National Kid Inventors’ Day at Edison and Ford Winter Estates

FORT MYERS, Fla. (January 13, 2020) — On January 17, children and their parents are invited to be an inventor in the Smithsonian Spark!Lab at Edison and Ford Winter Estates (EFWE) for National Kid Inventors’ Day. The event will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and offers free admission to the museum. 

Special interactive and hands-on activities will be available throughout the 15,000-square-foot inventions museum. Visitors will learn about how Edison, Ford and Firestone tested rubber; hear about the science of sound; observe a LEGO Robotics demonstration; learn about inventions kids have created; and test inventive skills in the Smithsonian Spark!Lab. 

The Spark!Lab offers families and children an opportunity to become inventors within different activity stations. Groups and individuals alike can have fun inventing at each station. Activities include:

  • The Towering Teeter Table is a balancing challenge suited for all ages, where inventors build structures and learn to balance them.
  • High Wire Driver is an activity where visitors use a variety of building supplies and simple motors to invent devices that can roll along a cable, suspended above a table or work surface. This station allows participants to create imaginative high wire driving cameras, cable cars or even an overhead cash carrier.  
  • At the Snap Circuits station, inventors will create and test electric circuits and devices such as LEDs, light bulbs, fan motors, flying disc launchers, and even a radio.
  • Visitors are provided with circuit parts, paper, and other materials to create a unique piece of art in the Spin Art activity. 
  • The motorized gears (Mogee Gears for short) interactive features interlocking pieces and a motor that can be used to construct anything imaginable.
  • The Invent-A-Vehicle station challenges visitors to use PVC pipe, wheels, and most importantly, their imagination, to invent a vehicle.

Kid Inventors’ Day celebrates children’s achievements and encourages creativity. The date, Benjamin Franklin’s birthday, honors the childhood inventor who invented swim flippers when he was just 12 years old. Other notable childhood inventions include the popsicle, trampoline, ear muffs and Braille.

Thomas Edison, another childhood inventor, created a lab in his parent’s basement when he was just 10 years old. He often took watches and other things apart to see how they worked. When he was 12, he started publishing a newspaper and sold the publication to train passengers. 

The Smithsonian Spark!Lab encourages children of all ages to be creative and think like an inventor. EFWE is one of only nine museums in the country to have a Spark!Lab. For more information, visit EdisonFord.org or call 239-334-7419. 

###Edison and Ford Winter Estates
Edison and Ford Winter Estates is the internationally known winter home site of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. More than 220,000 visitors walk through the location each year from all around the globe. The organization has received many awards, including the National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Garden Clubs’ Historic Preservation Award. The property is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures,” a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. The Edison Botanic Laboratory is a National Historic Chemical Landmark. The site is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and until 9 p.m. during the month of December for Holiday Nights.

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