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December 13, 2012 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-12-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Jewish Family Service

of Metropolitan Detroit

With your suppor
through the
Friends of the Family
Campaign,
Jewish Family Service
is...

...a resource for

older adults and
their loved ones.

Harriet is 86 and lives
in an apartment in Oak
Park. With assistance
from JFS Transportation
to medical appointments
and Home Care services,
Harriet is able to remain
living at home.

Last year JFS

.0 411114 )

Provided 29,000
rides for over 1,000
individuals in neec
of transportation
to medical
appointments and
their work place

Connected nearly
400 individuals with
more than 50,000
hours of Home Care
Services to support
daily needs

• Assisted close to
600 Holocaust
Survivors obtain
restitution and other
services

Your Donation
Can Make a Difference

www.jfsdetroit.org/friend

248-592-2339

16 December 13 • 2012

metro

Eureka!

Science Center to reopen in Detroit, thanks
to a little help from a Jewish businessman.

Harry Kirsbaum
Contributing Writer

W

ith a new name, a new board
and the help of a Jewish
businessman, the Michigan
Science Center (MSC) in midtown
Detroit will reopen its doors on Dec. 26.
Founded in 1970 and at its cur-
rent location since 1978, the Detroit
Science Center underwent a $30 million
renovation and expansion in 1999 and
reopened in 2001. But financial difficul-
ties began to grow in recent years.
In September 2011,
the center closed its
doors and went into
foreclosure with $10
million in debt. Ann
Arbor businessman
Ron Weiser purchased
the center's building
Ron Weiser
and assets for $6.2
million from Citizens
Republic Bankcorp Inc. in June, as a way
to prevent the bank from liquidating the
center's assets.
"I have a 12-year-old son who came
here at age 10 with his mom and excit-
edly talked about the center. I read in
the Detroit News last February that it
was being foreclosed:' said Weiser, who
serves as finance chair of the National
Republican Committee and was former
Ambassador to the Slovak Republic
under President George W. Bush. "I said,
`That can't happen: I was in the right
place at the right time. It's about the
kids and education:'
During the past year, the center was
reorganized as a nonprofit, established
a new board of directors comprised of
21 business leaders, including Patrick
Conroy, executive vice president of the
Penske Corporation; Scott Kunselman,
a senior vice president at Chrysler; Raj
Nair, a group vice president at Ford;
Shelly Otenbaker, a senior vice president
of Eisbrenner Public Relations; and
Weiser's wife, Eileen, a member of the
Michigan State Board of Education.
The center raised more than $5 mil-
lion in gifts or commitments from 25
organizations, including the General
Motors Foundation, ITC Holdings Corp.
and Nissan to repay Weiser.
"There's a lot of business people deal-
ing with the center — the mission, the
strategy, the tactics and the financial
oversight that quite often nonprofits
lack:' he said.
Weiser also plans to give a "substan-

Michigan Science Center

tial" annual gift to the center. "I believe
gifts to institutions like this should be
annual so that they don't become depen-
dent on large amounts of money up
front, then run out:' he said.
MSC board chairman Thomas
Stephens, also the retired vice chairman
of General Motors, said the center is
projecting about 260,000 visitors annu-
ally, and the admission fees will generate
close to 70 percent of its annual budget.
The Dec. 26 opening will include
"Bodies Human: Anatomy in Motion:'
an exhibit that looks inside the skeletal,
muscular, respiratory and circulatory
systems of more than 100 human bod-
ies.
The center features five theaters,
including an IMAX theater, a plan-
etarium and a science hall for traveling
exhibits, but it's fun and games with a
purpose, Stephens said.
"The United States is seeing fewer
graduates with engineering, science and
technical degrees. In the future, that will
translate into the United States falling
behind in science, technology, engineer-
ing and math, what we call STEW he
said. "It is our vision to become the pre-
mier center for innovative, participatory
STEM experiences in Michigan and the
Midwest.
"We look forward to creating alliances
that assist with advancing informal
STEM education through multiple plat-
forms and technologies statewide, while
also sparking the imagination of chil-
dren, families and teachers:' he said.
The center is working on initiatives to
make the museum world class, Stephens
said. It aspires to become a premiere
research center for innovative STEM

experiences across Michigan; recruit
and train high school and college stu-
dents to become "STEMgineers," who
will explain the exhibits and answer
questions from visitors; collaborate with
other museums institutions and schools;
and provide teachers professional devel-
opment opportunities.



Michigan Science Center

The Michigan Science Center will
be open:

Dec. 26, 2012 -Jan. 6, 2013
(closed Jan. 1, 2013)
Weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Jan. 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27
Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Starting Jan. 30, 2013
Wednesday-Friday from 9 a.m. to
3 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to
6 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to
6 p.m.

General admission tickets
$12.95 adults
$9.95 children and seniors

Bodies Human exhibit
$20.95 adults
$17.95 children and seniors

An additional $3 allows entry to
the Human Body IMAX film at the
Center.

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