Children and adults alike are used to solving problems in a virtual space, but real-world opportunities are also fundamental to the creative process. In an effort to power innovation, the Michigan Science Center (MiSci) is opening Spark!Lab, an educational and interactive space designed to support the creative process, collaborative thinking, and problem solving. Spark!Lab was developed by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and, through support from the Ford Motor Company Fund, MiSci will be the fifth organization in the country to host a Spark!Lab and the first location in Michigan with a Smithsonian exhibit.
Arthur Daemmerich, director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, said, “We are excited about our partnership with the Michigan Science Center. Bringing Spark!Lab to Detroit directly aligns with the Lemelson Center’s mission of hosting programs to advance new perspectives of invention and innovation.”
Spark!Lab features hands-on activities that allow visitors to “think outside the box.” This space will provide visitors of all ages with the chance to work together and experience the fundamental role inventions plays in the world. Activities include designing and building structures, creating prototypes with common objects, exploring sound with marbles and much more.
“Creative and collaborative thinking is so important to invention and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO of MiSci. “Spark!Lab creates an environment for self-led exploration for children and families. Our partnership with the Smithsonian and Ford helps further position MiSci as a premier institution for discovery and exploration of STEM.”
“New ideas and innovations spring from creative minds,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services – Ford’s philanthropic arm. “Spark!Lab includes activities that mix fun with science, technology, engineering and math - the important STEM subjects getting support from Ford, as it works to help train the technical workforce of the future.”
Spark!Lab opens to the public on Saturday, April 2. For more information on Spark!Lab, visit http://www.mi-sci.org/exhibits-live-shows/sparklab/