Schelle Simcox
School of Information
University of Michigan
550 East University
Ann Arbor, MI

December 12, 1996

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, DECEMBER 12, 1996 -- The Internet Public Library (IPL), based at the University of Michigan School of Information, has created "So You Want to Make a Car...", a "virtual tour" of an automotive plant for children 7 and up. It can be seen on the World Wide Web at This resource is a special multi-media supplement of the Internet Public Library's December issue of WebINK: Internet Newsletter for Kids, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Automobile. The virtual auto tour is sponsored by the Michigan Virtual Auto College, a project of Academic Outreach at the University of Michigan.

"So You Want to Make a Car..." is based on real tours and interviews at the Chrysler Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Insight from others in the the auto industry helped to make this a comprehensive look at today's car manufacturing process. The web site focuses on the educational, personal and professional skills needed to work in engineering, management and assembly. The "virtual tour" is followed by a decision-making game where students take a spin at building their own car companies.

This project was made possible by a generous donation from The University of Michigan Academic Outreach. The University of Michigan Academic Outreach Program was created to help build the University of the 21st century, what some call the virtual university. It will be an institution where students of any age can learn what they need, whenever they need it, by using computers and the Internet.

The Internet Public Library is a project based at the University of Michigan School of Information, and is partially supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The library began as a graduate student project in 1995, and is now staffed by professional librarians with assistance from students and volunteer librarians from around the World. The library maintains a collection of network-based ready reference works; responds to reference queries, creates resources for children and young adults ; evaluates and categorizes resources on the Internet, and provides a space for exhibitions. The library strives to be a source of innovation in the networked environment, seeking partnerships with organizations with compatible goals.