Our customers have always mentioned their love for this special blend of coffee,” says Steven Kalczynski, managing director of the hotel. “We don’t make your coffee. We make your day.”

This coffee blend was created back in 1988 and is roasted “fresh” for The Townsend, meaning the property places an order on Wednesday, it’s then roasted Thursday for Friday delivery, then again Friday for Monday delivery. It is one of the hotel’s signature items.

Lawrence Tech, OCC Sign Engineering Transfer Agreement

Officials from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield and Oakland Community College have announced a pre-engineering articulation agreement that will make it easier for OCC graduates to complete a bachelor’s degree in various engineering disciplines at LTU.

The pre-engineering agreement provides an OCC student 66 to 69 credit hours that will seamlessly transfer to LTU in an engineering discipline. OCC students who follow this path will only need an additional 59 to 62 credit hours to earn an engineering bachelor’s degree accredited by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology), the nonprofit organization that accredits higher education programs in applied and natural sciences, computing, and engineering.

“America faces a critical shortage of engineers and technical professionals, and we are happy to enter this agreement to help fill the future talent pipeline,” says Tarek M. Sobh president of LTU. “LTU is one of only 13 private, comprehensive, technological universities in the country, and we are proud to provide that education to the great students of OCC.”

OCC Chancellor Peter Provenzano Jr. says this kind of agreement will provide a standard in the future to support OCC students’ advancement in higher education.

LTU and OCC plan to develop further collaborations in scholarship funding, concurrent enrollment, internships, co-op employment opportunities, and housing.

Ann Arbor’s NorthStar Care Receives $250K Challenge Match for Training

NorthStar Care Community in Ann Arbor recently received a $250,000 challenge match from an anonymous donor supporting the creation of a simulation lab at the NorthStar Institute.

The not-for-profit is encouraging community members to help fund this hospice training simulation lab by making a contribution, which will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $250,000 through Dec. 1.

The first of its kind in Michigan, NorthStar Institute is the training and innovation arm of Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice. The NorthStar Institute Simulation Lab includes a fully furnished, real-life patient environment featuring two of some of the world’s most realistic clinical teaching tools, Lifecast Manikins and an adjacent debriefing room for clinical and instructional staff to review videotaped lab training sessions.

“We do find that some of our newly hired clinical staff come to us never having worked with dying patients,” says Rachel Derry, a registered nurse and director of the NorthStar Institute. “How do you teach them to have those crucial conversations? The cutting-edge, centralized Simulation Lab, coupled with regional Advanced Skills Labs that reinforces training, will help us teach these skills to new hires and keep even our most seasoned clinicians sharp to make sure our staff are fully prepared to get it right every time.”

Simulation-based education — a standard practice in clinical training — provides opportunities to hone clinical and decision-making skills through a myriad of real-life scenarios without compromising patient dignity. While nursing schools across Michigan — and the country — utilize simulation labs to teach and train general skills, this approach has only just begun to gain traction in the hospice care arena.

To make a donation to the NorthStar Institute Simulation Lab and help meet the match, visit here and select Simulation Lab from the drop down menu.

Airport High School Students Receive Manufacturing and Engineering Education Through the SME Education Foundation

Approximately 130 students at Airport High School in Carleton now have access to new manufacturing education opportunities for the 2022-23 school year through the SME Education Foundation,  the philanthropic arm of SME, a 90-year-old non-profit association committed to advancing manufacturing technology and developing a skilled workforce.

An event celebrating the launch of Airport High School’s PRIME School program was conducted on Oct. 14th, which included additional details about the program, including educational content and involved participants.

Supported and informed by private industry, SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) builds cost-effective and tailored manufacturing/engineering programs in high schools across the country, providing equipment, curriculum, professional development, scholarships, and manufacturing-focused extra-curricular activities to students and teachers. Nationwide, the SME Education Foundation provides hands-on manufacturing and engineering education to more than 81 schools in 22 states.

The SME Education Foundation received $6 million from the state of Michigan as part of the 2021 education budget to scale the SME PRIME initiative across the state. The award increases the number of schools participating in the unique manufacturer/educator partnership-driven SME PRIME initiative by 16 — there were already 17 SME PRIME schools in Michigan.

“Coordinated by our staff of highly qualified education program managers, SME PRIME schools are a model; a unique approach to manufacturing education and career preparation implemented by scores of schools across the nation,” said SME Education Foundation Vice President Rob Luce. “They include a curriculum plan of three foundational pathways teaching Metrology/Quality, CAD/CAM, and additive manufacturing or 3D printing, and include one elective pathway that is informed by local industry needs.”

Luce said that the Foundation is focused on helping secondary education students start careers in manufacturing and fill an estimated 2.5 million jobs that will be available by 2030.

The Foundation will continue to work with the Michigan Manufacturers Association to solicit input from area manufacturers to inform the developmental curriculum. The MMA, which represents traditional and advanced manufacturing enterprises across the state, has been a partner in developing Michigan SME PRIME schools and is critically important in supporting efforts by an industry facing a limited talent pipeline and misperceptions about work environments and opportunities for young people.

“This significant expansion of the SME PRIME school initiative benefits students and Michigan manufacturers who need qualified, prepared employees,” said Mike Johnston, MMA’s executive vice president of Government Affairs & Workforce Development. “Michigan manufacturers need ambitious, creative, and prepared young people ready to find their bright futures in advanced manufacturing. We are proud to advocate for our manufacturing partners and for Michigan students.”

The foundation’s 2021 SME PRIME Outcomes Report indicates that 89% of SME PRIME seniors nationwide pursued careers or education in manufacturing or engineering upon graduation.

“Airport Community Schools understands the importance of preparing students to become college and career ready, said John Krimmel, superintendent of Airport Community Schools. “Our students and staff members are fortunate to be able to take advantage of the opportunities the PRIME grant will bring immediately and in the future. Not only will our students receive extensive hands-on, state-of-the-art training that is applicable in the manufacturing field, but our community business partners also will reap the benefits of our graduates being prepared to support the workforce they desperately need.”

Literacy for Kids Partners with Katie Yamasaki to Launch Children’s Book on Grandfather

Katie Yamasaki, the granddaughter of one of Detroit’s most legendary architects, Minoru Yamasaki, is coming to Wayne State University’s McGregor Memorial Center in Detroit from 10-11:30 a.m. on Nov. 4 to present and launch her latest children’s book, “Shapes, Lines, and Light.”

Literacy for Kids (LFK) and Yamasaki will co-host a field trip for 120 Detroit elementary students that day at the building, designed by Yamasaki’s grandfather, Minoru Yamasaki.

“Literacy for Kids aims to inspire a love for reading in children through personal interactions and art,” says Heather Mertz, executive director of LFK. “We are thrilled to present Katie Yamasaki, who is not only an amazing author and artist but brings a personal connection to Detroit that we hope will resonate with students.”

Yamasaki will present and read her newest book, “Shapes, Lines, and Light: My Grandfather’s American Journey,” which charts the life and work of her grandfather, including his childhood in Seattle’s Japanese immigrant community, experiencing anti-Asian racism in post-World War II America, and his successful architectural career.

Minoru Yamasaki is famous for designing New York City’s iconic World Trade Center and created many structures in Detroit, including One Woodward Avenue, his first skyscraper; Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills, and several Wayne State University buildings, among others.

“For my grandfather when he was young a lot of spaces were not spaces where he was welcome,” says Yamasaki. “A lot of buildings were ‘white’ spaces. He was made to feel unwelcome in those places. He wanted to address that and make places where people from everyday walks of life could come and feel like themselves and feel welcome. In both my murals and my children’s books I try to do the same thing.”

LFK will provide transportation, lunch, and purchase an autographed book for each student. 120 students and teachers from the Jefferson-Douglas Academy and The Boggs School will attend.

Yamasaki is the newest addition to LFK’s Authors:IN-Detroit program, which connects authors/illustrators with students to promote literacy, imagination, and poetry.

For more information visit literacyforkids.org.

Metroparks and Detroit Public Schools Provide Students with Environmental Learning

The Metroparks have partnered with Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) to offer interactive recreational and environmental learning programs to underserved students in Detroit to help address educational equity in southeast Michigan.

Last spring, the Metroparks and DPSCD hosted nearly 1,000 middle school and high school students from 21 Detroit public schools for a combined physical and educational experience.

Through the partnership, there were a total of 32 field trips to Oakwoods, Willow, Lake Erie, Stony Creek, and Lake St. Clair Metroparks, where students participated in activities like biking, foot golf, pickleball, shuffleboard, and volleyball. Students also hiked with a Metroparks interpreter who provided environmental education along the way.

“It’s essential for our students to get outside and spend time with Michigan’s beautiful natural resources,” says Amy McMillan, director of Metroparks. “We have 25,000 acres of nature’s classroom at our fingertips here in the Metroparks that serve as great learning tools for students, and our goal is to make sure every student in southeast Michigan has equitable access to that space to help them learn and love the outdoors.”

The DPSCD physical education partnership will continue annually with seasonal recreational field trips, including snowshoeing and cross-country skiing as weather allows, to offer diverse experiences for students to enjoy.

Metroparks and DPSCD also have joined forces to provide supplemental science lessons to more than 400 fourth-, fifth-, and eighth-grade public school students in Detroit this October. The program is being launched this fall as a creative solution to supplement what passionate teachers are already doing and addressing education gaps for underserved communities.

“What makes these programs so impactful is that students are given the opportunity to lead through their own investigative interests,” says Jennifer Jaworski, chief of interpretive services for the Metroparks. “And it’s this type of first-hand learning that helps students retain information and be more intentional when engaging with our natural environment.”

The Metroparks also supports students through the following organized programs:

  • Free experiential field trips to public schools in select townships of Clair County, Lapeer County, Macomb County, and Oakland County funded through a grant from the Four County Community Foundation (4CCF).
  • Trips include free transportation to Stony Creek or Wolcott Mill Metroparks for hands-on activities related to agriculture, history, nature, and science.
  • The program will run through the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Scholarship program funded by the Metroparks that offers free field trips or in-school programs for underserved schools in Southeast Michigan schools to any of the Metropark Interpretive Centers, including transportation and programming fees.

To qualify, schools must have at least 50 percent of students eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch program. Teachers can learn more or apply by visiting here.

Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan Presents 20 Scholarships to Students

The Hispanic Latino Commission of Michigan (HLCOM) has awarded $20,000 to 20 students through its Hispanic Latino Commission Scholarship program.

Recipients of the scholarship are students currently enrolled in a Michigan-based high school, college, university, or other recognized higher education institution who plan on utilizing the funds for postsecondary education.

“The $1,000 scholarship provides Hispanic and Latino students with added financial stability to help them achieve their education and career dreams,” says Poppy Hernandez, director of the  Office of Global Michigan. “Through this scholarship and our work to make Michigan a welcoming state, we are committed to providing ongoing support that helps empower and engage all individuals to make Michigan a home for opportunity.”

Scholarship recipients from metro Detroit include:

  • Leah Flores Cabrera — Troy
  • Pablo Tang — St. Clair Shores
  • Amina Torres —Dearborn
  • Nightdelyn Martinez — River Rouge

More than 80 applications were submitted, and selections were made based on the student’s submitted essay, grade point average, letters of recommendation, and community service experience. Each of these students will receive $1,000 in scholarship funding to support their educational attainment goals.