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The Henry Ford Innovation Project
https://www.theinnovationproject.org/

Think Big

Image: The impressive group of participants at the 2018 National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo
Photo by KMS Photography

Think Big

The Henry Ford Magazine sat down with Danny Briere, managing director of The STEMIE Coalition, soon after The Henry Ford acquired The STEMIE Coalition in a joint effort to strengthen invention education around the world. The coalition is a nonprofit global consortium of youth invention and entrepreneurship programs best known for producing the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo for K-12 students.

Briere is now the guy tasked with spearheading a vast outreach to ensure The Henry Ford has an active part in unleashing the next generation of innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs.

THF Magazine: Can you share your first impressions of The Henry Ford and what happened next?

Briere: As soon as I stepped foot in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, I knew it was the right place for me and The STEMIE Coalition and would be the right permanent home for National Invention Convention. I have always viewed our convention as a brainstorming activity that gets the whole family involved. It deserves a destination where a family can go and say, “Wow!” The museum is that place where kids can be surrounded by the spirit of innovation.

After the Michigan Invention Convention last spring, the museum quickly became the forever home of National Invention Convention, and The STEMIE Coalition and The Henry Ford officially aligned to make invention education available to millions of teachers and kids around the world.

THF Magazine: What does the STEMIE initiative stand for, and how is it different from general STEM education?

Briere: STEMIE stands for STEM + Invention + Entrepreneurship, which STEMIE believes yields an innovative mindset in a child for life. To keep America at the forefront of the world economy, we need an inventive and entrepreneurial workforce that can solve problems in creative new ways. This is the heart of American innovation. Through The STEMIE Coalition and Invention Convention, we are seeing firsthand how invention education can reinforce and grow each child’s ability to identify problems on their own and come up with amazing solutions.

THF Magazine: What’s unique about the merging of missions of The STEMIE Coalition and The Henry Ford?

Briere: We’re both nonprofits, and the merging of nonprofits doesn’t happen often. We’re not motivated by money or big egos, only by our joint missions to bring invention education to every child. Together, we bring a lot to the mix: The Henry Ford with its long game driven by a passionate, capable team, and The STEMIE Coalition staff, which sports a fail-fast, fail-often, push-forward attitude. Combined, we have a long-term view with an aggressive “think big” movement.

THF Magazine: What will equal success for this partnership?

Briere: That we give millions of children the opportunity. That every kid grows the confidence they need to know they can do it. That every participant in our programs knows they can make meaningful change in the world. That we have helped create the next generation of serial innovators.

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