Past Forward

Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

Connecting Sustainability to Invention

April 20, 2021 Think THF

Through an initiative funded by The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and The Avangrid Foundation, the Invention Convention Worldwide team at The Henry Ford has created a pathway to connect sustainability to invention for our students in the classroom. Through the lens of biomimicry, student inventors examine how some of humanity’s greatest inventions have been formed by the world around them and how they can tap into nature to find sustainable solutions, while problem solving by using biomimicry.

A great example of this comes from Florida fifth grader and 2020 Invention Convention participant Xavier Baquero-Iglesias and his invention SoleX Turf: Good for Your Sole, Good for Your Plant. SoleX Turf is an invention that uses the principle of photosynthesis and the practice of biomimicry. This artificial turf uses the principles of photosynthesis to collect and create energy from the sun while cooling the temperature of the turf to be more enjoyable for players.

Check out Xavier’s pitch video for his invention SoleX Turf. / YouTube

To help continue to support this sustainability initiative in the classroom, the ICW team has identified resources from the World Wildlife Foundation and has created a pacing guide to overlay the Invention Convention curriculum with the Biomimicry Design Challenge. This way, students can learn about the Invention Process in tandem with learning about biomimicry. By honing these skills, student inventors are able to develop the tools to create sustainability-minded inventions.

Learn more about Invention Convention Worldwide here:

Mitch Hufnagel is Manager of Invention Convention Worldwide Programming and Education; Devin Rittenhouse is Advancement Officer, Corporate and Foundation Partnerships; Alisha Hamblen is inHub Marketing Manager; and Samantha Johnson is inHub Social Media Specialist, all at The Henry Ford.

childhood, philanthropy, inventors, Invention Convention Worldwide, innovation learning, educational resources, education, by Samantha Johnson, by Mitch Hufnagel, by Devin Rittenhouse, by Alisha Hamblen

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