Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Michigan Science Center Brings Smithsonian Experience to the Ford Display at Detroit Auto Show

The Michigan Science Center (MiSci) is bringing the Smithsonian’s Spark!Lab experience to this year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). This educational and interactive space – one of only five in the United States – promotes invention and innovation, making it the perfect family activity for NAIAS guests.

Spark!Lab activities will be located in the “Future Innovators” space in the Ford exhibit at Cobo Center. Branding itself as both an automotive and mobility company, Ford is focused on the technologies that are essential to the freedom of movement we all enjoy.  The theme of this year's NAIAS is Automobili-D focusing on how the automobile industry doesn't just build vehicles but also produces a variety of products that help people and technology with mobility.  In this spirit of innovation, Spark!Lab guests will design innovative mobility devices that they can take home. MiSci staff will be at Ford's NAIAS exhibit to facilitate activities and conversations about the future of mobility. They will also use small demonstrations featuring hand-crank generators, energy tubes, AirZookas and more to bring science to life.

 Spark!Lab opened in April 2016 as a new space within MiSci. MiSci is a hands-on museum that inspires curious minds of all ages to discover, explore and appreciate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in a creative, dynamic learning environment. The Science Center features five theaters, including Michigan’s largest screen at the Chrysler IMAX® Dome Theatre; the Dassault Systèmes Planetarium; the Toyota Engineering 4D Theater; the DTE Energy Sparks Theater; the Chrysler Science Stage; a 9,800 square-foot Traveling Science Hall for special exhibits; hands-on exhibit galleries focusing on space, life and physical science; Kids Town just for pint-size scientists; along with, education and outreach programs.

MiSci's Spark!Lab was established in partnership with Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation and with support from Ford Motor Company. MiSci is the fifth location in the country to house Spark!Lab, the Smithsonian’s flagship invention education program. Spark!Lab provides visitors with the opportunity to become inventors as they explore and engage with hands-on activities, interact with facilitators, and learn from local innovators.

For more information about Spark!Lab and the Michigan Science Center, visit

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