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inHub’s Summer 2023 Programs & Activities Recap

  • November 07, 2023

With THF Summer Camps, onsite professional development workshops for educators, Invention Convention Worldwide programming and more, Summer is one of the busiest seasons for our Learning & Engagement team. While fostering relationships with educators and students alike, our team was also working hard to develop new learning resources to help you start the year off right. Let’s take a look back at what we’ve been up to!

Youth & Family Learning Engagement

THF Summer Camps

After the return of summer camps in 2022 for grades 2-5, we were excited to expand our offerings in 2023 to include campers through 6th grade. This new camp experience was all about “making” where campers tinkered and hacked their way through history alongside the stories of makers in The Henry Ford’s collections to explore new ideas and discover their own ingenuity. In 2023, we welcomed a total of 348 campers, filling 87% of our total capacity – an 11% increase from 2022. We also had the opportunity to engage with more Community Outreach Partners this year, allowing us to increase scholarship attendance from 16 campers in 2022 to 27 campers in 2023. We’re thrilled to see this growth and be able to impact even more students through summer camp programming and we can’t wait to see what 2024 has in store.

Students with Camp Counselor in a Model T    Students with Camp Counseltor in front of the Rosa Parks Bus

Educator Professional Development and Certification


From July 11-13, we welcomed 14 educators from across the country to The Henry Ford for three days to kick off the 2023-24 Educators-in-Residence Program. During their time on-site, educators were introduced to inHub while uncovering our Model i framework, curriculum and digital resources. They also explored The Henry Ford’s venues through guided tours and participated in workshops led by the Learning & Engagement team. Check out this blog post to learn more about the Educators-in-Residence program and what these educators will be working on throughout the school year.

Educators touring Greenfield Village    Educators posed in front of the Cornerstone in the Museum of American Innovation

Teacher Innovator Awards

The L&E team was pleased to host the grand prize winners of The Henry Ford Innovation Nation Teacher Innovator Awards, presented by RTX, on-site for a week-long innovation immersion experience from July 17-21. After several days of behind-the-scenes tours, time to explore The Henry Ford’s venues and an in-depth look at inHub’s many resources for educators, we recognized this year’s winners during the official awards ceremony where they each received a certificate and special glass award. We are honored to have opportunities like this to connect with educators from across the country and recognize them for their constant work to empower the next generation in innovative ways. Check out this blog post to learn more about their week on-site.

2023 TIA Award winners pose together with their awards

New Professional Development Learning Plans

In late September we also launched three brand-new, self-paced learning plans for educators that examine topics like culturally responsive teaching using pedagogy, stories and artifacts from The Henry Ford’s collections, and self-reflection tools. These learning plans are designed to be relevant for educators of all grade levels and subject areas. The new learning plans are:

Michigan educators can access these learning plans at no cost and can apply to receive SCECHs for each learning plan they complete. This special opportunity is underwritten by the U.S. Department of Education. Non-Michigan educators can access the Bringing Invention Education into Your Classroom learning plan as well as our previously launched learning plan, Exploring the Model i Framework, at no cost. Other learning plans can be accessed for $75 each or $100 for both when you use the code BUNDLE at checkout.

Our team has put a lot of time and effort into these learning plans and resources to make sure they align with national standards and are relevant to the needs of educators today. We hope you find them engaging and useful as you unleash your own innovative mindset.

Invention Convention Worldwide

Invention Convention Americas

This year, the Invention Convention Worldwide (ICW) team was thrilled to virtually host the inaugural Invention Convention Americas competition, presented by RTX. From more than 170,000 participants in ICW, 146 inventors from the United States and Mexico were selected as finalists for the competition. Finalists were judged by a panel of 30 international judges and on August 11 they had the opportunity to attend AmericasX, which virtually transported them to The Henry Ford to engage with one another, participate in a skill-building Kahoot! challenge, and hear from international experts in the inventing space. On August 25 we celebrated these bright young minds during the Invention Convention Americas Awards Ceremony. The competition showcases the creative solutions these students designed to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Get inspired and learn about this year’s winners with our press release.

Social Tile used to showcase Best in Show winners     Social tile used to promote the awards ceremony and the guest speakers, Gary Bright and Jay Flores

Invent It Forward Summit

The Invent it Forward Summit, sponsored by The Lemelson Foundation, is an annual opportunity for Invention Convention Worldwide affiliates to gather together at The Henry Ford as a kick-off to the coming program season. This year’s theme centered around Convergence Education, which encourages a transdisciplinary approach to providing students with the tools to solve real-world problems. Invention Education, and the work of Invention Convention Worldwide, is the perfect example of what it looks like for students to apply knowledge from a variety of subject areas to solve problems they identify in their own lives. We were honored to have special guest speakers from organizations like NASA, the USPTO, The Lemelson Foundation, TIES, and Boston University to speak to the importance this work, and were thrilled to have Dr. Temple Grandin be our keynote speaker for the event. We are very excited to see our impact in action during this next Invention Convention season!

Affiliates participating in a group activity during the summit

Learning Resources & Assets

New Educator Resource Guide

In September, we added a brand-new Educator Resource Guide to our platform featuring artifacts and stories from the "With Liberty and Justice for All" exhibit at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation that relate to America's historical and ongoing fights for freedom. With this Educator Resource Guide, find artifact spotlights with historical information for some of our most well-known artifacts, simple field trip resources, and ideas about how these stories might fit into a classroom activity.

inHub Website Named a Gold Winner

In July, we learned that the inHub website was named a Gold Winner of the Vega Digital Awards. “The Vega Digital Awards seeks to recognize and honors the outstanding performance, talent, and effort of the best digital and creative professionals, web developers, web designers, and web agencies around the world. The awards provide recognition incentives by the way of awards to demonstrate excellence in the field of advertising, design, interactive content, mobile apps, web design/development, audio/visual productions, and all digital landscapes.” Our submission was made on behalf of our partner Enqbator and we are thrilled to have received this recognition! Learn more.

Looking ahead to the fall, we have several events and opportunities we’re excited to share:

  • Tinkering for Tots returns on October 10 for the 2023-24 season.
  • Mandela: The Official Exhibition opens at The Henry Ford on October 21 and our team has put together an educator’s guide to help align the exhibit’s themes to curricula and national standards.
  • Our team is hosting two customized professional development opportunities for educators in Kentucky and Michigan in October.
  • On November 13, Lucie Howell, Chief Learning Officer at The Henry Ford, will be moderating the Nelson Mandela: Leadership Lessons for Today, Author Talk & Panel, Co-Presented by the City of Detroit Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship (ACE) Division.

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