Jun. 15, 2011 at 4:01pmStudents with an Eye on Cars

Since LeMay-America’s Car Museum’s collection spans over 100 years of automotive history, we offer unique opportunities to introduce students to various educational activities that are designed to enhance a student's experiences with this important part of our American heritage.  Education has been (and will always be) a key component to the museum's interests.

During the summers of 2010 and 2011, the 'Coffee Cruise-in Open House', events held at our Fife headquarters, allowed members of the Fife High School Key Club to have a chance to participate as judges for something we call the “Favorite Three” pick of the morning. The goal is to expose the students to the sport of car collecting.

Key Club A"Judging" is performed entirely by the students. Instructions are given for each student judge to study the collector's cars and,  if they like, talk with the owners about their vehicles. Each of the  student judges are asked to pick their three “favorite” choices. By “favorite”, we ask them to look for the cars that catch their attention and tell us why. The cars that attend the Cruise-ins cover a wide range of vehicle eras and conditions. The students definitely have their work cut out for them.  Students may find that they like a #1 show car as much as a car that is a "work in progress". 

With the guidance of the LeMay Collection staff and the student's advisers, the selections are then discussed.  Each student is asked to talk about what they learned, and how they arrived at their choices. Eventually the list is distilled down to three, with the owners of the three individual “Favorite” choices receiving a LeMay-America’s Car Museum hat as the prize! The subjective judging process is not only a learning activity, but also a lot of fun for both the students and the car owners.
The Fife High School Key Club is a youth service club, providing assistance with various community projects in the Fife area (including the Harvest Festival, Milton Days, Parks Cleanup, and numerous other worthy projectsCruise in B). The Kiwanis Charter (Kiwanis Club of Milton/Fife) sponsors the Key Club, as well as Kiwanis programs at the junior high and elementary school levels. The Charter oversees the broader spectrum of youth activities, assisting to bring together local Key Clubs to participate in union with each other.

Byron Smith, LeMay-America’s Car Museum's Kiwanis contact says “We know that, in today's world, folks have limited time and resources. We try to broaden the base of the participants, ultimately to provide more options, keeping them engaged with positive and fun activities.”

Byron, admittedly a car guy himself, revealed that while growing up in the 50’s, he really didn't recognize or consider that any of his personal cars would eventually be potentially collectible. His '62 Corvette, for instance, was used almost exclusively for transportation. He said he wishes that he had kept many of the cars he has owned in the past as they are now all very collectible. The car that he never intended to get rid of�"and the one he misses to this day�"was his brand-new black on yellow 1967 Camaro SS convertible. This beautiful specimen, Byron tells us was, sadly “t-boned at an intersection and totaled" several years ago.  

Byron, a member of the Milton/Fife Kiwanis Club for about 4 years (and the Key Club adviser for as many years), goes on to add “We are really grateful that the museum has allowed us to participate in these events. It's my belief that we need to keep a strong interest and involvement with America's classic automobiles, long into our next generations."

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