Seeing the past; exploring the present

Teachers from Michigan and Ohio came together at The Henry Ford for a special workshop sponsored by the Ohio Soybean Council. “Farming: see the past, explore the present” provided the group with a unique look at agriculture.

The day began with Lucie Howell, Director of Learning and Engagement at the Henry Ford, explaining the organization’s “Model i”, an innovation process to engage thinking and empower creativity. This was a great lead-in to the engineering design activity, Innovate an Egg Catcher.

Steve Opp, Master Farmer, gave the group a teacher of Firestone Farm. Opp showed teachers agricultural implements from the past and talked about the heritage breeding and planting going on at the farm.

Debra Reid, Curator of Agriculture and the Environment, gave the teachers an overview of the history of soybeans. Henry Ford developed soy plastic and found other uses for soybeans. GrowNextGen educator Jane Hunt led the group through a lesson on GMOs using Starbursts candy to illustrate genetic trait selection.

Bob Horton of Ohio 4-H presented a lesson on Healthy Soils, and teachers had the opportunity to innovate a planter to improve soil quality. Each teacher took home bots and other supplies to do these lessons in their classrooms.

Finally, teachers learned about The Henry Ford’s digital resources available online. These collections are free and will allow teachers to share great information with their students!