image 2.svg


University Liggett School kindergarteners host Auto Show

It will be another decade before University Liggett School kindergarteners earn driver's licenses. But, after months of study, they can tell you more about how a car is designed and engineered than most teenagers or adults on the road, and they're hosting the school's first Auto Show to demonstrate what they've learned. 

On Thursday, December 15, from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. ULS students will host the Kindergarten Auto Show in Room L108 in the Lower School. During the Auto Show, our young students will present their concept cars and the ideas behind them. 

Project work at University Liggett School is sparked by the interests and questions of our students and evolves as questions take them in new directions. A recent project on cars in Nicole Beaudry's kindergarten class began with simple questions about vehicles and how they are made. The project took off thanks to the students' curiosity and the scaffolding that Nicole provided.

The cars project started as a simple question but quickly morphed into an in-depth look at car design and designing their own cars. Students did a variety of things in preparation for designing their cars: such as looking at nature, building bristle bots, and working with instructors at the College for Creative Studies. Students even polled their own families about what they liked and dislike about their current vehicles. Students were also encouraged to think about who would drive their concept car and for what reason: commute, recreation or travel. 

As a ULS parent and Trustee with experience in Design, Jody Ingle was a collaborator from the start, offering insight and ideas to help this project go beyond a surface exploration of cars to an in-depth look at how the real-world process of car design functions.

“With the support from our contributors, Ford Design, College for Creative Studies, the Stahl family and AutoWeekly, these students have embarked on a semester-long journey, filled with field trips, subject matter experts, and hands-on learning experiences to discover the magic and mystery of automotive design," says Ingle. "Through the immersive coursework of this project the students have learned to express themselves through a creative process that is driven by the functionality of a product. Aesthetics, human factors, engineering, and the environment have informed their designs decision through this project as they have sketched, etched, 3D printed, and laser-cut their ideas. Their growth in confidence, creativity, and communication has been tremendously rewarding to witness.” 

Throughout the design process, the kindergarteners followed the standard automotive design process of creating their renderings with 3D printing and clay. 

The kindergartners have had multiple opportunities to work with designers, engineers and artists from prominent metro Detroit businesses, including the Ford Motor Company, the College for Creative Students, and AutoWeek magazine. They also visited the Ford Piquette Plant, the Ford S Studio, and the Stahl Automotive Collection.