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Ford Motor Company and the Smithsonian Partner to Inspire Innovation

Ford Motor Company Fund announced a $500,000 contribution to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and its Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. The funds will be used to support and expand the Spark!Lab program challenging kids to create, collaborate and invent. The donation is part of Ford’s ongoing commitment to innovation and honors the legacy of founder Henry Ford–the anniversary of the company founder’s 150th birthday occurs this year on July 30th.

“My great-gandfather 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.”

Edsel Ford said “I’m living the dream by being one of many family members who has been fortunate to contribute to the legacy of my great-grandfather, Henry Ford.” Edsel’s face glowed with joy as he watched the children build vehicles in the Spark!lab that was displayed at the 2013 Washington Auto Show.

Designed to look and feel like an inventor’s workshop, Spark!Lab incorporates traditional math and science activities and infuses art, music and creativity along with social interaction to form a space where children and their families engage in the invention process.

Eric Hintz, a Historian at the Smithsonian Institution said, “For a person like me who loves history, nothing can be better than working at the Smithsonian, I’m living the dream”.

Since the development of the Model T in 1908, Ford has ben on the leading edge of leveraging technology to improve mobility for the masses for more than a century. “In everything we do, we are honoring the legacy of Henry Ford,” said Ziad Ojakli, Ford Motor Company group vice president of Government and Community Relations. “Ford’s commitment to innovation is part of our DNA.”

The $500,000 grant presented by Edsel Ford is the latest in Ford’s partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, which dates back nearly 40 years.

For us at Living the Dream, we are excited to see organizations like Ford Motor Company and the Smithsonian, join forces to help inspire children to discover and live out their life dreams.

Photos from the Ford Event at the Washington Auto Show:

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