This spring, the Dairyland Tin Lizzies will be visiting my son's high school to bring history to life for the American history classes, while they are studying Henry Ford and the 1920's. The students will be coming out to the parking lot, where we will have the opportunity to teach them some history about Henry Ford and Model T's, show them the components of a Model T and demonstrate how they operate, and give rides around the parking lot. I plan to have 6 to 10 Model T's from our chapter with knowledgeable members there. We will have about 45 minutes with each class.
My job now is to develop a presentation outline and a handout with some Ford facts and some of Henry's famous quotes, etc.
Have any of you done something like this, and do you have any printed material that you are willing to share?
I think that Gator Gould from L.A.("Lower Alabama") has developed an educational program for school children. I don't know what age group.
I haven't done a presentation yet, but I've been collecting photos for a slide show illustrating roads and general transportation of the Model T era, factory assembly, Model T farm use, etc. I'm including a few local scenes as they were a hundred years ago. All that would be for classroom use before going to the parking lot for further discussion and demonstration.
I would focus on haw the Model T changed the world; bringing an affordable alternative to the horse and wagon to rural America, and later the world. I would mention that the T was the largest- selling car of all time (it took VW 50 years in an era of double the number of people and much greater prosperity to sell 22 million units, the T did 15 million in 18 years). I wouldn't bore the kids with production figures and technical details. I would describe the planetary transmission and the magneto, but only in general terms. If several Ts are present - an ideal situation - I would describe the evolution of the car over it's production life. In a perfect world you would have a brass T, a black-era car, and an improved car to show. I'd demonstrate hand-cranking a T, and if the school allows it, give rides. If you can pow wow with a department head or the teachers first (both would be best), an interesting follow-up assignment can be prepared that would be great. The idea is to make it education and fun. If it's just 45 minutes out of regular class I'd bag the whole idea. A good teacher could do a whole unit on Ford, the changing of the world from horse drawn to mechanized production and transportation, and the drastic changes in the world's society from the late 19th century into the first third of the 20th. As a retired teacher, I believe that history, well-taught, can be among the most valuable subjects in a school's curriculum. Good luck!
In February I will be teaching college level industrial automation course on basic mechanical systems. The lab equipment is showing up late. Iím considering to have the model T be used to you show gearing, tolerances, basic assembly, defective parts, etc. I may have the class help me get a engine started...
I am also teaching another class with basic electronics and electricity. I figure I can bring A buzz coil, magneto, etc.
I think that basic curriculum is something that would be great for the MTFCA to have to teach in schools! This could relate with basic science magnetism, electricity, gearing, triangles in structures. I would volunteer myself to be on a team to help develop things.
I've had a few school experiences with my Model T and they ranged from downright awful to very rewarding.
In one case, at a public middle-school, the kids were horribly abusive to the car and were doing things like climbing up the wheel spokes to gain access to the back seat. -Another kid was twisting the steering wheel back and forth with all his might and that abuse required my unhooking the front end and pulling the steering shaft out of the column to fix the damage. -I won't go back there.
At another public school, the kids were polite and respectful, interested and engaged. -That one was a rewarding experience. -It runs the gamut. -Sometimes the experience is good, sometimes it's awful. -Go figure.
Bob, it depends on who is the principal. That person sets the tone. I've seen the calming influence of a good principal. He is a politician in the best sense of the word, getting people to work together and do their best. That talent is too rare.
I do a lot of historical reenactment, and we have a 1924 Touring on the farm. One thing I try to explain is how the Model T changed life on the farm. We are located about 10 miles outside of the nearest town. I tell them how long it would take to get there by horse and wagon, and then the very next day, when dad bought the car, how long it would take. It usually leads to a discussion about the roads being the limiting factor, not the car. Most are very surprised that a T will do 40 mph pretty comfortably.
Next I show them how easy it is to drive, I tell them they have grown up watching their parents drive a car, and have a basic understanding long before they drive. A new T owner may have seen a neighbors car, or seen one around town, but when they got behind the wheel it may have been the first time.
When I am dealing with high school age I tell them the technology side of the T. Having one coil per cylinder, (pretty standard on most cars now), variable spark ignition when running on the magneto, a rotary switch to fire the ignition, (as opposed to a magnetic pickup on the crank or flywheel)an two speed automatic transmission ( manually operated as opposed to hydraulically). They tend to be very impressed with the fuel economy, and reliability, (I use the results from a group in the Pacific North West that got over 50mpg from their T's, and the most recent results of the Montana 500). That usually get's them "googling" their phones to see if I am telling the truth.
Any way I personally find it very rewarding teaching about the T's
Good luck, have fun,
Well, I can tell you I don't get half of that mileage per gallon!
I will be googling my phone too!
Kevin is right, this will be a very rewarding experience for the students and for you.
I showed my Model T to an elementary class. Given the age of the students, I focused more on the humanistic and historical impact of Henry Ford and his cars than rattling off dates, facts, and mechanics. What few mechanical features I shared included the air conditioning (rolling down the window), the gas gauge (a stick), and the radio (my wife if she happened to get tune stuck in her head).
Doesn't MTFCA have some sort of "teachers" kit on the Model T?
Took my '25 coupe to a class studying the 20's and 30's. The kids were surprised how close the steering wheel was to the seat. The teacher commented that the average person was a bit smaller than now. That comment was a surprise to them.
Robert L. Rogers - that's a great idea, if the MTFCA doesn't have something of the sort, it would be a worthwhile project !
Bob Coiro, I'm appalled your T was abused by a class like that. I can't imagine the circumstances where you had to suffer that mistreatment - were you present ? No one should have to put up with behavior like that. The principal may set the tone, as Steve says, but it's the teacher's responsibility to keep order and demand the reasonable respect the situation demands.
I teach HS Science and I would never bring my Model T to school!
If it is not capable of going REAL FAST it is not of interest. You should sell it and buy a ????
The past is of little interest to them.
Current T cars are collected by a rare breed called "Hobbyist".
The over all simplified Model T is what attracted me to the hobby.
The video project on this web site that shows the workings of the 4 cyl. model T motor is clearly a work of art!!!
Henry Ford is HISTORY!
His great ambitions and accomplishments are great conversations but the audience has changed!
I always laugh when I see a TV ad for craftsman socket/tool sets. If they were not shinny they would not be of any interest.
A screwdriver? UBER or LIFT Define Screw!
A few years back at school the term "ratchet" was being used to describe a let us say a very popular females with a dubious social life.
Time goes on!! BE Happy!
Hey Steve Jelf, Put together an educational presentation that any of us can use. We'll call it "The MTFCA Education Video" and make it part of the MTFCA library. I like "Matt The Headlight Lens Guy"s idea and I think you should be the one to put it together.
As Dave Simmering mentioned yesterday at 1:13 PM, Gator Gould put together a program. It was available from MTFCA, but I don't see it on the website now.
Do young folks, or people in general, buy tools because they're shinny? That blows my mind!
Ratchet is now the name for loose girls? What is the world coming to?
I never ever thought I'd be this old!
Now this is all bunk if I ever heard! Sadly, it makes me truly want to pass on trying to teach any of these disrespecting sob's anything!
Think I will just mosey down the road in the old Ford at 20 mpg and leave the world behind.....
If you get the opportunity review material here:
We brought the Model T, two A's, and the '42 Sedan to the local Elementary School for a program last Fall while the kids (5th graders) were studying the "Age of Invention". About 100 kids, all well behaved, attentive, and genuinely interested.
Focused on the idea that these cars were from their great-grand parents time, and how times were different in the 20's, 30's and 40's. Talked about Henry Ford and the rise of the auto industry. Took questions, which never seemed to stop, then let the kids come down around the cars and ask more questions. We heard about that day for a couple months from parents and teachers who said it was a high point of the kids season. I made up a single page flyer with a dozen little factoids so as not to overpower them.
Maybe they get jaded by the time they're in high school, but not this group. We've been invited back in the Spring with our Jeep to talk about WWII and back again in Fall.
I would love to see the resources that you mentioned.
Thanks for sharing the link! There are a lot of links it connects to, so it was a bit confusing. But if I understand things the idea is that teachers can download learning objectives then go to the museum for the teaching. I am sure that works well for those who live nearby. As an example I found the "build a Model T" page here: https://www.thehenryford.org/education/resources/family/build-a-model-t/
I guess what I am looking for is what would be taught, so we as members/owners/enthusiast can personally educate people with Model T.
I did a little surfing on the web and found:
Popular Mechanics- "Top 10 Ford Model T Tech Innovations That Matter 100 Years Later":
Some of these points could be mentioned any time we show a Model T.
There was also an article that, I believe, was in a Ford dealers magazine that I read about the use of triangle in a ford. This is another simple concept that could be taught. I can't seem to find it now. If someone knows where that article is that would be appreciated.
The missus and I brought our '26 Touring and my model t assembly line model to my grandsons class last fall (5th graders) to teach them about mass production and Henry Ford. We dressed in period clothes to enhance the experience for them. What A Blast! They were very well behaved as I explained the advantages of the moving assembly line etc and the impact of being able to travel compared to horseback. We topped it of with a ride for all the kids around the school grounds. Best day off work I had in a very long time and something I'm sure those kids will remember. Throughout the year they had 5 or 6 parents/grandparents make presentations about different things. In the spring toward the end of the year they were given an assignment to write a thank you note to ONE of the presenters from the past year - the Model T presentation garnered 26 out of 30 thank you notes. You have to believe there is still interest in old car stuff - you just have to catch them at the right age.
Thank you for all of your input. I am familiar with the material which Gator and Paula Gould put together. I used it 12 years ago for an event our chapter held as a public outreach event called "Model T Day". I may need to request it from the MTFCA business office again to see if it would help with this project.
I will develop a lesson plan for the time we are allotted, and mesh our efforts with what the teacher is providing in the classroom.
I can share what develops and report on how the event was received after it takes place on April 6.
Do you have a picture of the model? It sounds neat.
Matt, the model is a limited edition by Franklin Mint I think and are available occasionally on eBay. It's peuter and measures about 6 x 8 x 30 inches. I'll try to take a picture and post later.
Back in 1999, the late Bud Barnes, state legislator and Model T club member, called and asked me if I'd like to bring my car to Kirkwood High School for a presentation he was scheduled to give. I don't remember what car he had there. Bud was very good at things like this. I remember when my daughter was in fifth grade and had an assignment to interview someone for her civics class. I set her up with a meeting with Bud. What impressed me (and her) was that he talked to her as though she was an adult who had dropped by to talk about state government. He didn't talk down to her, he just talked to her.
Brought our 1927 Touring to my Son's HS history class. They had the usual surprise with the throttle location and few understood the purpose of the spark lever (the Auto shop was closed and converted to a weight room 20 years ago...) but they all appreciated the opportunity to see the early auto technology on a Sunny Summer day.
Rich Bingham and Steve Jelf,
I approached the principal with the idea in the first place, making it my own stupid fault. -I compounded the situation by inviting a few others from the local Horseless Carriage Club and one of them brought in a 1913 White which was similarly abused. -My condition was that the kids could sit in the cars as long as a teacher was present. -What I wound up with instead was a handful of lunch-room ladies who couldn't be bothered to control the kids. -I had no idea they weren't teachers until some damage had been done.
On the second occasion, I received an unsolicited invitation from a school teacher who knew me personally. -She guaranteed me that her kids would behave. -She was right. -They were great kids. -I'd gladly put in another appearance for them.
I have a standing appearance each summer on the last day of vacation bible school at one of the local churches, and you never saw such wonderfully polite and respectful kids. -They've all got a mouthful of "Please & thank you," and "Please, may I?" and "Sir," and "Thank you very much." -And wonder of wonders, these kids actually call me "Mr. Coiro." -In a world where there is no shortage of thoroughly useless Millennials who will live in their parents' basements and play video games there until they retire (from jobs they never held), the kids at Grace Church are a breath of fresh air.
... and just for chuckles:
Bob, That video is all to true, unfortunately. I wish that more Millennials would watch it and let it sink in.