FORT MYERS, Fla. (December 29, 2017) — on January 17, children and their parents are invited to be some of the first to test the new activities in the Smithsonian Spark!Lab at Edison & Ford Winter Estates for national Kid Inventors’ Day. The event will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and offers free admission to the museum.
The Edison “Wild Wizards” will start the event with a series of interactive science experiments and presentations. Afterward, guests will be invited inside the museum to experiment in the Spark!Lab. The lab is a hands-on, interactive exhibit for families and children with five different invention stations. The new activities include “Invent-A-Vehicle,” “Flying Machines,” and “High Wire Driver.” Groups and individuals alike can have fun inventing at each station.
In the activity “Invent-A-Vehicle,” visitors first sketch and then build a vehicle out of reusable materials and components. The activity encourages collaboration, imaginative play and even real functional testing.
At the “Flying Machines” station, visitors engineer flying objects using various construction materials. The inventions are then tested and tweaked to improve the distance or height achieved during flight. Challenge cards encourage visitors to create inventions that fly like a rocket, bird, airplane or hot air balloon.
“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.
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 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. Edison Ford is one of only nine museums in the country to have a Spark!Lab. For more information, visit EdisonFordWinterEstates.org or call 239-334-7419.