Meritor, Ford incubator shape future of education


Launched in April 2011 with the support of a three-year pledge from Meritor, the Henry Ford’s Innovation Education Incubator is building momentum among educators nationwide by bringing innovative digital education resources and teaching strategies into K-12 classrooms.

Forty teachers from Michigan, California, Texas, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, along with 1,000 students, field-tested the Henry Ford’s new resources and four key curricula products in classrooms and participate in a third-party evaluation.

The purpose of the training module was 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,” said Chip McClure, chairman, CEO and president of Meritor. “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.

Innovation 101 is an online education module that uses oral history interviews and assets of the Henry Ford’s OnInnovation resource for active teaching and learning. The five-day unit allows you to explore the various traits and processes used by innovators, past and present.

“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,” said Patricia E. Mooradian , president of The Henry Ford. “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.”

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