Welcome to Southeast Michigan Mensa!

Mensa is the largest of the international high-IQ societies. The purpose of our Southeast Michigan chapter is to provide opportunity for intellectual and social belonging and networking among diverse people. Bookmark this site to see SEMM’s calendar of events for members and their guests. In addition to local events and monthly meetings, SEMM hosts a Winter Bash (games party), SEMMer Bash (picnic), and a Regional Gathering held each April, known as SEMMantics. We're also on Facebook and Meetup!

01 May 2016

May Monthly Gathering

May Monthly Gathering: Tiananmen West, Why Nixon Ordered the Kent State Massacre

In early May 1970, students protesting the U.S. bombing of Cambodia clashed with Ohio National Guardsmen on the Kent State University campus. When the Guardsmen shot and killed four students on May 4, the Kent State Shootings became the focal point of a deeply divided nation and a watershed moment in the anti-Vietnam war movement.

This presentation, based on her soon to be published book “Tiananmen West: Why Nixon Ordered the Kent State Massacre,” author and Vietnam War era historian Jenny Deason Copeland will explain at a high level what happened at Kent State, and then delve into the mind of Richard Nixon to divulge evidence on two topics: Could Nixon have ordered the massacre at Kent State? And his possible motives for doing so. The research behind the theory that Nixon ordered the massacre has covered 30 years and included Freedom of Information Act requests to the FBI, CIA and NSA. The repercussions of this research to the author and her family will also be revealed. The screenplay titled “Tiananmen West” has been shopped around Hollywood.

Born in Tiffin, Ohio as the second eldest of a family of four girls, Jenny graduated from Toledo University, with honors and began a now 38-year career in telecommunications. She is an author, historian, and owner of Crazy Red Head Publishing. Jenny has published two children’s’ books and is currently working on the final draft of ‘Tiananmen West’, her first non-fiction work.

Join us for a possible alternative explanation for this milestone event in American history.

WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 2016
6:00 pm: The ExComm business meeting begins. All members are welcome to attend.
7:00 pm: Mingling begins.
8:00 pm: Program starts.
ADMISSION (Exact change appreciated)
Adult members: $4, Adult guests: $5; Children 13 and under: $3
Members receive free admission in the month of their birthday
LOCATION: Northwest Unitarian Universalist Church

02 May 2016

SEMMer Bash Registration Open

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The annual SEMMer Bash is the time we come out and meet each other over food and games. If you are a new member or you haven’t yet been to a Mensa event, this is a great opportunity to see what Mensa is all about. Our Gifted Youth Coordinator has even prepared a whole day of fun and educational activities for the kids.

Island Lake State Park
12950 East Grand River Avenue
Brighton, MI 48116

Saturday, July 16, 2015
11:00 a.m. until dusk

Admission fee to picnic:

Park entry fee: $11 for the state park recreation passport, payable at the gate

Buy your tickets online!

01 April 2016

SEMMantics Speaker Description

“Red Bead Redux”

“Red Bead Redux” is a new twist on the original red beads experiment that Dr. Deming performed during his legendary four-day seminars on lean systems thinking.  Jerry Manley and Jim Browne have found a new way to teach important lean lessons through the Red Bead Experiment, in addition to the classic lessons of the System of Profound Knowledge.  Red Bead Redux is a must-see experience for lean systems thinkers of all experience levels.

“The Prime Event of Getting Organized”

Getting organized is simply a process of changing habits that are currently not working for you.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?    Soo Porter’s presentation, The Prime Event of Getting Organized, will help you explore ways in which you can change some habits that may not be working for you.

“The Grid – Is it Safe?  Are You Safe?”

The national electrical grid is susceptible to damage by a coronal mass ejection from the Sun, cyber or physical attacks, et cetera.  The grid could go down for up to two years, resulting in catastrophic damage and loss of life.  Dr. Dale Partin will discuss national and individual protective measures we can all take to make us safer.

“Elevated Blood Lead Levels in Children Associated with the Flint Drinking Water Crisis: A Spatial Analysis of Risk and Public Health Response”

Drs. Mona Hanna-Attisha and Allison Schnepp will focus on the recent Flint water crisis, including the timeline of events that lead to the crisis, an overview of their recent publication in The American Journal of Public Health, and the next steps we can take to provide relief for the grief-stricken community.

“Overview of the Textile Collection of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology”

University of Michigan’s Kelsey Museum of Archaeology holds a collection of 6,000 Egyptian textiles spanning epochs from dynastic Egypt to the spread of Islam.  Kelsey Museum docent Dottie Sims will look at a variety of textiles, textile production tools and the societies and cultures that produced them.

“An Eye Candy Tour of the Solar System”

John Blinke, SEMM’s ‘President of the Universe’, delivers his annual State of the Universe address, a presentation of some of the amazing pictures recently returned by various space missions, primarily launched by NASA and the European Space Agency.

“The Empowered Mind”

Kimberly Kassner’s EmpowerMind is an innovative learning technology using interactive, experiential, right and left brain techniques, examples, and demonstrations to help participants comprehend how they, as individuals, can communicate best by capitalizing on their strengths.  Participants learn to communicate and interact more effectively with colleagues, superiors, and family by understanding that each person processes information and uses various senses differently. Powerful interactions take place when people learn to communicate based on their unique learning style and that of the people they meet.

“Facility for Rare Isotope Beams Overview”

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) is a future U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, user facility under construction at Michigan State University. FRIB will enable scientists to make discoveries in nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and fundamental symmetries. Prof. Paul Mantica will discuss how FRIB will also produce isotopes for societal applications.

“It Starts with a Bicycle”

Doug Grosjean’s presentation will show how, without bicycles, there would be no cars. Bicycles and bicyclists led directly to the birth of the automobile, as well as other “modern” innovations such as political lobbying, paved roads, pneumatic tires, differential gearing, wire-spoke wheels, and even mass-production and model-year changes.


“Meet Miss Michigan 2015”


Emily Kieliszewski, Miss Michigan 2015, will speak to Mensans and guests about her journey in beauty pageant programs, which garnered her $40,000 in scholarships. She will also speak on her advocacy for childhood adoption, which began at age twelve when she helped write legislation on the matter.

“F/LOSS Every Day!”

‘F/LOSS’ – Free and Open Source Software [Linux] is running our phones, friend requests, tweets, financial trades, ATMs and more. Tom Lawrence will provide an overview of Linux use cases for the home and office. He will then open the floor for a question-and-answer session. Please visit the Penguicon Linux Load-in booth before and after the presentation to have our software experts load Linux on your laptop!


20 March 2016

Winter Bash Pictures

People had a blast at the Winter Bash yesterday at the new location! Pictures below. Hope all can attend SEMMantics, coming in less than a month. Follow the link here for registration!unnamed unnamed-3 unnamed-2 unnamed-1unnamed-5unnamed-4

07 March 2016

Kids Track at SEMMantics 2016

This year’s Southeast Michigan Mensa Regional Gathering is an absolute not-to-be-missed!  We can’t possibly replicate this year’s visit by Miss Michigan, who loves reading so much, she’ll be giving each child at the RG an autographed bookmark!  Miss Michigan will also be speaking with the kids privately from 7:30-8:30 PM Saturday.  Just prior to that, during the dinner hour, families will have the chance to take a picture with Miss Michigan, so be sure to bring your camera.

Here’s the general outline of events throughout the weekend:

All weekend long the kids’ room will be open with lots of learning activities for curious kids!  We will have Lego building (and a Lego contest) as well as Lego Mindstorms Robot building.  A microscope will be available for viewing prepared slides, as well as wet and dry mounts your child learns to prepare.  We’ll have large Minecraft building blocks for those who like to use their hands.  For others, who like to move things with their minds, we’ll have our mind-controlled helicopter and other mind-control games.  We’ll also have snap circuits and lots of regular games and puzzles.

Friday evening from 6-7 PM, we’ll have pizza and an ice-breaker in the kids’ room.

Immediately afterward, from 7-8:30 PM, we’ll plan to investigate a forensic mystery.  There’s been a murder in one of the conference rooms at the hotel!  The murderer has left forensic clues behind.  Can your kids figure out which of the suspects has committed the crime?  It will take deductive and scientific reasoning to figure this out.  Remember, forensic experts only (kids) past the caution tape!

After all that thinking, your kids can relax for the rest of Friday evening at the kids’ pool party and the chocolate feast.  Last year’s favorite for us there was dipping strawberries into the chocolate fondue!

Saturday morning starts early from 8:30 – 10 AM with our annual Take-It-Apart party!  This year we should have lots of great new stuff to take apart, and the kids should have tons of fun tearing apart more old stuff to reveal what is inside!

Next, from 10 – 11:30 AM the kids will gather in the boardroom with Rainbow Loom expert Cat Allison to make dragon scale bracelets.  Bring your own finger loom if you have one.  Then it will be time for lunch.  Parents, if you would like to take the adult Rainbow Loom workshop, you can take a ½ hour lunch break with the kids, and then head back for the adult workshop at 12 noon.  The adult workshop involves making a beautiful 3-dimensional dragon!  This workshop is for ages 12 and over.  Either bring your own Rainbow Loom for this workshop or borrow one for free.


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After lunch, the kids will head back to the kids’ room from 12:30 to 1:30 PM for Karaoke singing.  Remember to bring your mobile device with your kids’ favorite karaoke song, or look up the song on our iPad!

Do your kids like genetics, but might enjoy a more interesting and easier workshop than last year?  From 1:30-3:30 PM, we will be having the kids make necklaces of their own DNA!  They will learn how to extract DNA from their cheek cells and isolate it to create their own personalized necklaces.

Experts dealing with the Flint Water Crisis will be speaking at 3 PM on Saturday.  Along that same theme, from 4-6 PM, our kids will be learning how to test their home water supply for various chemicals, including lead.  Please have your child bring a small water sample from your home, about enough to fit into a ½ size water bottle, and he/she will test it for you.

During the dinner hour, get your picture with Miss Michigan, and then return to the kids’ room from 7:30 – 8:30 PM for additional photo ops and Miss Michigan’s conversation with the kids.

After that, hang out from 8:30-10 PM for our kids’ gaming and puzzle competition!  Prizes will be awarded for the gaming winners and most complex puzzle completion.

Sunday morning we will assemble and operate an intricate marble maze from 10 AM till 12 noon.  This is a great activity for the young engineer or youngster who just likes to play with marbles!  Hope to see you afterward at the Award Ceremony!  Don’t forget if you register for next year by the Award Ceremony, you qualify for a deep discount on admission.  Check with our registrar, Larry Arbanas, for details.

If you don’t have a Mensan in your household, do not despair.  Our SEMM Gifted Youth Coordinator can sponsor your family.  Please email GiftedCoord@nullmensadetroit.com with a request to be sponsored and we will arrange your sponsorship.  Thank you!

I just know I will see you there this year!  You just can’t miss it!