It was difficult to choose my topic, with many different turning points in history. After brainstorming ideas, two jumped out at me: A-10 Thunderbolt II and Ford Model T. Earlier that year I saw a commercial for a car company with a sophisticated assembly line. I was intrigued by how precisely the robots put together each part of the car. I wanted to know about the first assembly line. My research uncovered Henry Ford and the Model T, a 20th century car. This is my CHD significant turning point in history.
To start conducting my research on the Ford Model T, I went with my class to the Connecticut History Museum. While there I learned about primary and secondary sources. This helped lead me to read many great secondary sources on Henry Ford at the public library and through Google. While reading these books and websites, I was looking for the answers to specific questions I had on the topic. I then watched a documentary on the Model T and Ford’s life. Next I decided to e-mail some experts who actually own Model T’s, along with other people related to my topic. I received many answers and much more than I asked of these wonderful people. In fact, I was even invited to take a ride in a T and received a book signed by William Ford!
I also had a difficult time deciding how to present my research-- individual exhibit or website. In fourth grade, I created websites on electric and driverless cars. I had so much fun uploading pictures and rearranging texts that I wanted to do it again. With that experience, I decided to try the website category. Vast amounts of my time were devoted to figuring out how to present my research through pictures, information, and quotes in the Weebly format. I even contacted Weebly to see if they could fix a glitch, but unfortunately they couldn’t, and I had to re-create parts of my website. It was a good learning experience and I’ve improved my research and website building skills.
The 2013 NHD theme is “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, and Events,” and I believe that the Ford Model T fits perfectly. Henry Ford found a cheaper way to build sturdy cars so that middle class people could afford them. The T was the first car made on an assembly line, which meant that many could be produced faster than before. Ford’s innovations created jobs, helping to build the middle class who bought his cars. Also, before the Model T was invented, America had about 700 miles of paved roads; after the T, over 500,000 miles of paved roads crisscrossed the country, connecting rural and suburban areas with cities. For these reasons I believe that the Ford Model T fits 2013’s NHD theme perfectly.