Auto Care Center: Interactive Exhibit for Children on Display at AAPEX

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UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who visited the Auto Care Center at AAPEX 2014. We are excited about this new initiative and the ability to reach children and their families with this exhibit. If you are interested in purchasing and donating an exhibit or becoming involved in any way please contact the Car Care Council. Read more about the exhibit here.

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It’s never too early to “plant the seed” about the importance of vehicle maintenance. Yet, very few opportunities exist to reach young children in a fun, interactive, educational and memorable way.

But the Car Care Council has found just that opportunity in its new interactive auto care center for children, which will be on display in the upper lobby of the Sands Expo Center during AAPEX. The center is designed for children ages three to 10 to step into a pretend auto repair shop equipped with everything they need to perform maintenance on a kid-sized car mounted on a lift.

The mini-technicians or DIYers can have fun sorting, matching and problem-solving as they select tools, change tires, replace parts, recycle oil, fill work orders, replace the exhaust system on a creeper and even work on an engine diagnostic system. The Auto Care Center is based on a model showcased in a number of children’s museums around the country.

The council is unveiling the Auto Care Center at AAPEX in hopes that industry professionals who see the exhibit will be inspired to consider sponsoring or purchasing an exhibit themselves to brand and donate to a children’s museum in their city. Others might put the exhibit on display at various locations or send it on tour. However the exhibit is used, this exciting and unique educational project will connect with children and their parents in a positive way about the auto care industry.

The Auto Care Center can showcase brands, contribute to consumer education and improve the image of the auto service and repair profession, and even help recruit future employees to the industry.

Funding for the Auto Care Center was made possible by a grant to the Car Care Council from the University of the Aftermarket Foundation. The exhibit was created through a partnership with the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum in Milwaukee, Wis. The council intends to eventually donate the exhibit to a selected children’s museum or loan the exhibit to several children’s museums.

We hope to have children from a local day care center actually playing in the Auto Care Center at specific times during AAPEX. Staff will be at the exhibit to answer questions and provide information.

This is a guest post by Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.