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Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

Posts Tagged innovation learning

On April 30, The Henry Ford was thrilled to welcome 150 student inventors from across the state to participate in the state finals of Invention Convention Michigan (ICM), the Michigan affiliate for Invention Convention Worldwide. The event marked the return of an in-person Invention Convention after two years of virtual programming.

A group of children, many wearing green t-shirts and lanyards, pose on the floor of a museum
Out of 1,290 young inventors who competed in regional STEM competitions across the state of Michigan, 150 were selected to participate in Invention Convention Michigan. / Photo by Purple Frog Photography

The atmosphere was electric as students in grades 3 through 12 presented their original inventions on the floor of Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation alongside some of the greatest innovations in American history. The young inventors were buzzing with nervous energy when it came time for judging, but once the pressure was off, they felt a rush of accomplishment and were free to explore the museum, garnering more inspirational energy for the year ahead.

A young man stands by a trifold display board, talking to a group of people circled around him
A young girl in a green t-shirt talks to two other people in front of a trifold display board on a table
Students pitch their inventions to volunteer judges and share their process, from identifying a problem to developing a solution and designing a prototype
. / Photos by Purple Frog Photography

During their lunch break, students were given the opportunity to participate in the Innovation Passport Zone. Traveling from booth to booth around the plaza, inventors learned about some of ICM’s sponsors—including Hagerty, Michigan Soybean Committee, and presenting sponsor Delta Dental of Michigan—and got their “passports stamped” for a chance to win a hefty grand prize of donations offered by the sponsors.

Three people look at a sign next to a table draped with a black cloth, behind which are two people in black t-shirts, in a room with other people and displays
A man marks a child's lanyard in front of a table in a large space with other people and displays
A group of children and adults stand by a table filled with small cups, behind which is a woman in a gray shirt
Students interact with representatives from Delta Dental of Michigan, Hagerty, and Michigan Soybean Committee in the Innovation Passport Zone. / Photos by Purple Frog Photography

After the scores had been tabulated, students gathered under the DC3 for the awards ceremony, which began with a special word from the president of The Henry Ford, Patricia Mooradian, and a keynote address by Kwane Watson, inventor of the mobile dental unit.

Someone dressed in a tooth costume, with a large smiley face and green hat, gloves, and shoes, entertains a group of people
A man in a blue t-shirt talks to a group of children and adults
Students enjoyed interacting with Dazzle, mascot for Delta Dental of Michigan, and The Henry Ford’s own Mike Moseley served as emcee for the event. / Photos by Purple Frog Photography

In all, over $3,500 in cash prizes was awarded to 21 of Michigan’s student inventors. Of these, 13 students were selected to advance to the Raytheon Technologies Invention Convention U.S. Nationals taking place at The Henry Ford June 1-3. To watch a replay of the awards ceremony, click here.

A group of children stand on a low stage and pose for the camera
Congratulations to these 21 student inventors, who were recognized with awards during the awards ceremony. / Photo by Purple Frog Photography

A girl in a black shirt and top holds an award and smiles for the camera next to a woman in a black t-shirt and jeans
A special congratulations goes out to Meera R., who was the Grand Prize Winner, presented by Delta Dental of Michigan, as well as the winner of the Make the World Award, presented by Stanley Black & Decker; the Originality Award, presented by Hagerty; and the Safety Award, presented by Hitachi Astemo. Meera will also be among the 13 inventors selected to represent Michigan at U.S. Nationals in June. / Photo by Purple Frog Photography

It was wonderful to see the museum plaza filled with passionate and joyous students, along with proud families and educators. We look forward to experiencing the thrill of Invention Convention U.S. Nationals in a few weeks and want to congratulate all of our student inventors once again for all of their hard work.


Katie Dallos is Program Coordinator, Invention Convention Michigan, at The Henry Ford and Samantha Rhoads is inHub Marketing Specialist at The Henry Ford.

Michigan, events, Henry Ford Museum, philanthropy, by Katie Dallos, by Samantha Johnson, education, inventors, childhood, innovation learning, Invention Convention Worldwide

Three children in yellow t-shirts sit in front of a old-fashioned traffic light and small brick gatehouse in a larger building; one holds a blue and white "handicapped" parking sign

From left: Inventors Claire Kinnaman, Anna Gareau, and Cooper Dyson are Team Scandicapped, the winner of the President’s Choice award at the 2019 Invention Convention U.S. Nationals. The team was led by Nancy Ernstes, Cobb County Schools K-12 InVenture, in Georgia. / Photo by Nick Hagen

Invention Convention Worldwide invites students to solve problems and invent through hands-on, real-world, project-based learning activities. In 2019, more than 100,000 K-12 inventors competed at the school level. Winners advanced to state competitions, hoping to be one of the 492 granted access to Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation for Invention Convention U.S. Nationals. A trio of young inventors and their invention, Scandicapped, won the competition’s coveted 2019 President’s Choice award from The Henry Ford’s President and CEO Patricia Mooradian.

Scandicapped, invented by fifth-graders Anna Gareau, Claire Kinnaman, and Cooper Dyson, has a simple premise. Using an accessible parking sign fitted with LED lights and RFID technology found in pet microchips, drivers would be discouraged from illegally parking in reserved spaces.

According to the trio, it’s an idea that came to life in their classroom at Cheatham Hill Elementary in Marietta, Georgia. First proposed by Anna, Scandicapped’s inspiration is personal, a problem she identified within her own family, since her sister has hydrocephalus and uses a wheelchair. Her family’s frustration in parking lots is constant, Anna said.

For five months, the three fifth-graders brainstormed after school to define the problem and outline their design solution and concepts—all under their teacher’s guidance. Final iterations of Scandicapped allow a fitted solar-powered sign to read a chip embedded in a driver’s placard or license plate. When the plate’s chip is verified, the parking sign’s LED lights glow green to indicate legal parking. When a car is parked illegally, the sign’s LED lights glow red to alert drivers of their mistake. If ignored, the continued red flashes also alert the public and law enforcement of the infraction.

The team’s research shows those infractions would get noticed. Within just 35 minutes of observing their elementary school’s retrofitted accessible parking signs one school morning, nine violations occurred. “They were mostly younger, teenagers,” said Claire. “They don’t really know how much their actions can affect people.” What’s also interesting about their test, she added, was how half of drivers who did park illegally moved their vehicle when the prototype sign glowed red.

Team Scandicapped followed much of the protocol The Henry Ford has applied to its own innovation learning framework, Model i, when working on their ideation. Model i connects habits of innovators and actions of innovation to provide an interdisciplinary language and approach to learning. Habits such as empathy and collaboration, along with actions such as defining the problem, designing solutions, and optimizing through feedback and iteration, are within the framework. All of these practices and processes were a major reason why the Scandicapped inventors won the competition’s President’s Choice award. “I was shocked and amazed,” said Cooper of the honor.

Leadership at The Henry Ford was equally amazed at the resourcefulness of Team Scandicapped. “The work of Cooper, Claire and Anna so closely embodies the mission of this great institution,” said Patricia Mooradian, president and CEO of The Henry Ford, “reflecting on the fact that 10 percent of the population is disabled in some way and we have to do what we can to make the world more accessible to everyone.”

Since 2019, the Invention Convention Worldwide program has grown to support 147,000 K-12 student inventors. To ensure the safety of students, their families, and everyone involved, the competition was hosted virtually in 2020 and 2021. After two years, Invention Convention Worldwide is excited to welcome students back to The Henry Ford June 1–3, 2022, for Raytheon Technologies Invention Convention U.S. Nationals 2022. We are looking forward to celebrating the creativity and ingenuity of these students this summer!


This post was adapted from an article by Susan Zweig in the January–May 2020 issue of The Henry Ford Magazine.

education, accessibility, Model i, by Susan Zweig, innovation learning, cars, childhood, inventors, Invention Convention Worldwide, The Henry Ford Magazine

Man in blue suit and bow tie takes a selfie in front of a building with large logo reading "The Henry Ford"
Teacher and Model i practitioner Spencer Kiper.


For years, The Henry Ford has been committed to providing unique learning resources and experiences for educators, drawing on lessons from our past to inspire the next generation. At the core of these learning resources is Model i, a unique learning framework which provides an interdisciplinary language and approach for teaching innovation learning based on the Actions of Innovation and Habits of an Innovator.

When Spencer Kiper, a middle school teacher in Bossier City, Louisiana, traveled to Dearborn in 2017 to receive The Henry Ford’s 2017 Teacher Innovator Award, Model i might have been in its infancy, but Kiper was hooked and put it into action in his classroom.

Designed to spark an innovative mindset, The Henry Ford’s Model i framework promotes something even more fundamental: a sense of what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. “Understanding the perspective of others, or the struggles or strifes of groups of people, that is something we don’t spend a great deal of time doing in education,” said Kiper, who was also the 2019 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year. “With Model i, this is the first thing you do. From the get-go, it inspires a very different kind of feel in the classroom.”

Connecting schools to The Henry Ford’s collections, Model i intrigued Kiper during his 2017 visit to The Henry Ford. He’d been looking for ways to fuel design-inspired thinking and problem-solving skills in his middle school STEM students—a framework that could generate fresh, insightful solutions and streamline coursework. At the time, Model i was in its early stages, much of its substance not yet finalized. That didn’t deter Kiper from dropping basic Model i concepts into his classroom.

“One of the biggest hurdles I face as a teacher is overcoming that ‘I can’t do this because I’m not creative’ mentality,” said Kiper, who believes Model i is a roadmap back to creativity that hasn’t been nurtured over time. “By starting with small problems, you allow students to ease their toe back into being creative and see little wins, little successes. And then you introduce them to the big problems. That’s a pretty big dividend.”

Group of children stand and kneel around an arcade game made out of cardboard
Spencer Kiper’s Destination Imagination team constructed a working cardboard arcade to compete against teams from around the world at a recent Destination Imagination global final.

According to Phil Grumm, senior manager of learning services and on-site programs at The Henry Ford, educators like Kiper have become pseudo co-authors of the ever-evolving framework. “When you put Model i into the hands of an expert teacher and superuser like Spencer, he finds his own connections and relevance, and deploys it in creative and innovative ways we never intended nor anticipated.”

For Kiper and his students, Model i was a natural fit with STEM on Screen, a film festival/mini invention convention Kiper had created to bring industry leaders to students to give real-world feedback on their world-enhancing innovations. It also found applications in his Campus 2 Campus Connection with Centenary College of Louisiana, which gave pre-med biology students the opportunity to strengthen empathy skills by mentoring Kiper’s STEM class. “Studying our artifacts and stories shows us that empathy is a critical habit for innovators to practice and develop to not only solve relevant problems but identify them in the first place,” said Grumm.

Kiper likes to praise Model i’s focus on de-stigmatizing failure and explaining why mistakes must be baked into every creative process. Embedding failure into learning also makes teachers better prepared to teach, which is why Kiper, who was recently named instructional technologist for Caddo Parish, Louisiana, readily employs Model i in his teacher education courses. “As an ideological concept, it can be placed in any sort of educational context and see success,” he said. “It’s a fun and engaging way of learning that’s going to stay with you for the long haul.”

In June of 2021, The Henry Ford launched the inHub website to provide educators around the world with access to The Henry Ford's innovation learning resources. Educators can sign up for a free inHub membership to receive unlimited access to all of The Henry Ford's learning resources, in addition to professional development opportunities. Become an inHub member for free today to get started.


This post was adapted from an article by Susan Zweig in the June–December 2020 issue of The Henry Ford Magazine.

by Susan Zweig, The Henry Ford Magazine, Teacher Innovator Awards, teachers and teaching, Model i, innovation learning, education

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 created a pathway to connect sustainability to invention for our students in the classroom. At the 2021 Raytheon Technologies Invention Convention U.S. Nationals, students submitted many inventions related to sustainability.

Video screen capture showing a girl with brown hair and a slide with text

One of those students was Emma Kaipainen, an 11th grader from Michigan. Emma created the Walking Shipping Container Home and won the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Award presented by the Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation. Emma wanted to solve the problem of homes being destroyed by receding shorelines. Her invention is a house comprised of shipping containers, which uses electric rod actuators to power “legs” which allow the house to “walk” away from the shoreline.

Video screen capture of two girls with long, brown hair wearing masks, one pointing to a flashlight; also contains text

The team of Nicolette Buonora and Lauren Strechay, two 9th graders from Massachusetts, were also focused on sustainability. Nicolette and Lauren created the Battery Swap and won the Most Energy Sustainable Award presented by the Avangrid Foundation. Battery Swap is a flashlight with a unique design—it has an extra switch that can divert power between two battery packs. This invention, designed with police officers in mind, solves the problem of a flashlight unexpectedly running out of power. With the Battery Swap, when the flashlight turns off, the user is able to switch to the back-up battery.

Thanks to The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation and the Avangrid Foundation for funding these awards and the curriculum enhancements which helped students unlock their full invention potential!

To learn more about these inventions and our other award winners, check out the full awards ceremony below.

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women's history, power, environmentalism, by Mitch Hufnagel, education, innovation learning, Invention Convention Worldwide, inventors, philanthropy, childhood

A woman and young boy smile, point, and look at a table filled with glass jars and lamps, with shelves of more glass jars behind them
Mary Aviles and son Mati in Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Complex.

Ten-plus-year member Mary Aviles finds inspiration in a frog, two brothers, and makers in the raw.

Drawn to the Herschell-Spillman Carousel in Greenfield Village, Mary loves hopping on the whimsical bow-tie-wearing frog. The carousel reminds her of stories shared with her children to spark their curiosity and quest for lifelong learning. She’s equally inspired each time she walks into Orville and Wilbur Wright’s family home in Greenfield Village, knowing that human progress is cumulative and many of our major leaps forward can be traced to specific moments in time. A repeat attendee at The Henry Ford’s annual Maker Faire® Detroit, she can’t wait to come back each year, because she sees great beauty in unfinished ideas and the limitless potential of creativity in the rough.

Her must-do:

Maker Faire® Detroit

Her favorite member perk: 

The Henry Ford Magazine. I use it regularly until it’s dog-eared.

I worked for TechTown Detroit with entrepreneurs/ small businesses and continue to do so as a consultant with EarlyWorks. For me, The Henry Ford’s Model i framework is also an inspiration. TechTown architects use it as an approach to client relationship management, and I reference the framework consulting with EarlyWorks.

As a qualitative researcher specializing in structuring unstructured data, I am fascinated by how The Henry Ford has synthesized its collection of physical innovator assets to remain relevant in informing issues such as education, workforce and talent development—topics I, along with my clients, are immersed in every day.”


What’s your spark? Let us know what inspires you on your next visit and what takes you forward from your membership. Email us at membership@thehenryford.org. Take it forward as a member—enjoy benefits like free parking, discounts on events and tours, exclusive member previews, and more.

This post was adapted from an article in the June-December 2019 issue of The Henry Ford Magazine.

innovation learning, Michigan, Detroit, The Henry Ford Magazine

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.

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

For over a decade, we’ve partnered with educators from across the country to pilot our curriculum resources, professional development opportunities, and experiential learning programs centered around the concept of innovation. Through these close collaborations with expert practitioners and students, we’ve observed a universal ability to innovate—but we’ve also observed some challenges.

Research being conducted by Raj Chetty from Harvard’s Opportunity Insights project has highlighted these challenges and found that, “There are great differences in innovation rates based on income, race, and gender. Those differences don’t seem to be due to innate ability to innovate.” How can we even begin to combat this innovation opportunity gap?

One simple way is to expose learners to innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs—early and often. Therefore, The Henry Ford has adopted an Innovation Learning strategy, an interdisciplinary approach designed to accelerate an innovative mindset in all learners. The approach is powered by the perspective of our collections, which feature 26 million primary and secondary source artifacts that act as coaches and mentors by providing insight into 300 years of American innovation, ingenuity, and resourcefulness.

Stories like…

  • A scientist who helped poor rural Southern African American farmers nurture depleted soil with nutritious crops that could also be sold for profit – George Washington Carver.
  • A soft-spoken African American seamstress who refused to give up her seat to a white man, an event that many believe sparked the Civil Rights movement – Rosa Parks.
  • A husband and wife duo considered by many as two of the world’s most prolific problem solvers and among the most important American designers of the 20th century – Charles and Ray Eames.
  • The writer of the first dictionary of the American English language – Noah Webster.
  • The iconic, quintessential inventor with 1,093 patents to his name – Thomas Edison.
  • An American industrialist with an entrepreneurial spirit who failed twice to establish an automobile company only to succeed on the third try – Henry Ford.


We connect these stories to core disciplines like STEM, Social Studies, Art & Design, English Language Arts, and combine them with emerging disciplines like Invention and Entrepreneurship.

Graphic with colorful diamonds with icons in them and text under them
Graphic with colorful octagons, each with an icon inside and text underneath

To make these interdisciplinary connections, we’ve developed a unique Innovation Learning Framework called Model i. Model i is a common language to talk across all disciplines. It is made up of two frames: (1) Habits of an Innovator and (2) Actions of Innovation, which can be used together to describe the innovation journeys within our collection, and activate learners of today through their own innovation journeys.

GIF that gradually draws a dotted-line path connecting images, icons, and text

This results in all learners seeing themselves as innovators, ready to tackle current or future challenges to help shape a better future.

Here’s some of the feedback from our pilot educators:

“The result of implementing and promoting Model i’s Habits and Actions has been amazing. Students have learned how to research topics, how to challenge a system, how to design then re-design, and most importantly how to fail in a safe environment to take a risk.” –Hollie Gumm, 2020 The Henry Ford Teacher Innovator Award Winner

“The power of The Henry Ford’s Innovation Learning approach is that it transcends age, gender, socio-economic status, and academic level. I was able to present their curriculum to a group of fourth grade students comprised of many numbers. 100% free and reduced lunch, 75% English Language Leaners, 25% Special Education, and 10% homeless. With this being said, every single one of the students understood and connected with the content. They loved seeing real-world examples of how innovation has progressed over time. I think more often than not, these students had considered the idea of invention as something that is only done by ‘geniuses.' After working through the curriculum every one of my students began to see themselves as innovators, creators, and inspired individuals.” –Rachel Lamb, 2020 Colorado State Teacher of the Year Finalist

If you’re looking to connect with a community of innovative educators like Hollie and Rachel, filled with Innovation Learning resources, then you’re in luck. Launching in 2021, The Henry Ford’s inHub is a community built by educators for educators to empower learners to activate their innovative mindset to help build a better future. Visit inHub.thehenryford.org to learn more!


Phil Grumm is Senior Manager, Learning Services and On-site Programs, at The Henry Ford.

education, by Phil Grumm, innovation learning, educational resources

GIF cycles through video screenshots of girls with invention prototypes and/or explanatory displays

"It is innovative thinking such as this which dares to dream that we could travel to space, to the moon and eventually to Mars," said Joan Higginbotham, a former astronaut and director of human exploration primes at Raytheon Technologies. She was awarding this year's Most Innovative Award. The winner? Anirudh Cowlagi, inventor of AstroTrack, a Python-based solution to aid with the detection and characterization of minor planets in the solar system.


"Advances in the field of planetary science have been dramatic over the last few decades," Anirudh explained. "However, with this new data comes a need for more effective methods of analysis." Anirudh received a $2,500 scholarship, plus a hand-selected mentor from Raytheon Technologies to aid him in his innovation journey.

The Henry Ford's Invention Convention gives more than enough reason for hope during these challenging times. This year, over 120,000 K-12 students designed and pitched their creative solutions to the problems of the world, from potato-based plastic bags and energy-generating keyboards to more breathable face masks. These students were tasked with a single request: find a problem they care about and try to solve it.

With lockdowns and travel restrictions inhibiting many educational programs, The Henry Ford digitized Invention Convention within weeks. This quick pivot allowed The Henry Ford’s 20 affiliates to operate their programs and events despite the difficult circumstances. Among these affiliates was the Michigan Invention Convention, which had its most participants ever despite being held virtually. The Henry Ford similarly digitized its U.S. Nationals event, which culminated in an online award ceremony hosted by CBS science correspondent Alie Ward.

The award ceremony featured a number of keynote speakers and presenters, including several former astronauts, the director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, key executives including the CEO of Stanley Black & Decker and more than 80 award-winning young inventors. Nearly a dozen full patent applications were awarded to students.

The impact of the U.S. Nationals event has been astounding. As of mid-August, the award ceremony video had received over 40,000 views across its channels, with viewership of Invention Convention via news media with 500 million impressions this year. Most importantly, The Henry Ford continues to improve the accessibility and inclusion of the program. This year, over 54% of the inventors were female, and 55% of the winners self-identified as students of color.

The Henry Ford is grateful to its many partners and sponsors who continue to support and help build this vital program of innovation, invention and creative thinking — in particular, Raytheon Technologies, a founding sponsor of Invention Convention Worldwide and the presenting sponsor of U.S. Nationals 2020. Learn more about The Henry Ford's Invention Convention program at inventionconvention.org.

If you are interested in supporting this inspiring program or participating as a judge in 2021, keep an eye on The Henry Ford’s Invention Convention web page for updates in Spring of 2021.

childhood, The Henry Ford Effect, inventors, Invention Convention Worldwide, innovation learning, events, education, COVID 19 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
Materials
- 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.

Directions

  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:   https://www.thehenryford.org/education/teaching-innovation/modeli/

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

We hope you enjoyed this week’s experiences focused on Be Empathetic. 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 Stay Curious.

What We Covered This Week
Why is it important to consider other's feelings?

STEAM Stories
Our STEAM story of the week was Cara’s Kindness by Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion in Figure Skating. Kristi founded the Always Dream Foundation and helps promote early childhood literacy.  In this, her newest picture book, Cara the cat is having a hard time choosing the perfect music for her new skating routine but drops everything to help a friend in need. All Cara asks is that he pay it forward.

Then we learned about the many ways we combine Paper and Natural Materials with a lesson from  our early childhood curriculum, Innovate for Tots and a coloring page featuring Edison’s Bamboo Filament Lamp.  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.  Curator of Agriculture and the Environment at The Henry Ford, Deb Reid, shared the story of reclaiming the Rouge River after decades of pollution and how the Ford Rouge Dearborn Plant is caring for the environment in new and innovative ways.   Then Alex demonstrated how you can make your own river system!  The materials and directions are included below.  Watch the video here.

Be Empathetic: Caring for the Environment at The Ford Rouge
Materials

  • Rectangular baking pan
  • Wedge-type object to prop up one side of the pan
  • Dirt or sand
  • Plastic toys, sticks, grass, leaves that you have at home
  • Water
  • Cup

Build your own river system!
To help you understand how humans changed the shape of the Rouge River and how these shifts impacted the environment around the Rouge, use household materials to create your own mini-river system. Take it a step further by drawing a map of your river.

Directions

  1. Fill a baking pan with dirt or sand.
  2. Use your hands to cut (or dredge) a path through the dirt. Make sure to start at one end of the pan and end at the other.
  3. Use your wedge object to prop up one side of your pan. Only about an inch.
  4. Place toys (leaves, pieces of grass, etc.) along the sides of your path – these are your houses, buildings or crops.
  5. Fill a cup with water. Slowly pour the water onto the start of your river. Watch as the water flows.
    1. Where does the water go?
    2. Why do you think the water went that direction?
    3. Did some of your houses flood?
    4. Were your crops washed away?
    5. What can you do the prevent the flooding?
  6. After making some observations, “dredge” a new path for your river. Try again!
  7. Once you have made your river, draw a map!

For next week’s challenge, here are the materials you will need and the directions (watch Alex on Wednesday to help you complete the challenge!!)

Stay Curious
John McLoughlin JR.’s skillful use of new color printing techniques

Materials

  • 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.

Directions

  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 a lesson from 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.  In keeping with this week’s theme of Be Empathetic, focus on the Define: Achieving Clarity activity, found here.

Check out the activities for Define: Achieving Clarity 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:   https://www.thehenryford.org/education/teaching-innovation/modeli/

 

 

 

Model i, innovation learning, educational resources