We have officially made our way out from under the bus as the final day of the Community Foundation Grant (titled "UNDER THE BUS") has come to an end. It's a wonderful thing when a simple idea takes on a life of its own and grows into something you couldn't have imagined in the first place. This program, designed to teach children about the history and mechanics of a Ford Model A school bus, was the seed that was planted, and what grew from that seed was new found appreciation, knowledge, amazement and respect for something that we often take for granted from day to day. Ask yourself if you know the difference between a leaf spring and a coil spring, or if you know what a castle bolt looks like or why Henry Ford came up with the name "Model T" for his first successfully produced car. We learned the answers to these questions and so much more. It seemed only fitting that the Scouts were driven home in Don's 1919 Ford Model T after the program had reached its conclusion. I would like to thank the Standish family and the Community Foundation for making the program possible, Master Mechanic; Don Buesing, Junior Mechanic; Jacob Kamen and Boy Scout Troop 24.
Thank you for your email! It's nothing short of inspiring to see a young man making the efforts to pursue his dream, and I'd be happy to share my "two cents".
For me, education is everything. Getting your mind around your task is just as important as getting your "hands on". There is only one 4 year accredited college in the US for car restoration; McPherson College http://www.mcpherson.edu/
Finding a local body shop to do a apprenticeship or intern at is your other avenue. Getting the real world scenario is often the best education, however it comes with the real world work pace and pressures of business (which aren't present in a school setting that takes the time you need to accurately learn).
I hope this helps you in your search. I will share this email in my blog so that we might get additional feedback for you!
-------- Original Message --------
From: Elias Baldwin
Date: Mon, May 07, 2012 7:50 am
Dear Mr. Warden,
I'm a 22-year-old looking to pursue my dream of working on classic
cars. I came across your blog online and thought that, as Education
Director, you might be able to point me in the right direction. I've
talked to the owners of several restoration shops but I have no idea
where to start in learning the skills I need to begin my career. My
experience is limited to work I have done on my own cars, but I am
very eager to learn. Any help or direction you may be able to provide
is greatly appreciated.
I had a terrific meeting today with the Unit Service Coordinator for the Boy Scouts of America's Twin Rivers Council. It looks as though we are forging a great relationship between the Scouts and the Auto Museum! We spoke about several awesome events that we are going combine forces on and I am very excited for our upcoming summer events!
Since the schools are closed this week, I've been taking the time to research our next exhibit; "Moonshine to Millionaires":the NASCAR story. After reading through all of the exhibit text, I have discovered my own intrigue and excitement regarding NASCAR. The American history alone is enough to engage your love of cars and racing, but my research took quite the turn as I stumbled across this video documentary about the driver of the #3 car, Dale Earnhardt.
Watch this video and get prepared to be moved:
I have to admit that I have not been a NASCAR follower until recently, however, I can't tell you how excited I am to be a part of this exhibit and it's potential to be our BIGGEST, most EXCITING exhibit ever!
NASCAR is completely relevant and alive in today's culture. Young and old can turn on the television or radio and listen to a race on any given weekend. These drivers are racing in real time, inside machines that are testing the boundries of science on a daily basis.
We had a great program today with the 3rd and 4th graders from The Saratoga Academy (Clifton Park). What a terrific group of kids! The highlight for me was durring the first floor exhibit tour. I stopped at the race car engine, in an attempt for students to recognize and understand what lies under the hood (or trunk in some cases) and ask them to give me three ways to start an engine. This ties in the past, present and future of automobile manufacturing as the answers I am looking for are; Hand Crank, Key and now Push button (as they start the electric cars of today and the future). However, as I called on one young man in the front row and asked him to share one of the ways that you can start an engine, his answer (straight faced and as honest as only a child can be) was...HOT WIRING!!!! Time for me to go back to my tour speech blackboard and edit my "engine" question to; "Can you tell me the four ways you can start an engine?"!
As teachers, we must constantly adapt our teaching practices and techniques to help fit the age level and needs of our students. It's moments like the one above that proves this theory and makes my job more interesting every day!