Ford Motor Company

Last week we got the amazing opportunity from Michael McQuillen to get a tour of the Ford Research and Innovation Center in Dearborn, Michigan. We began our tour by seeing a Guinness Book of World Records Hot Wheels race track! It was several stories high – so COOL!

Once we got to the Research Lab, we met a Research Scientist by the name of Dr. Alper Kiziltas. His job is to take current materials used to make cars and develop more sustainable versions. These are some of the things we learned:

We saw foam made with soybeans used to make seats that took SEVEN YEARS to make, not seven months, SEVEN YEARS! Thousands of formulas were tried until at last they finally developed a combination that would work and last in a Ford car. The first one that used this new material was the Ford Mustang. They now use this material in other cars. Over 31,000 soybeans are used in the seats for the Ford Escape. That’s a LOT of beans!!

We also learned how they are continuously trying new material combinations. They are experimenting with old, ground up tires, bamboo {with a stuffed panda on it}, coconut & rice hulls, tomato waste from a company that makes ketchup and also shredded MONEY! That’s right! We saw coin boxes that used real MONEY blended with plastic! The designers said they wanted it to be flocked and black on the inside. We liked it plain so we could see the money shreds. It would be fun to know that real money was used in a car we owned.

We also talked about gigantic, Russian dandelion roots that are used to make rubber and alternative uses for used cigarette filters picked up off the streets in Las Vegas and then cleaned for use in more experiments. There were so many things that they are trying. It takes so much EFFORT to come up with the right recipe. These researchers have an AMAZING amount of PATIENCE! That’s something I should work on!!!

Our trip to see the Ford Company was super cool and we learned a ton – it was awesome! From everyone here at Water Street Academy: THANK YOU for sharing your great work!!!!


This is an overview of our visit that my Mom created using Graphic Recording!Ford R&D


One thought on “Ford Motor Company

  1. Great summary of your field trip and I bet your mom forwarded her graphic recording to Mr. McQuillen 🙂 LOVED this post!


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