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Car exhibit for kids plants the seed to sprout future auto technicians

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 08:00
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Designed to pique the imagination while giving youngsters a hands-on peak at what it feels like to work on a car, a special Children’s Exhibit unveiled at AAPEX proved to be a big hit with kids – and adults – of all ages.

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Rich White, senior vice president of the Auto Care Association, who had seen a similar installation at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in Milwaukee, came up with the idea. “I went up there and thought, ‘This would be perfect!’ I watched the kids playing and talked to the parents standing there,” he recounts.

“We’ve had this idea for a number of years that this would be a fun project for the Car Care Council; part of our role is educating consumers, and this fits right in,” says White.

“It will plant the seed in kids’ minds” that learning about auto repair may be a career route to pursue when they get older, with their fertile imaginations also influencing Mom and Dad regarding the importance of preventative maintenance and the other benefits associated with being Car Care Aware.

“Children aren’t going to go to a museum without their parents standing there watching,” White says. “Little Johnny or Betty will go home and say, ‘Can we do this to our car?’”

With AAPEX packed up and shipped out of Las Vegas until next year, the plan is to have the showcase’s concept continue as a permanent attraction at another site.

“It will eventually be donated to a children’s museum somewhere in the country. It will live on for a long time and be visited every day. Thousands and thousands of children will see it, and thousands and thousands of parents will see it.”

White invites aftermarket businesses to either sponsor or purchase a display of their own. “There are versions that can be fabricated and taken on tour. This one was designed to find a home in a children’s museum,” he says.

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