Programs for Classrooms

Teachers can use the Museum’s automobiles, artifacts and clothing displays as primary sources in teaching history, humanities and more. The history and culture of our society is woven throughout the stories of the automobiles. The Museum is open to field trips year round for all grade levels.

School Field Trip Admission Fee:
$4 per student (ages 6-18 years)
Chaperones: Free (One chaperone per 10 paid students receives free admission.)

Field Trip:
1908 New York to Paris Automobile Race

Teachers can bring their students to the Museum for a field trip to view primary sources in the special exhibit: 1908 New York to Paris Automobile Race, Featuring the Winning Car, 1907 Thomas Flyer. The following lesson plans have been developed by Washoe County School District teachers to use in conjunction with the field trip.

Exhibit: The 1908 New York to Paris Automobile Race

This exhibit tells the story of the lone American entry, the 1907 Thomas Flyer – winner of the New York to Paris Automobile Race driven to victory by George Schuster.

On the morning of Wednesday, February 12, 1908, the skies were sunny and clear and the mercury near freezing, when 250,000 spectators thronged Times Square in New York City in a holiday mood. It was Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and everyone was doubly excited to witness history in the making, the start of the world’s longest automobile race ever, to end in Paris, France. The race was sponsored by two newspapers, the New York Times and Le Matin in Paris.

The racers were embarking on a 22,000-mile odyssey round the world. The route was formidable, traveling through the wildest stretches of the world’s uncharted realms. It crossed the United States from New York to San Francisco in winter, a feat never previously accomplished by automobile. It traversed the island of Japan, the first cars ever seen in the country, and slogged across Siberia, Manchuria, Russia, Germany and France and for the winning entry, victory was claimed after 169 days of fierce competition on July 30, 1908.

Lesson Plans

In conjunction with this exhibit, lessons plans for grades 4th – 6th and 7th – 8th have been developed by Washoe County School District teachers in accordance with Nevada state academic standards. The lesson plans focus on the 1908 New York to Paris Automobile Race and have been developed to use in conjunction with a visit to the Museum on a field trip (They may be used in your classroom independent of the Museum’s exhibit).

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! Road Race Around the World 
Grade level 4th-6th
Students create a foldable book, chart a course of one of the cars in the race, and write about their adventures on the race around the world.

Download PDF

Quiet on the Set! A Reader’s Theater for the Great Race of 1908 New York to Paris
Grade level 4th-6th
Students will learn about the trials and tribulations of the Great Race of 1908 by working together to produce a Reader’s Theater.

Download PDF

Man vs. Machine: The Great Automobile Race of 1908 
Grade level 7th-8th
This lesson combines history with geography and economics as students analyze the effect of the Great Race on the auto industry, analyze primary sources, and map the regions the cars traveled.

Download PDF

Great Race PowerPoint
Designed to accompany Man vs. Machine, this can be used for whole class or individual instruction. Details on how to navigate the PowerPoint are included in the Man vs. Machine Lesson.

Download PPT: Part 1

Download PPT: Part 2