FORD MOTOR COMPANY SUPPORTS INNOVATION, STEM EDUCATION WITH SMITHSONIAN’S SPARK!LAB AT MICHIGAN SCIENCE CENTER

1459436955692.jpgFord Motor Company has been bringing innovation and mobility together for more than a century. Today, Ford is helping open the world of invention and creativity to a new generation. With support from Ford and Ford Motor Company Fund, the company’s philanthropic arm, the Michigan Science Center (MiSci) will host Spark!Lab — the first Smithsonian exhibit in Michigan.

Spark!Lab features hands-on activities that power creative thinking and encourage visitors of all ages to tinker and explore. Children and families can engage in science experiments, games and special programs designed to support their creativity. Ford Motor Company Fund will sponsor four free Ford Fund Days this year, and will also support transportation for a number of school field trips.

“New ideas and innovations spring from creative minds,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Spark!Lab allows children and families to interact and experience the joy that comes with learning, while introducing a new world of educational and career possibilities.”

The Spark!Lab at MiSci is the fifth in the country and another example of Ford’s ongoing commitment to Detroit and southeast Michigan. Spark!Lab includes activities that mix fun with science, technology, engineering and math — the important STEM subjects getting the sharp focus and support of Ford, as it works to help train the technical workforce of the future.

Ford supported the initial opening of MiSci in 2012, with a $400,000 commitment. It has since provided additional support, including a Ford Transit Connect van to help MiSci’s Traveling Science program.

Ford’s support of Spark!Lab is the latest collaboration with the Smithsonian, a relationship which dates back 40 years and includes a wide range of learning activities, including Spark!Labs in Anchorage, Kansas City and Washington, D.C. and the Ford-sponsored Giant Panda Cam at the National Zoo.

Spark!Lab opened to the public on Saturday, April 2. For more information on Spark!Lab, visit http://www.mi-sci.org/exhibits-live-shows/sparklab/

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