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Ford Fund Celebrates Innovation as Part of Henry Ford’s Legacy; Elena Ford Awards Inventors with Special Prizes


• Two days before the 150th birthday of Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company Fund is sponsoring Henry Ford Maker Challenge, named after one of the most influential innovators of the 20th century

• Elena Ford presented awards to three inventors out of the 400 participating in the fourth annual Maker Faire at The Henry Ford

• Ford Fund supports innovation in education through long-term partnerships with nonprofits

DEARBORN, Mich. – Two days before the 150th birthday of Henry Ford, Henry Ford Maker Challenge is encouraging inventors young and old to test their mettle in a special competition named after one of the most influential innovators of the 20th century.

Three awards were presented today by Elena Ford, vice president, global dealer and consumer experience, Ford Motor Company, during Maker Faire at The Henry Ford. Inventors in these categories – Younger Maker (youth), Sustainability and Hands-On Learning – each are awarded a $500 cash prize and $2,000 for their choice of a charity from a list provided by Ford Motor Company Fund.

The competition involved 400 makers, who displayed their inventions for approximately 27,000 visitors at The Henry Ford’s fourth annual Maker Faire.

“Henry Ford knew more than most how satisfying and rewarding the invention process can be,” said Elena Ford, great-great-granddaughter of Henry Ford. “His innovations changed the world, and at Ford his inspiration continues to drive our company, our products and our commitment to the community.”

Ford Fund supports numerous initiatives that promote innovation in education including:

• Ford Next Generation Learning, which aligns business and civic engagement for career-themed academies within existing public high schools. The program reaches more than 300,000 students in 27 states, and is aimed at improving student outcomes and workforce readiness
• A network of four Henry Ford Academies based on an award-winning small high school model and the HFA Model Curriculum, believed to be the first in the nation to focus explicitly on innovation and creativity
• Ford Blue Oval Scholars, a Web-based initiative that links thousands of Ford scholarship winners. Ford Fund provides more than $1 million in scholarships each year

Earlier this year Ford Fund announced a $500,000 grant to the Smithsonian to support and expand its Spark!Lab program. Designed to look and feel like an inventor’s workshop, Spark!Lab incorporates traditional math and science activities with creative arts and social interaction to form a space where children and families engage in the invention process.

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 Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 177,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit


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