The Henry Ford releases curriculum designed to turn middle schoolers into innovators

If there ever was a word to be associated with Henry Ford, 'innovation' would surely be at the top of the list.

Fitting then that the name of the brand new curriculum released by The Henry Ford is, indeed, Innovate. A four-course curriculum designed for students in grades six through eight, the Innovate curriculum draws upon the wealth of artifacts and knowledge possessed by the organization with the intent to inspire the next generation of inventors.

"At The Henry Ford, it’s our fundamental belief that inside every child is the potential to change the world," says Patricia Mooradian, president and CEO.

"This revolutionary curriculum provides educators with a ready-made tool that activates an innovative mindset within young students and nurtures their creative adaptability to successfully solve real-world problems."

The 20-hour curriculum uses actual artifacts from The Henry Ford Archive of American Innovation as primary sources, a collection of 26 million artifacts from 300 years ago to today. By engaging with the digital versions of the artifacts, Innovate hopes to inspire students to come up with real-life solutions to problems in their schools, communities, and the world-at-large.

At five hours each, the four courses include Innovate 101: Inspire Our Future as an Innovative Thinker; Innovate 102: Solve Our Problems; Innovate 103: Unleash Your Ideas as You Learn to Think Like an Entrepreneur, and Innovate 104: Activate Your Potential.

Students are taught to identify real-world problems, to come up with creative solutions and then pitch those solutions as entrepreneurs.

The curriculum was developed by award-winning educators, historical experts, innovators, and more.

A contest to win the Innovate curriculum is available online and runs through Tuesday, Dec. 31. Otherwise, the course comes with a $499 annual subscription fee, allowing for one teacher account and 10 student accounts. Additional student accounts are available for $25 each.

The Henry Ford is located at 20900 Oakwood Blvd. in Dearborn.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.