The Motorworks© Education program is based around the assembly line production of the Model T Ford. Students take on the role of a production worker on a simulated assembly line producing cardboard replicas of the Model T Ford.

Available at the Museum or can come to you as a school incursion.

Suitable for years 2-9.

In this program students learn about the introduction of the assembly line and the impact it had on vehicle manufacturing. As a group students will simulate an assembly line to build a cardboard replica of a Model T Ford. Each student will have a different task and some will be supervisors of a section. At the end of manufacturing the students can take one of the Model T’s home.

Henry Ford introduced the Model T Ford in 1908. Prior to this time automobiles were built one at a time, piece by piece and only the wealthy could afford them. Henry Ford wanted to lower production costs so that cars could become affordable for more people. To do this he invented the idea of an assembly line that moved a car along to 84 stations where workers would affix the part needed. His early assembly lines featured the car being dragged on skids and in 1913 he introduced the rolling production line where the car did not stop until completely assembled. He trained the workers to undertake only one task which they became very quick at, speeding up the whole process.

The Model T Ford was the world’s first mass produced car and the total number of cars produced was 15 million.

The opportunities for student learning are diverse and the program links well with the Australian Curriculum and is informed by the ‘Teaching for Effective Learning’ (TfEL) framework.

Students undertaking this education program will:

  1. Develop an understanding about the Model T Ford and why it was such as success at the time.
  2. Learn the principles of how an assembly line works and why it is a more efficient way of producing cars than any method previously used.
  3. Understand the effectiveness of teamwork in a production process.
  4. Develop a problem solving approach to learning.
  5. Develop an understanding of the inherent problems associated with working as an assembly line worker.
  6. Develop an understanding of the hierarchical nature of working in a factory back in the early part of the twentieth century.
  7. Understand the concept of quality control in a manufacturing process.

Skill development and curriculum links

Literacy – the program features multiple ways students can gather instructional information to start building the Model T Ford. Place cards on each workstation have both text and images to guide the student and there are also instructional videos that show the building process.

YEAR 2 to 6 Design and Technology  

  • Recognise the role of people in design and technologies occupations and explore factors, including sustainability that impact on the design of products, services and environments to meet community needs (ACTDEK010)
  • Identify how people design and produce familiar products, services and environments and consider sustainability to meet personal and local community needs (ACTDEK001)
  • Sequence steps for making designed solutions and working collaboratively (ACTDEP009)
  • Use materials, components, tools, equipment and techniques to safely make designed solutions (ACTDEP007)

YEAR 2 to 6 HASS

Knowledge and understanding

  • How changing technology affected people’s lives (at home and in the ways they worked, travelled, communicated and played in the past) (ACHASSK046)

Inquiry and Skills

  • Pose questions to investigate people, events, places and issues (ACHASSI052, ACHASSI073)
  • Locate and collect information and data from different sources, including observations (ACHASSI053, ACHASSI074)
  • Locate and collect relevant information and data from primary and secondary sources (ACHASSI095, ACHASSI123)
  • Examine information to identify different points of view and distinguish facts from opinions (ACHASSI056, ACHASSI077)
  • Examine primary and secondary sources to determine their origin and purpose (ACHASSI098, ACHASSI126)
  • Draw simple conclusions based on analysis of information and data (ACHASSI058, ACHASSI079)
  • Interact with others with respect to share points of view (ACHASSI059, ACHASSI080)
  • Evaluate evidence to draw conclusions (ACHASSI101, ACHASSI129)
  • Work in groups to generate responses to issues and challenges (ACHASSI102, ACHASSI130)

YEAR 9 History Depth Study

Making a better world?

Students investigate how life changed in the period in depth through the study of the Industrial Revolution. The study includes the causes and effects of the development and the Australian experience.

  • The short and long-term impacts of the Industrial Revolution, including global changes in landscapes, transport and communication (ACDSEH082)