Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Family Festivities in November

Join us for the Fall Family Fest Nov. 12, 2011 from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Kettunen Center. Highlights of the day include a Live Birds of Prey presentation by Joe Rogers of Wildlife Recovery Association, apple tasting and cider making, interpretive fall hikes, canoeing and kayaking on Center Lake, disc golf in the forest, and discovering and tasting wild edibles. Cost per person is $7/person (includes lunch).

2011 4-H National Youth Science Day Celebrated

Forty-five 4th graders from Mesick Elementary School celebrated 4-H National Youth Science Day by participating in the Wired for Wind Experiment during a three-day camp program at Kettunen Center, Oct. 26-28, 2011. In the experiment, students designed and tested their own renewable energy wind turbines and determined the best location for a wind farm in their local community.

The students started the experiment by talking about electricity and all the energy sources used to generate electricity. Teams of two students built and tested a wind turbine design using poster board, plastic cups, blade protractor, dowels, hot glue, scissors, pencil, a hub, PVC tee and handle, a small generator and a multi-meter. The students learned that the amount of power their turbine would produce was based on how well they designed their blades. After testing their prototype and measuring the voltage, the students were able to experiment by changing the pitch of the blades and compare results.

The students complete the Wired for Wind Experiment in school by determining a good location in their local community for a wind farm by using a Michigan wind map, transmission map, information about endangered plant and animal species and a human population density map.

Kettunen Center received a 4-H National Youth Science Day Grant from Michigan 4-H Youth Development to offer the Wired for Wind Experiment to Mesick Elementary and to continue to offer the project to other local schools, summer camp and family fun day youth groups. The grant funding provide a program discount to Mesick Elementary and purchase supplies to continue to provide the Wired for Wind Experiment for other youth groups.

Volunteering in the Firewise Garden

Fourteen students from the MSU Horticulture Club donated their time Oct. 1 to maintain the garden areas at Kettunen Center. The Saturday clean-up project included weeding, raking, pruning and transplanting to improve the gardens at Kettunen Center. Elaine Bush, Firewise Project Director for Greening Michigan Institute, Manistee County MSU Extension, worked right along with the students that day and will continue to manage the Firewise Garden, an educational garden demonstrating fire-resistant gardening and structure materials at Kettunen Center. Kettunen Center really appreciates the work done by the students and their future plans to help next spring.