MRO Magazine

Ford Motor Company Fund, Smithsonian Bring Spark!Lab to Anchorage, Opening the Doors to Innovation and Invention

March 6, 2015
By Business Wire News


Spark!Lab, the hands-on invention experience from the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, is opening its newest location at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska. With the support of Ford Motor Company Fund, Spark!Lab will engage children and families in the invention process through science experiments, games, activities and special programs, such as SparkNite, a look at the innovation and inventions of Alaska’s history and Arctic environment.

The Anchorage Spark!Lab, one of only five across the country, encourages creativity, collaboration and problem solving by inviting visitors to tinker and explore, as they develop new skills and confidence in their abilities.

“A spark of imagination and understanding what it means to invent can open up new opportunities and take a young person a long way toward success in education and career,” said Pamela Alexander, director of Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “When learning is fun, it can plant the seeds of exploration and discovery, and open a child’s eyes to the possibilities of what they can achieve.”

Developed by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History, the Spark!Lab at the Anchorage Museum, which is attached to the Discovery Center, is made possible through the support of the Ford Motor Company Fund.

Spark!Lab at Anchorage Museum opens to the public at 10 a.m. on March 6.

The original Spark!Lab opened in 2008 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. That Spark!Lab is undergoing renovations with support from Ford Fund and will reopen July 1, 2015. Ford Fund contributions also support a Spark!Lab in Kansas City, in addition to this new facility in Anchorage.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. The Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 60 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees each year work on projects that better their communities in 30 countries. For more information, visit

About The Lemelson Center

The Lemelson Center has led the study of invention and innovation at the Smithsonian since 1995. The center’s activities advance scholarship on the history of invention, share stories about inventors and their work and nurture creativity in young people. The center is supported by The Lemelson Foundation and located in the National Museum of American History. For more information, visit

About Anchorage Museum

The Anchorage Museum is the largest museum in Alaska and one of the top 10 most visited attractions in the state. The museum’s mission is to connect people, expand perspectives and encourage global dialogue about the North and its distinct environment. Learn more at

For news releases, related materials and high-resolution photos and video, visit

Ford Motor Company Fund
Todd Nissen