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Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

Innovation Virtual Learning Series Recap: Week 8

May 22, 2020

We hope you enjoyed this week’s experiences focused on Staying Curious. Were you inspired to create or invent something? Please share your story or 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 new themes drawn from our Model i Learning Framework, focusing on how innovators Take Risks.

What We Covered This Week
How can we turn our questions into ideas, and our ideas into actions?

STEAM Stories
Our STEAM story of the week was I Have an Idea by Herve Tullet and then we learned about the many ways we use paper with a lesson from  our early childhood curriculum, Innovate for Tots. Watch the here.

#InnovationNation Tuesdays
See this week's highlighted clips below:


Innovation Journeys Live!
On Wednesday we hope you were able to join us for an Innovation Journey Live and learn how McKinley Thompson stayed curious be continuing to pursue his goal of creating a car for developing nations – the Warrior. Watch the video here.

Kid Inventor Profile
In our Friday segment we will learn how Staying Curious helped Jianna Nichols, a serial inventor from Ohio, who is now in 9th grade. Her inventions include the Magic Hairband, a multi-purpose, tear-free hairband with an adjustment stopper to control tension and prevent headaches; Rido Red, an invention that helps those with an allergy to Red Dye 40 identify foods containing it; and Blindingly Smart, a board game that the blind and people with sight can play to connect socially. Jianna has participated in both the Ohio and U.S. Nationals competitions. Watch the video here.

Learn more below about how our Mode i Primer +activities can keep your child innovating here:

Resource Highlight: Model i Primer+, Design Lesson
In our continued efforts to help parents, students and educators during these times of uncertainty, The Henry Ford is providing helpful tips to help parents adapt its educational tools for implementation at home. Last week we highlighted our Model i Primer, a facilitator’s guide that introduces the Actions of Innovation and Habits of an Innovator through fun, learn-by-doing activities.

This week we are highlighted the Model i Primer+. These five lesson plans, named after the Actions of Innovation, are designed as opportunities for students to practice the Actions and Habits introduced in the Model i Primer. Each lesson includes age-appropriate versions for grades 2-5, 6-8, and 9-12.  In keeping with this week’s theme of Staying Curious, focus on the Design lesson.  All you need for the lesson are some colored pencils or markers and paper.

We define designing as brainstorming solutions to a defined problem or need. This is one of the trickiest parts of any innovation journey for all inventors. In trying to solve a problem or need, kids can feel overwhelmed by a blank page or they can get stuck on unfocused ideas. In order to help kids’ navigate these challenges, the Design lesson introduces two brainstorming techniques: Zero Drafting technique and Wishing technique.

Zero Drafting is an ideation technique that encourages kids to get their initial creative solutions out of their heads and on to paper, using information they already know. The Wishing technique encourages kids to frame solutions as “wishes,” making them more comfortable sharing ideas without pressure of producing “real ideas.” Combining Zero Drafting with Wishing, students focus on features of their creative ideas to trigger new, more realistic concepts to develop. By ideating feasible concepts, kids will be able to choose one solution to develop further.

When trying the Design lesson in your home, consider these adaptations for each of the lesson’s three parts:

Prep Activities: Begin by suggesting a problem that your kids may want to solve. This can be something simple, like a problem they have during their morning routine, or always growing out of their shoes.

Core Activities: Use the Zero Drafting and Wishing techniques to brainstorm fantastical solutions, and then analyze these ideas to generate new, more realistic concepts. You can choose to just use one of the techniques. Brainstorm solutions along with your child.

Follow-Up Project: Have your child pick one of the solutions they came up with and have them begin to write or draw ideas about how they would make that solution come true. You might be surprised by how your child begins to solve their own problems.

Take it further: Ask your child what Actions and Habits they practiced.

Please share your experience and follow others as they engage in our digital learning opportunities using the hashtag #WeAreInnovationNation. 

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