Past Forward

Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

Innovation Virtual Learning Series Recap: Week 5

May 1, 2020

We hope you enjoyed this week’s experiences focused on Information & Communication Technology. Were you inspired to create or invent something? Please share your photos with us on social media using #WeAreInnovationNation!

If you missed anything from our series this past week, check out the recordings and resources below. We hope that you will join us this upcoming week to explore Power & Energy.

What We Covered This Week
Information & Communication Technology: How can a problem be inspiration for finding a better way of doing things?

STEAM Stories

Join us for a reading of What Do You Do with an Problem? by Kobi Yamada and then learn about plastic and metal using a lesson from our early childhood curriculum, Innovate for Tots.Watch the video here

Innovation Journeys Live!
Join us for an Innovation Journey Live when Diana Nucera shares how her organization, the Detroit Community Technology Project, is helping kids connect to their virtual learning experiences. Watch the video here

Kid Inventor Profile
Alex Knoll, 15-year-old student from Idaho developed Ability App, a global app that will help people with disabilities and caregivers search for specific disability-friendly features at locations around the world. Explore these Invention Convention Curriculum activities to keep your child innovating. Watch the interview here.

Resource Highlight: Innovate for Tots
In our continued efforts to help parents, students and educators during these times of uncertainty, The Henry Ford is providing helpful tips that assist parents in adapting its educational tools for implementation at home.

This week we are highlighting, Innovate for Tots.  These interdisciplinary, hands-on activities are designed for curious preschoolers, and focus on themed materials that are experienced through storytelling, project-based learning, science, discovery, artifact viewing and home/neighborhood exploration.

Our goal is to provide standards-based learning opportunities introducing our littlest learners to the habits and actions of innovators and the language of innovation through our stories from history. Each lesson includes fine and gross motor skills, science, social studies, literacy and the arts to accomplish this goal. We explore materials used in artifacts from the vast collections of The Henry Ford, as well as our own homes. Our innovating tots will develop their understanding of materials and the ways we have used them, hopefully inspiring their desire to Stay Curious, Collaborate, Empathize, Uncover and Design the artifacts of the future. 

The lessons are designed to provide tremendous flexibility. The various components can be completed indoors or out.  We have designed them into series of five activities, divided into Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM), English, Language Arts and Literature (ELA/LIT), Social Studies and History (SS/HST), focused on one material or one combination of materials.  Each includes the related artifacts from the collections at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation which can be shown digitally as well as instructions, pictures, or links for projects.  Additionally, A Family Connection provides the family an opportunity to participate in the learning and a coloring sheet are also attached to each material. 

Each Innovate for Tots Lesson Plans for Toddler/Preschool teaches the following age-appropriate parts of our Model I – the Habits and Actions of Innovators:

Model I:
Help your tots practice the Habits of Innovators:
-Stay Curious: Ask questions like what, why, how
-Collaborate: Talk about helping, work together
-Learn from Failure: Talk about “trying again," what's another way to...
-Empathize: How did the characters in the stories feel?  How might it make others feel

Help your tots practice the Actions of Innovators:
-Design: Make, build, and create
-Uncover:  What do you see? (characteristic/properties); What problems does this material help us solve?

Parents and educators can learn more about Model I here.

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