Science & Technology

Published April 27, 2016

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The Bionic Black Hawks, Bloomfield Hills High School’s robotics team, will represent Michigan and the United States at the FIRST Robotics world championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis April 27-30.

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Published April 20, 2016

SOUTHFIELD — Blue polos flooded the atrium on Lawrence Technological University’s campus as the school’s Blue Devil Motorsports students unveiled their latest racing designs for the SAE Collegiate Design competitions. 

Students from five LTU racing teams unveiled their 2016 competition vehicles 12:30-2 p.m. April 12 at the Buell Management Building on LTU’s campus.

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Published April 18, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — While the Oculus Rift is attempting to mainstream virtual reality to consumers, Utica Community Schools’ plans to introduce a different company’s 3-D technology into the classroom have also become a reality.

The school district held a demonstration of zSpace virtual reality learning materials April 12 at Ebeling Elementary School in Macomb Township. UCS has been using the technology for about a month, and it is the first school district in the state to do so, according to UCS spokesman Tim McAvoy.

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Published April 13, 2016

Nearly 70 penguins made an appearance April 13 during a sneak peek of the $30 million Polk Penguin Conservation Center inside the Detroit Zoo.

The 33,000-square-foot center is scheduled to open to the public April 18.

Detroit Zoological Society Executive Director and CEO Ron Kagan expects the new attraction to draw heavy attention, as it is the largest penguin habitat in the nation.

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Published March 30, 2016

METRO DETROIT — A while back, a patron at the Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham went to the reference desk to ask a few questions about what the library had to offer besides books.

She was considering canceling her costly cable package and hoped the library might have some entertainment options, like DVDs of movies or TV shows she could borrow. And she was in luck, because Head of Adult Services Maria Williams happened to be behind the desk that day.

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Published March 28, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Effective science education can give people a greater understanding of the world around them, but conveying complex ideas is not always easy.

At the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, the staff tries to make science understandable with hands-on programs, Head of Communications Steven Pagnani said.

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Published March 23, 2016

The Sterling Heights City Council recently clicked “on” for a proposal that officials say will fund new city customer service software to make handling resident concerns more efficient.

During a March 15 meeting, the council voted unanimously to fund the SeeClickFix software and its accompanying app for three years — starting July 1 — at an annual rate of $18,696. The proposal was part of the city’s consent agenda, and City Council members did not discuss the issue during the meeting.

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Published March 18, 2016

ROCHESTER — “You can change the world,” science educator Bill Nye told a crowd at Oakland University’s O’rena Athletic Center March 14.

Popularly known from his “Bill Nye the Science Guy” educational TV series from the 1990s, Nye was invited to talk as part of the university’s Varner Vitality Lecture Series. For nearly 90 minutes, he talked to attendees about topics ranging from his parents’ background and sundials to the Mars rovers, global warming and renewable energy.

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Published March 18, 2016

The city of Sterling Heights found some room within its 36.8 square miles to accommodate a new cyber space.

Government officials, academic representatives and others held a grand opening event March 18 for the Velocity Hub of the Michigan Cyber Range, which is housed inside the Velocity Collaboration Center building in Sterling Heights. The Velocity Collaboration Center also is home to the Macomb-Oakland University INCubator, which provides resources that help small businesses.

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Published March 8, 2016

DETROIT — Restoration work at the 112-year-old Belle Isle Aquarium is continuing amid programs and new additions to its array of aquatic life.

Vance Patrick, co-chair of the Belle Isle Aquarium Committee, said workers are finishing up the restoration of the building’s skylights and should be finished restoring its glass ceiling tiles in April, if all goes well.

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Published February 10, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — We live in a tech-savvy world, with many opportunities for those who are familiar with computers. Many kids today are already connected, watching user-created content on YouTube, social networking with each other on Facebook and Twitter, and playing games like Minecraft on their video game consoles and mobile devices.

These products and services are made possible by people in the computer science field. And now students at Madison Elementary and Wilkinson Middle School in the Madison school district are being introduced to the field by way of CS First.

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Published February 10, 2016

FERNDALE — Almost anywhere you go now — restaurants, coffee shops and retail stores — the Internet is available.

However, at the Ferndale Area District Library, staff realized that not everyone has access to the Internet at home, and patrons are using the library’s computers for everything from searching for a job to connecting with loved ones to watching movies.

So when approached by T-Mobile to be part of the company’s Wi-Fi hot spot pilot program, Executive Director Jessica Keyser jumped at the opportunity.

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Published February 8, 2016

WARREN — A group of Peck Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders recently showed their engineering skills when they participated in the Vex Robotics Competition Jan. 30 at the Nissan headquarters in Farmington Hills.

The competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, is a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activity for middle school and high school students ages 11-18.

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Published February 3, 2016

2015 was a record-breaking year for global temperatures, as data measured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA found it to be the warmest year on record.

In the continental U.S., 2015 was the second-warmest year on record, according to Thomas Karl, director for NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. Only 2012 has been warmer.

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Published February 3, 2016

C&G Newspapers

Known around the Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology for her leadership, innovation and compassion, teachers said they were not surprised when the White House recognized Christina Li, 17, of Macomb Township, as a computer science education “champion of change” Jan. 26.

Li single-handedly planned and executed a weeklong computer science camp, called “Hello World,” for 30 middle school girls in the district during spring break last year. She plans to hold the camp again this midwinter break and has received about 36 applications.

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Published January 13, 2016

METRO DETROIT — The holidays are over, and many of us have already broken in those fancy new devices Santa generously slipped into our stocking.

But what about your old gadget? The laptop, tablet or smartphone you were using had a lot of information stashed inside, and it takes more than a click or a swipe to protect that data from prying eyes once you’ve ditched the device.

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Published December 9, 2015

METRO DETROIT — If the weather cooperates, the Geminid meteor shower should provide a stellar show this month.

Named for the constellation Gemini — where the meteor shower appears to originate in the night sky — the Geminids start to appear in mid-December and peak the night of Dec. 13-14 after midnight. The shower occurs when the Earth crosses the orbit of a rocky comet that is shedding debris while traveling around the sun; the debris then burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

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Published December 9, 2015

WARREN — The annual Robotics, Engineering and Technology (RET) Days held at the South Campus of Macomb Community College continues to grow year after year.

Now in its 10th year, this year’s event on Dec. 2-3 gave approximately 3,100 middle and high school students the opportunity to perform hands-on activities in renewable energy, mechatronics, underwater robotics, solar power, 3-D printing, virtual welding and more. Electric vehicles were set up, and students could participate in an electric model vehicle race.

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Published December 2, 2015

This year’s El Niño event is one of the strongest in recorded history, and researchers believe it is increasing the likelihood of a winter that is both warmer and drier than usual.

El Niño is a periodic natural occurrence where warm water cycles around in the Pacific Ocean and reaches the surface. The increase in sea surface temperatures in turn impacts how storms and air pressure regions form and impacts global weather patterns — typically in the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months.

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Published December 2, 2015

Water levels in most of the Great Lakes are expected to stay at or above the long-term average over the next six months, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Water levels have rebounded after more than a decade of being at near-record lows the past two years, according to NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab hydrologist Drew Gronewald. With the exception of Lake Ontario, they are all currently seasonally above the long-term average. That average was compiled using data from 1918 through 2014.

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