Raven Hill Discovery Center

Raven Hill Discovery Center Where science, history & art connect. Currently open noon to 4pm Saturdays and 2pm to 4pm Sundays. Open other times by appointment.
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Raven Hill Discovery Center is a regional science and technology center. It is located on 157 acres in a rural area of northwestern Lower Michigan next to the Little Traverse Conservancy’s Raven Ridge Nature Preserve. It is also a cultural, historical and art center. Raven Hill Discovery Center is the only place in northern Lower Michigan where children and adults can link science, history & the arts with hands-on activities and explorations both indoors and outdoors. Connections emerge through classes, exhibits and facilities that provide opportunities for all ages to learn, create, grow and play. The Center is located between East Jordan & Boyne City, just off C-48 at Pearsall Road. Can’t make it during regular hours? Call to schedule an appointment at your convenience. For more information, phone 231-536-3369 or toll free 877-833-4254 or email [email protected]. You can also check the Center’s website: www.RavenHillDiscoveryCenter.org for more information.

Observations come from using your senses, including seeing, touching, hearing, smelling and tasting. Tasting should only...
05/08/2020

Observations come from using your senses, including seeing, touching, hearing, smelling and tasting. Tasting should only be done, if it is safe—food. And don’t smell really strong chemicals, like ammonia. You could actually burn the inside of your nose. Many things that we observe don’t make much sound, so that leaves most observations coming from sight and touch. Find something at home that you can observe and a piece of paper and pencil to record your observations, if you want to use them later to write a story. You could use a stuffed animal, a toy car or even a coffee mug. Your adult can help with the writing, if necessary. Common sight observations include things like size (use a ruler or compare to something—longer or shorter or the same length as a stapler), shape, color, parts, patterns and movement. Write down everything you see about your object. Touch observations include describing the texture, hardness, temperature, weight (use a scale or compare to something—more or less heavy than a stapler) and wetness. Write down everything you can feel by touching your object. Check out Raven Hill’s website (www.MiRavenHill.org) for a more complete list of observations. Some observations are based on change. For example, ask yourself questions like: Is it flexible? What happens is you press on it? What happens if you tap it gently? If you hold it up to the light, can you see through it? Once you have written all your observations, use those observations to write a story about your object. Your observations will help you write a great story. We would love it, if you would share your observations and story with us. Email [email protected] Or use Checkers, Raven Hill’s corn snake, for a subject. Checkers is always a favorite subject for observation.

Use a paper plate for a blood cell. Color it red on one side and blue on the other. You can color the whole thing or mak...
05/07/2020

Use a paper plate for a blood cell. Color it red on one side and blue on the other. You can color the whole thing or make several small circles for blood cells and color them red or blue. Use tape—you can use colored tape or color masking tape—to divide the dining room or kitchen table into 4 parts to be your heart—label all 4 chambers with a post-it note—right auricle, left auricle, right ventricle and left ventricle. The auricles or atriums are the top part of heart where blood comes in and the ventricles are the pumps at the bottom of the heart that forces blood out of the heart to the lungs or the body. Use two chairs to be your two lungs and label them. Put one chair on each side of heart. Label another chair or something in the room to be the kidney (door to bathroom?), another something to be the brain (bookcase?) and another to be the stomach (refrigerator?). As you look at your heart’s four chambers in the table, the right auricle is on left side because you are looking at it from front (just as you would be facing another person) and the left auricle is on the right side of the heart as you look at it. It is the same with the ventricles and lungs. Holding a blood cell with the carbon dioxide or dark blue side showing, walk through the circulatory pathway of blood, touching your blood cell down at each site. Start by touching the right auricle, then the right ventricle. From the right ventricle, you move (are pumped) to one of the lungs. At the lung, the carbon dioxide that you are breathing out is released and oxygen you are breathing in is picked up, so turn your plate to the oxygen side or the side with the bright red showing. From the lung, walk your blood cell to left auricle and from the left auricle to left ventricle. From the left ventricle, get pumped and travel with your blood cell to whatever organ you choose—kidney, brain or stomach. Give the oxygen in your blood cell to the organ to do its work and turn your blood cell (plate) to the carbon dioxide side (dark blue), so you can take the carbon dioxide away from the organ. Your blood gives oxygen to the organ and takes away the carbon dioxide your body has created. Return with your blood cell to the right auricle of the heart. Repeat until you can walk the pathway easily and have a smooth blood flow! For the younger crowd, you can number the eight (8) steps in order from the right auricle through the entire pathway. Practice walking through the circulatory system and then use a timer and record the time it takes to complete the cycle correctly, saying each step as you go. Now, have someone else walk through it and get timed. See if you beat the other person. Practice and get faster. Visit a different organ each time. Remember, you must visit each step in cycle and say where you are AND you must have correct side of your plate or blood cell visible—blue, if carrying carbon dioxide and red, if carrying oxygen. Your blood also has plasma, white blood cells and platelets in it, but the red blood cells make up about 40% of the blood and have the job of carrying the oxygen and carbon dioxide. A red blood cell looks like a donut with a depression in the center, but no hole or it is a biconcave disk with a flattened center. Have fun!

In biology, osmosis is the movement of water through a semipermeable membrane from a place of high concentration to a pl...
05/06/2020

In biology, osmosis is the movement of water through a semipermeable membrane from a place of high concentration to a place of low concentration to equalize the concentration of water. This is fun and easy to do at home using household ingredients, BUT it does take a couple of days, so BE PATIENT. You will need two glasses or jars (larger & smaller), vinegar, Karo or other syrup, and a raw egg. An egg contains a semipermeable that lets some things, like water, through and not others. The membrane is underneath the shell and can be used to demonstrate osmosis. The eggshell is mostly made of calcium carbonate that will dissolve in an acid, such as vinegar. As this happens, bubbles of carbon dioxide are released. The vinegar takes a day or so and requires at least one change of vinegar, but in the end, the eggshell will dissolve, leaving just the membrane around the egg. Sometimes, we call it a “rubber egg”, because that’s what it feels like! Here’s what you need to do. Place an egg in a jar or glass, cover it with acid and weigh it down with a smaller glass with a little water in, just so the egg doesn’t float above the surface of the vinegar. Allow the egg to remain in the vinegar, until the shell completely dissolves. You might have to change the vinegar and reposition the egg once. There will be bubbles of carbon dioxide forming, as the shell dissolves. All that remains on the membrane is a powdery substance that can be gently rubbed off the membrane. Notice the size and feel of the egg & its membrane. Clean out your jar or glass and put the egg back in. This time, cover it with Karo syrup or honey or syrup or some liquid with lots of sugar in it. Leave the egg in the syrup for several hours or overnight. Next day, take the egg out and look at it. It is shriveled up, because the water inside the egg leaves the egg “trying” to dilute the syrup and make the water equal inside and outside the egg membrane. If you want, you can wash the shriveled egg off to remove all the syrup. Clean the syrup out of the jar and put the egg back in. Now, cover the egg with plain water and leave overnight or for several hours. You will find that the egg in water will have swollen up a lot, because the water is going into the egg, again trying to equalize the water inside and outside the membrane. If you carefully pierce the membrane with a pin or needle, sometimes a jet of water will shoot out! Be prepared. Clean everything up, when you are done.

Today is Giving Tuesday Now. Think positive thoughts about the future of Raven HIll. During COVID-19, there are a lot of...
05/05/2020

Today is Giving Tuesday Now. Think positive thoughts about the future of Raven HIll. During COVID-19, there are a lot of essential needs, including keeping Raven Hill viable for tomorrow and beyond. Your support of the Center is appreciated. Help us continue to provide opportunities for everyone to learn, create, grow & play at Raven Hill into the future. Please donate today.

Today is also Cinco de Mayo. The 5th of May is a celebration of the Mexican defeat of the French in 1862. Mexico won the battle, but ultimately lost the war. It is NOT Mexico’s independence day. Cinco de Mayo is a national, historical, ethnic and cultural celebration and includes parades, food, music and battle reenactments. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more than in Mexico and is a celebration of Mexican-American culture. Mexican paper cutting or papel picados -- “pecked paper” -- is a tradition that arose in early Mexico. The Aztec people first chiseled spirit figures into bark, which later became the art form now known as papel picado. During Aztec times, the Aztecs used mulberry and fig tree bark to make a rough paper called "Amati". Today, artisans usually layer 40 to 50 layers of tissue paper and punch intricate designs into them using a chisel. You will need tissue paper or colored paper or colored pages from an old catalog, white copy paper, scissors, a paper punch (if you have one) and string for hanging. Fold a rectangular piece of paper several times and cut it in the same way that you would make snowflake cutouts. When you open up your paper, it will have patterns of symmetrical shapes. You can tape or glue it to the white paper, so your design shows up better. Make several papel picado and tape them to a length of string. Hang the “banner” up to decorate your house for Cinco de Mayo.

Gather materials: paper towel, eyedropper, small glass or bowl water and a penny. This is one of my favorite lessons. Wa...
05/04/2020

Gather materials: paper towel, eyedropper, small glass or bowl water and a penny. This is one of my favorite lessons. Water molecules (or particles) are polar. This is, they have a negative end and a positive end, so they act like little magnets and attract each other. That attraction is especially noticeable at the surface of the water and is called surface tension. It allows water striders to “walk on water”, because the insects don’t break the surface tension. If the particles are “stretched” too far apart, the surface tension breaks. Today, we are going to see how many drops of water can fit on a penny. Write your prediction or your best guess down before you begin. Write down everyone’s prediction. Place the penny with heads up on paper towel. Practice with the eyedropper, if you need to, before you begin, so that one drop comes out at a time and can be counted. To use the eyedropper, put the eyedropper into the water, squeeze the bulb at the top and then release the bulb, before you pull the eyedropper out of the water. The water will stay in as long as you don’t squeeze the bulb. Squeeze the bulb gently to release one drop at a time onto your penny. Hold the eyedropper about a ½ inch above the penny and hold it straight up and down. Add one drop of water at time, counting the drops until the surface tension breaks and the water “falls off” the penny. Did you notice how the water “rounds up” on the penny, before the surface tension breaks? Compare the actual number of drops to your prediction. How close were you? Dry your penny. Put it in a dry spot on your paper towel and try the experiment again. Was your second trial close to the number of drops in the first trial? What happens if you use the tails side of the penny? Does the tails side of a penny hold more or less than the head side of a penny? Does a new or old penny hold more drops? How many times should you try before you can draw a good conclusion? Enjoy and don’t forget to clean up, when you are done investigating. HAVE FUN AND, BE SURE TO CLEAN UP YOUR INVESTIGATION AFTERWARDS!

Taking the day! After all, it’s Sunday! Enjoy the sunshine, everyone, and think positive thoughts! Back tomorrow with an...
05/03/2020

Taking the day! After all, it’s Sunday! Enjoy the sunshine, everyone, and think positive thoughts! Back tomorrow with another hands-on lesson to share. Cheri

Gather about 25 pennies (the older the better—before 1985, if possible); a nail, dime, paper clips, washers and/or safet...
05/02/2020

Gather about 25 pennies (the older the better—before 1985, if possible); a nail, dime, paper clips, washers and/or safety pin; a piece of sand paper, a small clear glass or bowl, 1 tablespoon of salt and about ½ cup of vinegar. Use the sand paper on the nails or whatever you are using. Get all the oxidation off and make them nice and shiny. Put the pennies in the glass. Pour in 1 tablespoon of salt and pour in the vinegar. Stir. Put the nails or dimes in, making sure they are under the vinegar. What do you see happening? The bubbles are hydrogen gas. The salt and vinegar dissolves some of the copper off the pennies and some of the iron off the nails. The particles are called ions and are in the salt/vinegar solution. The copper ions have a positive charge and are attracted to the iron in the steel nails or washers, which has a negative charge. Opposites attract, but the copper ions are more strongly attracted than the iron ions, so the copper ions coat or plate the nails or whatever you are using, giving them a copper coating. Be careful not to get any of the liquid in your eyes. Let nails sit for 15-20 minutes. After 15-20 minutes take the nails out and observe both the nails and the pennies. Leave another 15-20 minutes and check again. Observe the copper coating that is forming. Return the nails to the solution each time. It is best, if the nails can be left overnight. Check it over a couple of days to see that happens to both the nails and the pennies. CHECK OUT the last picture for my final results!

When we were kids, we loved to make small paper cone-shaped baskets on May Day, fill them with flowers and deliver them ...
05/01/2020

When we were kids, we loved to make small paper cone-shaped baskets on May Day, fill them with flowers and deliver them to the neighbors. We would sneak up to the front door, leave the flowers, ringing the bell and then running away! If the recipient caught you, they were entitled to a hug or kiss! May Day occurs annually on May 1st, so it is an easy holiday to remember. May Day, sometimes called May Basket Day is rich in history and folklore. May Day celebrates the return of spring. To make a May basket, simply take a paper plate cut to the center or a piece of paper and roll it into a cone and staple or tape. Decorate the cone with spring colors. Cut a handle out of another paper plate and staple or tape to the cone. Fill the cone with flowers or greens! Don’t pick wildflowers as they are protected. If you don’t have flowers, make your own paper ones! May Day has its roots in astronomy. May 1st is halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice! It’s one of the Celtic cross-quarter days, which celebrated the midway points between all solstices and equinoxes of the year. Other May Day traditions include setting up a decorated May tree, or Maypole, around which people danced. People would weave floral garlands or crowns to wear. In parts of Ireland, people would make a May bush, which typically was a thorn bush or branch decorated with flowers and ribbons. Create your own May bush or tree by decorating with flowers, colored paper or colored ribbons! Or honor another May Day tradition: walk barefoot outside in the dew (or snow)! Happy May Day!

Pioneer children didn’t have computers and I-pads and televisions. In fact, most of their toys were made of wood and oth...
04/30/2020

Pioneer children didn’t have computers and I-pads and televisions. In fact, most of their toys were made of wood and other available materials. You will need a stick, tape, scissors, string, button, bead or washer, a plate and a cone cut from a piece of paper—light cardboard or card stock works best. You can also use a single section from an egg carton. The stick needs to be about 14 to 18 inches long, as straight as possible and about the size around of a pencil or a little bigger. Once you find the stick, you can decorate it, if you feel artistically inclined! Turn a plate upside down on the paper or cardboard. Draw a half circle and cut it out. Make a cone from the half circle by overlapping the paper into a cone. Use tape to keep the cone from unwrapping. Decorate the paper cone, if you want. Leave a small hole open in the bottom of the cone. Carefully, push the stick through the hole and use the tape to secure the stick to the inside of the cone. Cut a piece of string about 24 inches long. Tie the button or bead at one end of the string. Tie the other end of the string to the stick directly under the cup. To play: hold the stick with the cup upright. Swing the string out and try to get the button or bead to land in the cup. This simple toy is easy to make and fun to play with. It’s a good way to practice your hand-eye coordination. A real toy like this would have a wooden “cup” on the stick and a wooden ball instead of a button or bead. The toy was first created in the 14th century. The longer the string, the harder the game.

When you go swimming and float in the water, you are buoyant.  Buoyancy is an upward force on an object in a fluid, such...
04/29/2020

When you go swimming and float in the water, you are buoyant. Buoyancy is an upward force on an object in a fluid, such as water. In terms of density, Archimedes’ principle says that an object will float in a liquid, if the density of that object is less than the density of the fluid itself. You float, because you are less dense than the water you are in. You float easier or higher in salt water, because salt water is even more dense than fresh water. Scientists use density to compare objects and they compare everything to the density of water, which they gave a density of one. That means anything that has a density of greater than one is heavier than water and will sink. Likewise, everything that has a density of less than one is lighter than water and will float in water. You will need an egg—raw or hard-boiled (mine is raw & old, so it has extra air pocket in), a clear glass, another smaller glass, food coloring, table salt, a spoon and water. Fill the glass about 1/3 full of water. Add a drop of food coloring and stir it in. Add a couple tablespoons of salt and stir it into the water. Lower egg into salt water. If the egg sinks to the bottom, add more salt and stir carefully until the egg floats or is less dense than the salt water. Fill the smaller glass half full of water and stir in a drop of food coloring—use a different color from before. Very carefully, use the spoon to add the colored fresh water to the large glass with the salt water & egg. The fresh water is less dense and will float on top of the salt water, forming two colored layers with the egg “floating” at the interface between the salt & fresh water. DO NOT STIR AFTER ADDING THE TOP LAYER OF FRESH WATER. If you want, set the glass aside and observe for a while. As the salt and fresh water diffuse or move to form a homogeneous (all the same) solution, the egg will sink (greater density) and the water will become a single color (single density). Enjoy and remember, always clean up, after you are done experimenting.

Address

4737 Fuller Rd
East Jordan, MI
49727

Opening Hours

Saturday 12:00 - 16:00
Sunday 14:00 - 16:00

Telephone

+1 231-536-3369

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Thank you for the opportunity to experience Raven Hill today, we're looking forward to coming back soon!
We are thrilled to bring the Water/Ways exhibit to Raven Hill this week! One of six locations to host throughout the state, Raven Hill will have the exhibit through September 23. Visit our website to see all of the stops that Water/Ways will make: http://www.michiganhumanities.org/water-ways/
June 18-19, 2018, Grant Writing Class At Western Michigan University.
Happy New Year Cheri and everyone at Raven Hill,,, see you'all in the Springtime. Luke & Coleen Buck
Anyone know anyone who takes care of baby birds. I got one in my yard and he cant fly. He will hop little then fall on his face. Get back up and hop. Im not sure who to get ahold of. I hate to see anything happen to the poor thing.
Had a great visit today to the Raven Hill Discovery Center
Looking at the world through Rose colored lenses :)
Thank you so much for a great day! We all had a wonderful time! Can't wait to come back again 😊