Partners in Education

The Henry Ford’s recent educational efforts focus on helping educators inspire students to think and act creatively, to innovate, and to adopt an optimistic, entrepreneurial, can-do spirit.

Helping Shape a Better Future

Today, it is widely recognized by business, government, and education leaders that an innovative mindset is critically important for successfully addressing the challenges of the 21st century. Students today need to learn how to effectively formulate, process, and assess ideas and information. The Henry Ford’s educational resources are specifically designed to help young people develop the essential skills of creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and effective communication.

Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; working together is success.
Henry Ford

Developing Innovation Resources

Working in close partnership with educators, The Henry Ford has developed resources that tell stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. These resources utilize the artifacts in the collection—so learners, for example, can hear from Steve Wozniak himself talking about the creation of the Apple I, and then see an Apple I. Hands-on activities and projects coupled with these powerful stories then strengthen a learner’s understanding of the meaning of innovation, the traits that innovators share, and each innovator’s unique process to develop his or her ideas.

Teacher Innovator Awards first-prize winners showing off their handcrafted glass awards at Maker Faire Detroit 2015.

Teacher Innovator Awards

In the fall of 2014, The Henry Ford launched The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator Awards program, designed to recognize America’s innovative teachers. The inaugural group of first-prize winners received an all-expenses paid “Innovation Immersion Experience” at The Henry Ford in the summer of 2015. These innovative teachers spent an entire week of exploration and discovery visiting Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.

Winners of the 2013 Building Stories writing contest posing on the porch of the Wright Home in Greenfield Village.

Building Stories

In 2012, The Henry Ford launched the Building Stories contest, developed by a group of The Henry Ford’s Teacher Fellows. It uses creative writing to encourage students to identify with historic innovators like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, and Rosa Parks. Young writers celebrate an innovator by crafting a creative story using primary sources like artifacts, documents, photographs, and even buildings. Winners of the contest travel to The Henry Ford and read their stories aloud surrounded by inspiring historic structures like the Wright Home and Menlo Park Laboratory.