A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Wednesday, July 21, 2021 for an exciting, new exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac. The Automotive Tech Center is a new immersive STEM space where kids can pretend to be automotive technicians working on a kid-size vehicle. Using diagnostic tools, children can determine the needs of the vehicle. They can then check the parts inventory using a touch-screen to find a part and replace it on the vehicle. There is a creeper to go under the vehicle and check the tires and exhaust system and impact-wrenches to change the wheels. When the work is done, they can return the repair order to the interactive welcome desk. Children visiting the new ATC will receive a free pair of safety googles, thanks to Holiday Automotive.
This exhibit provides fresh activities for the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac, which was closed to visitors for much of 2020. “2020 was a difficult year for the museum and the families we serve. Our staff and volunteers did a wonderful job, but there’s only so much you can do remotely. Holiday Automotive has been a supporter of this museum since the beginning, and we can’t thank them enough. This exhibit not only gives us something exciting to show our members and new families as they visit, but I believe it will be a catalyst for future investment and fresh content for the Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac,” stated Andrea Welsch, Executive Director.
Michael Shannon Jr., President of Holiday Automotive, stated, “Our technicians use high-tech computer diagnostics alongside their specialty tools and this exhibit provides a fun glimpse into that world of automotive technology and repair. Having children engaged in this exhibit could inspire the next generation of tradespeople to see the career path as a very real and rewarding option for them.”
The Automotive Tech Center, or “ATC” for short, is backed by a 20-foot by 12-foot photographic mural that features a photo of the inside of an actual Holiday Automotive service shop, complete with one of Holiday’s technicians at work and a 2022 Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle that hints at the future of automotive technology. The Children’s Museum and Holiday have been working collaboratively behind-the-scenes for over a year to create this very special space. Shannon continued, “this community is very fortunate to have the Children’s Museum. Andrea, the directors, staff, volunteers and generous community members have created a wonderful resource that provides educational, fun and inspirational activities for the youth of Fond du Lac, and we are honored to play a part in taking it to the next level.”
Principal funding came from the Mike Shannon Automotive Foundation. The Korb Family Foundation and Donna & Dave Whealon were contributing sponsors. Additional in-kind supporters of the exhibit include CD Smith Construction and Twohig Flooring America. The Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac is currently open Wednesday through Saturday from 9 until 4.