As a collaborative institution, Hearthstone is continually looking to partner with like-minded entities. Our current collaborative initiatives include the following.


To have a great idea... have a lot of them.
— Thomas A. Edison

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“STEMIE” Education with the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Appleton Area School District

Hearthstone has partnered with The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (Dearborn, MI) to bring new curricula to the Appleton Area School District and other area school districts.  The 10-week set of lessons, which are available for grades K-12 through our program called INVENT WISCONSIN, builds on STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) by adding an “I” for Invention and an “E” for Entrepreneurship to create STEMIE.   Students are taught the scientific method, the invention method, the engineering method, and the entrepreneurship method through interdisciplinary and dynamic activities. The comprehensive curricula, which meet Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, are provided entirely free-of-charge to area schools, after school programs, and at-home students. The curricula include all lessons, associated lesson plans, supporting materials, and activity resources.

The pilot program was conducted at Kaleidoscope Academy Middle School in Appleton during SY 2018-2019.  All 116 sixth graders participated, bringing a marvelous array of new inventions to life. Each of these students received an “Inventor Extraordinaire” award and eight were selected as “Edison-Rogers Award Finalists.” The awards are named for Thomas Edison, the consummate inventor, and Henry Rogers, the consummate entrepreneur and builder of Hearthstone. From these finalists, three exceptional students were awarded an “Edison-Rogers Prize” and invited to the National Invention Convention. Please refer to additional information below.

Hearthstone also funded the “Maker Space” at Kaleidoscope Academy where all students, regardless of economic strata, could access free materials to create their inventions.

In SY 2019-2020, Hearthstone intends to expand the use of the curricula throughout the sixth grade in the AASD and to extend the program to three additional area school districts. In SY 2020-2021, the program anticipates being in districts across the state.

For more information on INVENT WISCONSIN and STEMIE curricula, please contact our Executive Director George Schroeder ( or see (our dedicated website will be unveiled shortly) and

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Invention Convention with the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation

As the state of Wisconsin affiliate of the STEMIE Coalition, our STEMIE efforts culminate in annual Invention Conventions on local and state-wide levels that celebrate the ingenuity of our students.  Local winners receive “Edison-Rogers Prizes” to recognize their success (please refer to additional information above). In SY 2019-2020, winners will go on to state-wide Invention Conventions organized by Hearthstone.  Winners at the state level will participate in the national IC, which is held annually at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (Dearborn, MI).

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Revitalized Second Grade Curriculum and Tours with Appleton Area School District

In addition to our STEMIE Initiative, we are doing a revitalization of the second grade curriculum that our volunteer educators have written. Our second grade curriculum, in various forms, has been a mainstay of AASD coursework for the past 30 years.

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UW-Oshkosh Public History Course Practicum Work

UW-O students are receiving hands-on experience doing actual curation work under the guidance of our curators as well as participating in a Twitter re-enactment of the events in Appleton leading up to Armistice Day (as part of our commemoration of the end of World War I - please see #HearthstoneArmistice).  We are also sponsoring internships for a number of UW-O and other area college students who may be interested in careers in public history.


Curation Internships with Lawrence University

Lawrence University students are conducting longer-term curation work under the guidance of our Curation Director. Students are gaining vital, real-world experience doing restoration research and employing the latest techniques to preserve and interpret Hearthstone’s collections. The first area to receive extensive attention is our extensive Victorian textiles and clothing collection.