The Troy auto supplier Meritor Inc. announced a $100,000 pledge to the science and technology education efforts of The Henry Ford Thursday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

Meritor’s gift will fund further development of the Henry Ford’s Innovation Education Incubator, which is hatching a five-day curriculum that uses the legendary museum’s exhibits and stories to teach science, technology, engineering and math.

The Henry Ford has developed prototype digital resources, including Educator Digikits, Innovation 101 and ExhibitBuider, that can change how public, private and charter school educators fundamentally teach and how the current generation of students learn. For example, the recently launched Innovation 101 curriculum incorporates interviews of present-day innovators such as Bill Gates, Dean Kamen, Steve Wozniak and others into innovative lesson plans that promote 21st Century skills.

Meritor’s pledge will result in an initial test of the resources that The Henry Ford created to help educators promote 21st Century skills in their classrooms. The pilot will involve two phases of educator recruiting, training and evaluations over the course of the next year. This will produce the data and feedback needed to refine The Henry Ford’s education products and process for widespread distribution and adoption in classrooms.

Educators from Michigan-based Henry Ford academies in Dearborn and Detroit, existing Henry Ford Teacher Fellows that represent a mix of public, private and charter schools in Michigan, and a few out-of-state educators will be the INnovation Education Adopters with the test pilot.

Said Henry Ford president Patricia E. Mooradian: “The tools that the IEI offers will help provide students with the critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity skills that are needed to b successful in college and in today’s ever-changing workplace.”

And Meritor chairman, CEO and president Chip McClure said that for his company, supporting educational initiatives, “especially those which emphasize science, technology engineering and math, is a top priority … We know effective learning not only inspires students to achieve their full potential but also sharpens the capabilities of employers such as Meritor as they compete on a global basis.”


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