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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for May, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Lisa Sbuttoni, PR/Marketing Director
293-334-7419

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Celebrates Memorial Day with Free Admission to Veterans
 

Fort Myers, Florida (May 25, 2011) – The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will honor veterans and their families with FREE ADMISSION on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  The annual event includes free admission  and  veterans will receive a discount on items in the Museum Stores.  Active military are admitted FREE to the Estates year round. 
 
     Veterans will enjoy seeing more than $12 million in award winning restoration at the Estates which includes the winter homes and gardens of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, their botanical laboratory, antique car collections and hundreds of inventions in the Estates Museum.  Gallery demonstrations and continuous showing of films are also included in a Museum visit. 
 
     Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission. Current servicemen and women may also gain free admission by presenting an active military ID.

     In addition, a United States Navy “memorial table” has been recreated to  honor those service men and women who are POW’s, MIAs and those who lost their lives in service.  The “memorial table” is smaller, honoring prisoners of war who stood alone and includes: 

• A white tablecloth representing the purity of a soldiers response to our country’s call

• An empty chair depicting an unknown face, representing no specific Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman, but all who are not here with us.

• The smaller table is round to show that concern for soldiers is never ending.

• A black napkin representing the emptiness the soldiers have left in the hearts of their families and friends.

• A single red rose reminding Americans of their families and loved ones; and a red ribbon representing the love of country, which inspired soldiers to answer the nation’s call.

• A yellow candle and yellow ribbon symbolizing the everlasting hope for a joyous reunion with those yet unaccounted for.

• Slices of lemon on a bread plate reminding us of  bitter fate.

• Salt on the bread plate representing the tears of their families.

• A wine glass turned upside down reminding us that our distinguished soldiers cannot be with their friends and family to drink a toast.

Join the Estates in honoring servicemen and women on Memorial Day.

June Events at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 24th

As we welcome the summer season, The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is gearing up for a summer full of education, programs, and family fun.

Edisonia Native Girl by Denege Patterson

Program and Book Signing
     Have you ever wondered what it was like to live in Edison’s Caretaker’s House? It’s one of the most unique buildings on the historic property, a converted cracker house, which remains as one of the oldest buildings in Fort Myers.

     On Friday, June 11th at 11am, Florence Keen Sansom, who was born in the Edison Caretaker’s House in 1917, is the subject of Denege Patterson’s book, Edisonia Native Girl.

     Join Sansom as she presents “A Heart-to-Heart Conversation.” This is a not-to-be-missed program chronicling her childhood, gardens, artwork, and Florida in the 1920s. Patterson and Sansom will be available to sign your book after the program. 
Refreshments will be served. The cost is FREE for Members, non members $5.   

Happy Father’s Day!
     The Estates is offering FREE admission to any father accompanied with their paid child on Father’s Day.  Free admission includes a tour of the newly restored homes, the historic botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and Edison’s Research Laboratory

 

  
Wild & Crazy Kids!

     Whether it’s inventing, acting, animation, or science that peaks your child’s interest, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates has a camp for them! Registration is still open for the Estates Inventors’ Summer Camp.

     Camps are available for grades 1st – 6th and sessions are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th. Space is limited and filling up fast! Cost for Estates Members is $200; non members $230.  Scholarships are available by calling the Estates at 239-334-7419. 
The Estates Inventor Summer Camp schedule is the following:
 Eager Engineers, June 13 – June 17 (GRADES 1-3 full, GRADES 4-6 open)
Spaceships & Rockets, June 20 – June 24
NEW Animation in Action, June 27 – July 1 
NEW Super Solar Scientists July 5 – July 8
ESI – Edison Science Investigation, July 11 – July 15 
Movie Making Magic, July 18 – July 22 
Kitchen Chemistry, July 25 – July 29
NEW Smarts in Art, August 1 – August 5

Registration forms are available online
 or can be picked up at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates at 2350 McGregor Blvd.  For more information or to sign up contact the Estates Education Department at 239-334-7419

Sprechen Sie Deutch?
     For our German speaking visitors, the Estates is now offering a German language tour led by a German Estates Site Historian on Wednesdays at 10:30 am.  The tour includes the historic homes, gardens, and Edison Botanic Research Laboratory in German. German Audio Players also still available on a regular basis.

We Keep On Growing!
     For all you garden lovers out there, the Estates Botanical Tours will continue to be held on Tuesdays at 10 am, but will change from Friday mornings to Saturdays mornings at 10 am.  The tour includes a serene walk through the historical gardens, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Estates Propagating Nursery led by Estates horticultural staff. 
Cost for Estates Members is FREE; non members, $24 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 -12.  Upgrade your ticket for $6 to include a self-guided audio wand tour of the historic buildings and
Estates Museum. 

Brilliant Idea for the Whole Family!
     “Family” means “FUN” at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. The Young Inventor’s Tour is a hands-on museum experience for children focusing on the inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. 

     Children will learn how the inventions work and have the opportunity to operate historic education artifacts including the light bulb and the phonograph, while practicing the assembly line and rubber research.  The tour is available on a first come, first served basis and includes admission to the Lab and Museum. 
Estates Members are FREE; non members $12, $5 children ages 6 -12, children five and under FREE.  Tickets are available at an additional cost to upgrade to a complete Home and Gardens Estates Tour.

Visit our new website for news, upcoming events, purchasing tickets and memberships, renewing memberships and shop on line at the Estates Museum Store and Garden Shoppe. 
The Estates is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Visit the web site at
www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.

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The Estates has received a grant  from the Florida Legislature through the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Director’s Tour visits Delray Beach

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 16th

On May 6th, 2011, the Edison & Ford Winter Estates visited the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens and the American Orchid Society in Delray Beach.  This Director’s Tour was one of many the Estates takes around the state to other museums and botanical gardens. 

Below are some photos of our trip (click photos to enlarge):

To sign up for future Director’s Tours or to learn about upcoming events, contact the Marketing Department at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates at (239) 334-7419

Engineering is Elementary | Day SIX

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 11th
written by Wild Wizard Glen Beitmen
     We have finished our training and are reminiscing about the Engineering is Elementary program at Museum of Science in Boston and how we got here.  I remember 6 years ago when I ran my first engineering summer camp and we had 20 campers sign up and all of them, including the parents, thought it was a “Thomas the Tank Engine” camp.  It was clear that most people hadn’t a clue what engineering really was. 

At the John D. O'Bryant Mathematics and Science High School

     Then I was approached by Karen Miller from HSA Scientist and Engineers to help them get volunteer engineers into the classroom.  Karen Miller, Richard Lewis, and Christy Newman are the ones who started this initiative.  Now it has grown to include the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, the Imaginarium, MIT Club, Florida Engineers Society, Foundation for Lee County Schools, Lee County School District, MIT Edgerton Center, Museum of Science in Boston, and many others. 

     We all have a single focus: to give our students the best opportunities to achieve their highest potential and success.  In my opinion, the engineering curriculum not only makes teaching fun, it models a new way for our students to explore their world and become actively involved.          

Wild Wizard Glen with the Science Presenter from the Museum of Science in Boston

     During our training today, we went over the resources the Museum of Science has created for the Engineering is Elementary program, and there’s a lot.  The key for us will be to emulate what the Museum of Science has done when teaching our teachers. 

     The first official Engineering is Elementary training will be at the Imaginarium where 48 third grade science teachers will lean about the program and teach others.  From there we will include other grades and expand our program to include surrounding counties like Charlotte, Hendry, Collier, Glades and beyond.  

Wild Wizard Glen & Engineer Jonathan with "The Crew" at the Museum of Science

      Now, we head home to Fort Myers!  So to all the amazing people I have met like Valerie, Kristin, Sharlene, Dan, Emily and everyone else at the Museum of Science in Boston;  To all of the MIT students, teachers, and affiliates that Ed Moriarty;  To the students and teachers of John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics where Ed and I discussed a number of ideas on how we can start building a community of students all over the US;  To all the people I have met in Boston; And to the Celtics, Bruins, and the Red Sox, I say THANK YOU.  This is only the beginning!   

 “The world is magic, and engineers are people who learn how to do magic.”  – Ed Moriarty Main Magician in the Edgerton Center at MIT

Wild Wizards Glen Beitmen & Jonathan Wadas are in Boston this week gathering information to share with our Southwest Florida elementary school teachers about the “Engineering Is Elementary” program developed by the Museum of Science in Boston.

To learn more about the Education Programs at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, go to our website at http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/education/.

Engineering is Elementary | Day FIVE

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 10th

written by Wild Wizard Glen Beitmen

 

    Today, in the “Engineering is Elementary” program at Boston’s Museum of Science, we finished our bioengineering unit and began exploring Light and Reflection. 

Finishing up our fake knee brace from the Bioengineering Project

      While listening to our new challenge I realized how important this type of teaching is for our students.  Every challenge that was presented kept us engaged.  Every topic had relevanceWe would ask questions, imagine solutions, test materials, and build prototypes.  We all had become engineers! 

 

     As I watched my team use mirrors to redirect light for our reflection challenge I could imagine students having fun and actively learning.  I have always followed this model when teaching science and I love what the Museum of Science in Boston is doing for Engineering.  I can’t wait to see the reaction our teachers get when they bring these programs into their classroom. 

Our team using mirrors to reflect light through a dark box

      Then, as if things couldn’t get better, MIT’s Ed Moriarty invited us to see a movie on MIT’s 150th anniversary.  Afterwards, Ed gave Jonathan and me a personal tour of MIT.  It was unbelievable! 

MIT Celebrates is 150th Anniversary and WE are invited to a movie about it!

       We were able to see first-hand how students will thrive when you allow them to learn to use materials to create new technologies.  We spoke to students that are literally changing the world.  These students were creating everything from solar cars and electric motorcycles to magnetic light walls and large soccer playing robots.   

This electric motorcycle was created by an MIT student and will be racing in Europe!

     These students have passion.  The only difference between our Southwest Florida elementary school students using pipe cleaners and 9 volt batteries and these MIT students using 12 feet aluminum pipe and photovoltaic cells is simply the materials.  The passion is the same.  Given the opportunity to learn and the understanding of what is available to them, our students will change the world as well.

Two MIT students made this Magnetic Light Wall in their spare time.

     Tomorrow, we will get the books, the teacher kits and the online resources that we will need to implement these programs in Southwest Florida.  I have come to love Boston, but I already can not wait to get home and get these new programs started!

 

Wild Wizards Glen Beitmen & Jonathan Wadas are in Boston this week gathering information to share with our Southwest Florida elementary school teachers about the “Engineering Is Elementary” program developed by the Museum of Science in Boston.

To learn more about the Education Programs at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, go to our website at http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/education/.

Engineering is Elementary | Day FOUR

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 9th

written by Wild Wizard Glen Beitmen

Here we are at Fenway Park;  4th inning and the score is 0:0.  Matt Johnson from the Imaginarium, Estates Engineer Jonathan Wadas and I finished up a day of training at the Boston Museum of Science and decided to catch a game.

Wild Wizards at Fenway Park

Today’s training at the Museum of Science in Boston focused on getting us to understand how to implement “Engineering is Elementary” in a classroom. You can tell these guys did their homework.  They cover every angle and already know the potential issues that might arise.  All the questions we had they already had answers to.

     Biomedical Engineering was the main topic.  We worked with a fictitious shoe company to develop a new running shoe and used a fake knee joint to learn about what you have to consider before developing a knee brace.

Our fake knee brace

The highlight for me was working with our new friends from Ohio to build a two foot tower using only index cards and tape that would be strong enough to hold a small stuffed animal. Because of the genius of Estates Engineer Jonathan Wadas, we not only succeeded but used fewer materials than everyone else.  Yeah, I know…we’re good!

Our winning tower made only from index cards and tape!

Wild Wizards Glen Beitmen & Jonathan Wadas are in Boston this week gathering information to share with our Southwest Florida elementary school teachers about the “Engineering Is Elementary” program developed by the Museum of Science in Boston.

To learn more about the Education Programs at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, go to our website at http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/education/.

Engineering is Elementary | Day THREE

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 8th

written by Wild Wizard Glen Beitmen

     Estates Engineer Jonathan Wadas and I went to Fenway Park today.  Since we have been here, the Bruins beat the Flyers, the Celtics beat the Heat, and the Red Socks beat the Twins!  Boston sports fans are pretty happy!

Fenway Park

     After leaving Fenway Park, we walked around Boston University and made our way to the Charles River where we spotted a bottle floating by with a cork in it. We fished the bottle out of the river we saw that there was a note in it.  The note was put in the water a month ago is back on its journey.

Estates Engineer Jonathan reads the message in a bottle fished from the Charles River

     Jonathan & I continued on to explore the New England Aquarium.  On the bus ride back we met two people from Ohio who will also be attending the “Engineering is Elementary” training tomorrow at the Museum of Science.  This is going to be great!

Wild Wizards Glen Beitmen & Jonathan Wadas are in Boston this week gathering information to share with our Southwest Florida elementary school teachers about the “Engineering Is Elementary” program  developed by the Museum of Science in Boston.

To learn more about the Education Programs at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, go to our website at http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/education/.

Engineering is Elementary | Day TWO

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 7th

written by Wild Wizard Glen Beitmen

We made it to MIT by 8:30 this morning and walked around the campus for hours.  It was great!

Wild Wizard Glen Beitmen at MIT!

     The hall that leads to the Edgerton Center is like a mini museum for Doc Edgerton.  Dr. Herald E. Edgerton was the king of the high-speed camera and, from what we read, an amazing man.  One of his most recognized pictures is one with a drop of milk making a crown. 

      In charge of continuing his legacy and educating anyone who chooses to show up is Ed Moriarty.  He has as much admiration for Doc Edgerton as I have for Thomas Edison. Ed calls his workshop the “Saturday Thing” and it’s free to anyone who has and interest in engineering, inventing, or just tinkering with cool stuff. 

     There was so much going on that I couldn’t possibly list it all.  Students were working with circuit boards, motorized scooters, light sensor music makers and well, like I said I can’t list it all. We were joined by Shelby, Niki, and Matt from the Imaginarium.  We were like kids in a candy store!

Estates Engineer Jonathan Wadas, Mat Johnson from the Imaginarium, and MIT's Ed Moriarty in the Edgerton Center

     Ed worked with the students, listened to their ideas and pointed them in the right direction, but he never gave them all the answers.  He would allow them to search for and discover answers on their own.  It was inspiring to watch.  

     Jonathan played with a number of Edgerton strobes and other toys while a brilliant high school student taught me how resisters work.  We stayed until 4pm and didn’t want to leave.

Estates Engineer Jonathan experimenting with a strobe light.

   I hope to see Ed Moriarty later in the week, but tomorrow we are going to Fenway!  Oh yeah, the Celtics won and this place went crazy!

Wild Wizards Glen Beitmen & Jonathan Wadas are in Boston this week gathering information to share with our Southwest Florida elementary school teachers about the “Engineering Is Elementary” program  developed by the Museum of Science in Boston.

To learn more about the Education Programs at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, go to our website at http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/education/.

Be sure to stay tuned for more adventures at MIT and Museum of Science!

Estates Wild Wizards @ MIT | Day ONE

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 6th

written by Wild Wizard Glen Beitmen

Estates Engineer Jonathan Wadas and I just checked into our hotel in Cambridge, MA.  We are here gathering information to share with our Southwest Florida elementary school teachers about the “Engineering Is Elementary” program developed by the Museum of Science in Boston.

The people here are a buzz with playoff fever since the Celtics are playing the Heat at the Garden tomorrow.  We are more excited about the Satruday workshop with Ed Moriarty at MIT’s Edgerton Center. When we spoke to Ed on the phone he said, “There is no set schedule.  We open the doors and let the kids have fun.”   This is at MIT.

How cool is it for kids to have someone as brilliant and creative as Ed Moriarty while also having access to all the gizmos and gadgets at MIT?  The students that attend these Saturday workshops have made engine power state boards, quadro-copters, and even . . . a segway.

I pride myself on being able to teach difficult science concepts with nothing but a ream of paper, but I appreciate the value of having access to everything. We will be at MIT around 9 in the morning. I can’t wait, but since I have to…Jonathan and I are going to make the most of this Friday night in Boston.

To learn more about the Education Programs at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, go to our website at http://www.edisonfordwinterestates.org/education/.

Be sure to stay tuned for more adventures at MIT and Museum of Science!

Estates Educators Visit MIT & Boston’s Museum of Science

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 5th

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Wild Wizard Glen and Engineer Jonathan will be at MIT on May 7th taking part in the Engineering Workshop at the Edgerton Center presented by the amazing Ed Moriarty.  Ed and Glen have similar wild views on what makes teaching great.  With all of the gears, gadgets and gizmos, this workshop is bound to be a lot of fun. 

All of this will be leading up to Saturday Workshops being offered at the Estates for students interested in engineering, inventing, or just getting hands-on with cool stuff.

May 8-12 Wild Wizard Glen and Engineer Jonathan will journey to the Museum of Science in Boston.  There they will be trained on the Engineering is Elementary curriculum.  They will bring this knowledge back to Lee County to help teachers to introduce engineering in their classrooms.  This is just the beginning of a great partnership with Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Lee County School District, The Foundation for Lee County Schools, The Imaginarium, HAS Scientists and Engineers, and hundreds of engineers, teachers and students. 

Be sure to follow  along as Glen & Jonathan blog about their experience!

Click here for more information about Educational Events at the Estates.