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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for May, 2013

Monthly Volunteer Meeting June 11

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 31st

Edison Ford Monthly Volunteer Meeting and Program “Gardens Then & Now”

  • edison spanish bayonnetspanish bayonnetJune 11, 9:30 a.m. – Edison Ford Lecture Hall in the South Florida Water Management Building

      Join Edison Ford Historic Garden Manager Steve Hottovy, as he discusses the lore and legend of Edison’s signature historical plants.

      Meetings and lectures are open to current Edison Ford volunteers and the public.

      For additional information contact the Edison Ford Volunteer Department at 239-334-7419.


Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Open Daily

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 29th

     The Edison Ford Shoppe at the Bell Tower Shops opened for visitors and business in late April, and we have received great reviews!  The Shoppe is a perfect match for Edison Ford as we provide programs, activities, and unique merchandise as well as orientation to our main site and information about other regional attractions and cultural sites.

      The Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops is opened during mall hours (Monday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Sundays Noon – 5:00 p.m.). Information on Edison Ford is available for shoppers on how to be part of the main site as well as discounts on admission.

      Monthly activities are planned at Edison Ford Shoppe and include:

June 6, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – “Ask the Plant People” Edison Ford horticulture staff available for questions, tips and general Information on Southwest Florida Gardening and the gardens at Edison Ford. Seed packs and unique garden items available for purchase.

June 12, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. – Ribbon Cutting with Sanibel & Captiva Chamber of Commerce. Music and refreshments. 

June 13, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Book signing with Carlene Brennen, The Birth of Big Game Fishing and Gulf Coast Cookbook. Books available for purchase.

June 14, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Yappy Hour. Dogs welcomed in Edison Ford Shoppe.

June 20, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Gallery Talk and Paint with artist and teacher Marie Dyer.

June 25, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – KIDding around with Edison Ford Wild Wizards, Engineer Like Ford. Kids will design, test, and build a balloon car.

June 27, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Book signing with Katie Gardenia, A Bubble Moment. Books available for purchase.

 bell tower items june 2013

New On Sundays! – Inside the Edison Lab/Museum Hands-on Science Tour

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 28th

Beginning Sunday, June 2 at 2:00 p.m., the Edison Research Lab will be open for a behind-the-scenes program. This “insider” program also includes demonstrations with inventions inside the museum with hands-on activities featuring the phonograph, ediphone, movies, making rubber polymer, batteries, the assembly line and other inventive activities.

The activities will vary. Edison Ford Members and the public can call ahead to find out what’s on tap each Sunday or to reserve space as it’s limited.

This is a great program for families and “inquiring minds” of all ages. Tickets are:

• General Public: Adults $30 and Children $5 (ages 6 – 12), audio wand included. One adult required for every two children. Participants will receive a 10% discount on allThomas Edison book of Easy and Incredible Experiments “invention items” – including books, science kits, and toys.

• Edison Ford Members: Per family $10 donation per group.

• Groups can register for special times and rates with advance reservation.lab







President’s Update

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 27th

president reportChris Pendleton, President & CEO

     By the numbers, our 8th year of Inventor’s Summer Camp at Edison Ford is very remarkable. Sessions begin on May 28 thru August 2, and it’ssummer camp brochure cover total immersion in the historic site and invention. 

  • 418 Campers are enrolled throughout the summer, and waiting lists are available for sessions that are sold out (check the website to see camp schedule)
  • 25 Junior Counselors are signed up as support to faculty throughout the summer

      Many of our summer campers have been with us for the past seven years. With seven years under our belts, our former campers have now grown into Junior Counselors providing knowledge and leadership to mentor the campers in grades 1 – 6.  This year, there is also paid internship for college students. The cycle continues and builds on itself. We are proud!

      Thanks also to the donors who are providing scholarships to fund registration fees and membership for qualified students to be part of Inventor’s Summer Camp and other education activities. For information on how to donate a scholarship, contact the Finance Office of Edison Ford at 239-334-7419. There is always an opportunity to help and the result is a program that reaches out to everyone.

      wild wizardTechnology and robotics has become a big part of our overall education activities including summer camp this year. With the help of grants and donations, there will be 20 computers and robotics software available this summer thanks to chemical engineers and polymer scientists, Don Keehan and Fred Quinn, who have had a special interest in helping our programs along with technology and equipment.

      Robotics will also be the topic for our upcoming year of Wild Wizard Outreach Shows in the schools this year. Programs are available at no charge to Title I Schools in the surrounding five counties and scheduling begins this summer. Support is provided by GE. Contact the Education Department at 239-334-7419 for information.

      We know that Thomas Edison and Henry Ford would be proud of not only our award winning restoration and management of their estates, but now also of our program in education to nurture and challenge our young inventors, innovators and leaders of tomorrow.

June at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 26th

• Daily Tours

      Summertime is a great time of year to visit the Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Every day of the week visitors have the option of an Historian-Led Tour, Audio Tour in English, German, Spanish or French, or a Lab and Museum Tour.

 lightbulb logo• NEW Inside the Edison Lab/Museum Hands-on Science

• Sundays  – 2:00 p.m. 

     If you want to learn about the science and history of the lab and museum inventions, this tour has it all. Great for families. One adult required for every two children. Visit our web site for more information.

 • Edison Ford Mucker/Young Inventor’s Tour

• Saturdays  – 11:00 a.m.

      Children of all ages will have fun while participating in hands-on science activities based on the inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Activities include an assembly line, phonograph demonstrations and much more.

Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE, non-members Adults $12, Children (ages 6-12) $5.

 • Invention Demonstrations smart cart june 2013

• Every day in the Edison Ford Museum, Every half hour

      Invention demonstrations on the phonograph with site historians and hands-on SMART CART with wax cylinders, record albums, light bulbs and more. Touch, feel, hear and see the inventions of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

 • Garden & Estates Tour

• Tuesdays  – 10:30 a.m.

      This tour is led by our garden professionals and include the historic gardens as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of the greenhouse and propagating nursery. Tour includes history of the estates, admission into the lab and museum and audio tour plus discounts in the Garden Shoppe. Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE, non-members $40.

 • Historian-Led German Language Tour

• Wednesdays – 10:30 a.m.

      Historian led tour of homes, gardens, lab and museum in German. Cost: Adults $25, Children (ages 6-12) $15. Tours in French and Spanish are available for groups with advance reservations.

 • Behind-the-Scenes Tour

• Thursdays – NEW Time for Summer 10:30 a.m.

      A Behind-the-Scenes Tour takes you inside and up close in the Edison and Ford homes led by curatorial  staff, includes the homes, gardens, lab and museum. Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE; non-members $40. Space is limited and reservations are suggested by calling 239-334-7419.

Education Staff Activities

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 25th

     Merry Coffman was honored by the Lee Art Teacher’s Association for her work with “Art in the Gardens” (now in its 8th year) and also the “Children’s Tree Trail” (now approaching its 12th year). These joint projects encourage teachers to explore science and art and create outdoor sculpture to exhibit at the public garden area at the main Edison Ford site. Through Edison Ford and generous donors, teachers are given funds to purchase materials for the projects.

 Education staff activities may 2013     Wild Wizards and historians, Glen Beitmen and Pearce Augustenborg, travelled to Cleveland in April to continue preparing the Robotics Wild Wizard Shows for the upcoming school year as well as Summer Inventor’s Camp. Work earlier this year, took them to Boston to work with MIT and the Boston Museum of Science. This exciting project has received funding from GE, Energid Robotics, and the families of Jim English, Don Keehan and Fred Quinn.


Preview iBook in the Edison Ford Museum Store

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 20th

     “The Edison Festival of Light – Looking Back in Pictures,” produced by the News-Press Media Group and featuring Thomas Edison, is available for viewing in the Edison Ford Museum Store through June 2013.

      The iBook commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Edison Festival and features 220 images including the first and only complete gallery of every king and queen of Edisonia, historic and current videos, interactive quiz, and highlights from the 2013 Edison Festival of Light Parade.

     iBook Visitors can view the book on iPads provided by the News-Press before they purchase the Edison iBook for $2.99. To get a copy of the Edison iBook, download the free iBook app in the iTunes store, then search for “Edison Festival.”


Gators in the Garden Exhibit April 7 – May 2013

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 15th

gators in the garden 003“Gators in the Garden” is the theme for the annual “Art in the Garden,” an outdoor sculpture exhibit which is a project of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, the Lee County Art Educators and Lee County Schools. Now in its 5th year, 25 schools are participating from throughout Lee County and visitors can expect to see at least 25 gators among the flowers and vegetables in the Edison Heritage Truck Garden near the Museum. Teachers have been awarded funds to assemble the weather-proof materials for the sculptures, and the spectacular art is up to the students.

Exhibit support by George M. Cox Trust. The exhibit is FREE to the public.

 gators in the garden 001gators in the garden 002





Register Now for Edison Ford Inventor’s Summer Camp

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 14th

     Registration now open with a few spaces remaining for Edison Ford Inventor’s Summer Camp beginning May 28 through August 2 in science, art and nature. Camps are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th. Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230. To register call the Edison Ford Education Department at 239-334-7419. For forms and information, click here

 • Time Travelers – May 28 – May 31

 • Space & Rockets – June 3 – June 7 (FULL)

 • Kitchen Chemistry – June 10 – June 14.  (FULL)

• Animation – June 17 – June 21 (FULL)

• Movie Making – June 24 – June 28 (FULL)

 • Engineering – July 8 – July 12 (FULL)

• NEW Robotics at Edison Ford – July 15 – July 19.  (FULL)

 • Physics in Motion – July 22 – July 26 (FULL)

 • Smart in Art and Science – July 29 – August 2 (FULL)

 summer camp group


Memorial Day at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 12th

• FREE Admission to Veterans and their Families on Memorial Day – May 27

      Edison Ford is offering FREE admission to United States Armed Services Veterans and their families on May 27. Free admission includes an audio tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, museum and Edison Research Lab. Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission.