Past Forward

Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

Innovation Virtual Learning Series: Week 14

July 3, 2020 Innovation Impact

We hope you enjoyed this week’s experiences focused on Stay 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 why innovators need to Take Risks.

What We Covered This Week
How does Staying Curious help us innovate?

STEAM Stories
Our STEAM story of the week was Green Machine: The Slightly Gross Truth about Turning Your Food Scraps into Green Energy by Rebecca Donnelly. Celebrate the innovation and science of composting in this wonderful book illustrating ways food scraps can be turned into biogas and electricity!

Then we learned about the many ways we use Wood with a lesson from  our early childhood curriculum, Innovate for Tots and a coloring page featuring the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Caboose.  Watch the video here.

Innovation Journeys Live!
On Wednesday we hope you were able to join us for an Innovation Journey Live and our new Learn by Doing component.  We learned how the McLoughlin Bros publishing firm used new color printing techniques to become a 19th century customer favorite.  Then Alex demonstrated how you can make your own river system!  The materials and directions are included below.  Watch the video here.

Stay Curious
John McLoughlin JR.’s skillful use of new color printing techniques
- Hard flat surface that can be used with paint. For example: Upside down baking tray covered in aluminum foil
- Cardboard covered in aluminum foil
- Paper
- Paint – washable, acrylic, or watercolor
- Empty toilet paper roll
- Popsicle sticks

Make your own print studio at home!

To help you understand how John McLoughlin and other artists created print works, use household items to create your own print studio.


  1. Ask your parents to help you find a paint friendly zone.
  2. Put small drops of paint all over your hard, flat surface. This will be your “tile.”
  3. Use the toilet paper roll to roll the paint evenly over the surface.
  4. Time to get creative! Create a design using your popsicle stick. Scrape away the paint to create pictures or words.
  5. Carefully set the paper on your design.
  6. Smooth and press your paper gently onto the tile.
  7. Slowly lift your paper up to see your design.
  8. Repeat!

Resource Highlight: Model i Primer+
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 theModel i Primer+ .

The five lesson plans from our Model i Primer+, named after the Actions of Innovation, are designed as opportunities for students to practice the Actions and Habits introduced in the Primer. Each lesson includes age-appropriate versions for grades 2-5, 6-8, and 9-12. 

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

Parents and educators can learn more about Model i at:

Thank you for engaging with our Innovation Learning Series these past weeks. We hope you have enjoyed them. STEAM Stories will continue through July.

Join our You Are Innovation Nation Summer Challenge Event. Team up with the rest of your family to tackle a series of hands-on, brains-on weekly challenges from the inspired minds and experts at The Henry Ford. Submit your solution for a weekly chance to win prizes. Sign up here.  We hope you will enjoy these new activities!

Model i, innovation learning, educational resources

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