TROY — The Henry Ford Museum’s Innovation Education Incubator, launched in April 2011 with the support of a three-year pledge from Meritor, is building momentum among educators nationwide by bringing innovative digital education resources and game-changing teaching strategies into K-12 classrooms.
40 teachers and 1,000 students field-tested The Henry Ford’s new resources and four key curricula products, including Innovation 101, in classrooms and participate in a third-party evaluation. The IEI pilot teachers came from Michigan as well as California, Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.
The purpose of the training module is to promote technology and innovation skills among students and inspire them to achieve through the lessons of past innovators such as Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Rosa Parks as well as current-day innovators like Bill Gates, Dean Kamen, and Steve Wozniak. Students said they learned about science, technology, engineering and math, also referred to as “STEM,” and the process of innovation. Some said that these materials changed their minds and how they approach the world today.
“We’re pleased with the outcome of the IEI pilot project,” Chip McClure, chairman, CEO, and president of Meritor, said. “The pilot provided an objective and independent evaluation of The Henry Ford’s unique and innovative educational resources and methodology for teachers and students. The Henry Ford will now be able to objectively demonstrate that its products are both effective and valuable for teachers and can engage students to acquire 21st century skills.”
Among the different curricula tested in the IEI, Innovation 101 was the product most used. Results from the pilot project showed that Innovation 101, for example, rated 9 or 10 (10 being highest) by most who used it. Virtually all of the teachers indicated the Innovation 101 module promoted critical thinking and creativity.
“By providing classrooms across the nation with cutting-edge digital resources, The Henry Ford is not only changing the way teachers teach, but also the way students learn,” Patricia E. Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford, said. “The tools that the IEI offers provide students with the critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity skills that are needed to be successful in college and in today’s ever-changing workplace.”
“We are honored to partner with The Henry Ford and look forward to the impact this program will have on our nation’s students and future talent base,” McClure said. “Meritor’s commitment to social responsibility, and in particular, support for education in the areas of math, science, and technical subjects, is vital for workforce readiness. Our company relies on the skills and innovations of our engineers and technical employees around the globe to enhance our competitiveness. We fully expect that outcomes from the IEI pilot have the potential to move education in an important new direction.”