Ford Donates to Smithsonian on Behalf of Henry Ford’s Birthday

Ford Motor Company has donated $500,000 to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

Online PR News – 31-January-2013 – Ann Arbor, MI – Today the Ford Motor Company Fund announced a $500,000 donation to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and its Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. The contribution was in honor of the anniversary of founder Henry Ford’s 150th birthday that takes place on July 30th.

“My great-grandfather Henry Ford knew as well as anyone how truly rewarding the invention process can be,” said Edsel B. Ford II, who is a board member of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. “Ford is proud to support programs like Spark!Lab, which encourages kids to use and condition their creative minds so they can become the next generation of great American innovators.”

As part of Ford’s commitment to innovation, the donation will support the Spark!Lab program that is designed to challenge children to create, collaborate and invent.
“Innovation has been central to Ford’s philosophy and mission,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Ford Fund is pleased to lend our support to this worthwhile program, which truly embodies the spirit of innovation championed by Henry Ford and the company he built.”

The funds from Ford will allow Spark!Lab to provide renovations to current exhibits while also allow for the creation of an additional three satellite workshops. The soon-to-be-announced workshops will be sponsored solely by the Ford Motor Company and will provide children with the latest technology and instruments.

“It has never been more important to develop a future generation of inventive thinkers and problem solvers,” said John Gray, director of the National Museum of American History. “This generous contribution by Ford Motor Company Fund will allow the museum’s Lemelson Center to bring Spark!Lab’s playful approach to children in the nation’s capital and around the country, inspiring inventive creativity in young minds.”

The museum’s Lemelson Center and Ford are sponsoring a “pop-up” Spark!Lab at the Washington Auto Show February 1 – February 3. These “pop-ups” will allow families to attend and experience the invention process of Spark!Labs.

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