When Henry Ford announced he was going to produce an automobile that would be affordable to the masses, he probably did not realize what a great impact his achievement would have on life in the United States. and, eventually, the world. Ford’s use of mass production strategies to manufacture the Model T revolutionized industrial manufacturing and initiated a new era in personal transportation. This three-part learning unit provides students with the story of Henry Ford and the Model T from an economics perspective. Parts 1 and 2 explore how the Ford Motor Company successfully introduced mass production strategies to the auto industry. Students learn how specialization and investments in capital (machines, people, etc.) increased productivity and allowed Ford to slash the price of his popular vehicle. Students chart a plan for the assembly line production of bookmarks, test their plan, and make recommendations for improvements. Students also explore how Henry Ford used economic incentives to address a problem created by mass production techniques—worker turnover. An optional Part 3 explains how increased productivity resulted in shifts in the supply and demand for the Model T. Students analyze how a variety of non-price determinants continue to influence the automobile market today. The unit also provides a wealth of extension activities.
Students will define opportunity cost, and with this in mind students will list various career choices and salaries and calculate future value of money
The costs and benefits of owning an electric or hybrid car will be evaluated in this lesson. By reading and researching the history of the production of electric cars, the lesson allows students to understand how this market has developed. Specifically, the evaluation will focus on the Chevy Volt and its attempt to compete in a constantly evolving market of automobiles. Through this lesson, students will attempt to decide whether the Volt can be competitive in price and range, as well as what incentives need to be provided to make it a more appealing purchase to consumers. There have also been several changes made to the aerodynamics of the prototype of the Volt to the first model released to consumers in order to make the battery more efficient. Finally, students will look at the supply and demand, and production of the Chevy Volt.
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Entrepreneurship Economics introduces high school students to entrepreneurship through a resource market simulation, which demonstrates how entrepreneurship promotes economic activity and benefits society.
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