Science & Technology

Published August 30, 2016

With the start of a new school year, Utica Community Schools is giving some starter lessons about its newly revamped website and the rollout of a new downloadable mobile app for students and parents and more.

According to school officials, the overhaul affects the websites for the school district’s online ecosystem, including the schools and specialty programs. In a statement, UCS Superintendent Christine Johns praised the online changes for their functionality.

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Published August 23, 2016

DETROIT — New developments in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia may be on the way thanks to a new program uniting three of Michigan’s most prestigious universities.

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Published August 17, 2016

FARMINGTON HILLS — A new club, the Farmington Community Stargazers, has something for you to see in the sky.

Just ask Farmington Hills resident Anish Nagpal, 29, who saw Saturn up close last year.

“The first time when I looked through the telescope … it gave me goosebumps,” Nagpal said recently. “Looking at the rings of Saturn …  you read about it, you’ve seen the pictures, but it doesn’t compare when you look through your own eyes. It is a different feeling.”

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Published August 2, 2016

ROCHESTER HILLS — The hot topic of cyber security will be explored at Oakland University via a new two-year master’s degree program.

“Cyber security is a very big issue,” said Huirong Fu, an OU professor and coordinator of the new Master of Science in cyber security program. Students in the new program will learn to “determine the vulnerability in any system and how to defend it,” she said. 

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Published July 5, 2016

OAKLAND COUNTY — Summer is often a time when people look to complete outdoor projects and make their yard look pristine.

During these projects is when an individual might accidentally nick a power or gas line on their property, as they didn’t know where the line was buried or they were unaware of an overhead line while clipping a tree.

Terry DeDoes, a public information director with Consumers Energy, said people should take some time to figure out where these lines are on their property.

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Published May 31, 2016

ROSEVILLE — A pair of iPads in bright blue cases rest on desks in the children’s section of the Roseville Public Library.

Loaded with free educational apps from Khan Academy, PBS Kids and others, the iPads are similar to those that kids — and adults — may be familiar with from operating a smartphone or tablet, Assistant Library Director Annamarie Lindstrom said.

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Published May 16, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — Close to 1,300 people attended this year’s Family Science Night at Wilkinson Middle School in the Madison school district.

The May 6 event, now in its third consecutive year, featured a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions, many of them educational in nature.

“It’s a community event. It’s bringing everyone in our district together,” said Mike Janigian, a science teacher at Wilkinson and the organizer behind the popular event.

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Published May 6, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — In their third year of existence, the South Lake High School Mighty CavBots are taking to the seas — or at least a pool.

The robotics club has earned a spot to compete in the sixth National SeaPerch Challenge, to be held May 20-21 on the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. 

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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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