Ford wants to help kids as young as eight to get started in their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) careers, creating an educational box-kit to encourage kids to let out their inner engineers, designers and programmers.
In partnership with Academics in a Box (designers of the award-winning Groovy Lab in a Box), Ford created a simple experimental kit that challenges students from Grade 3 upwards to think like Ford engineers, and delivers the tools they need to build a working prototype (model size) right to their homes.
“Doing good has been part of our business plan from the beginning, and Ford is doing just that,” says Elaine Hansen, co-founder of Academics in a Box. “Ford wants to engage in educating our youth, and we are happy to work with a company that has the same goals as we do.”
The Ford STEAM Box includes several activities, such as designing a vehicle frame through origami or kirigami (like origami, but involves also cutting the paper), creating a working motor using copper tape as a conductor, and using LED lights to create working headlights and taillights. Together, the experiments lead the students to complete a working Mustang GT prototype.
The kits may be aimed at school children, but the idea is to help Ford connect with their parents, encouraging them to inspire their kids to pursue their curiosity, which may lead them into STEAM careers.
“Parents play a critical role in motivating their kids to stay curious and sustain their excitement in STEAM education,” says Ford engineer Lisa Sheth. “Ford sees an increasing desire from them for more STEAM-related activities, and this is a great way for us to help bring that about.”
Ford adds that encouraging youth in STEAM careers is in keeping with the mission of its founder Henry Ford — seek knowledge, be curious, solve problems and make dreams of a better world come true.