With help from the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Smithsonian Institution this year will bring its Spark!Lab exhibit to the Michigan Science Center (MiSci). The Ford Fund will sponsor four free exhibit days, and support transportation for some school field trips.
Ford’s relationship with the MiSci institution stretches back to its opening in 2012, to which the Ford Motor Company Fund contributed $400,000. The Smithsonian’s Spark!Lab exhibit arriving this year offers hands-on experiments and games geared toward children of all ages, meant to foster creativity and curiosity about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). It will be the fifth Spark!Lab exhibit in the country.
“New ideas and innovations spring from creative minds,” says Ford Fund President Jim Vella. “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.”
Ford’s sponsorship of Spark!Lab is hardly the company’s first foray into supporting STEM education in southeast Michigan. Last year, for instance, the automaker announced four new Ford Career Academies that would be arriving at high schools around Detroit, serving a combined 1,400 students per year.