5/26/16 ‘Made by kids for kids’

The Children’s Museum of Alamance County unveiled its racecar exhibit, which was built and donated by Eastern Alamance High School students.

Photos by Steven Mantilla / Times-News

The Children’s Museum of Alamance County unveiled its racecar exhibit, which was built and donated by Eastern Alamance High School students.

‘Made by kids for kids’
Miniature racetrack unveiled
By Anna Johnson The Times-News 5/26/16  
Reprinted with permission.  

   GRAHAM — For the bulk of spring semester, more than 50 Eastern Alamance High School students designed, built and painted a derby racetrack to be donated to the Children’s Museum of Alamance County.

   The museum held a reception Wednesday evening for the students and their families to unveil the exhibit which includes a racetrack for small derby cars, like Pinewood Derby cars, located inside a giant race car along with miniature wooden cars for racing.

   “The best feature of this exhibit is that it is truly made by kids for kids, showing the elementary school students just what kids are capable of doing,” said Susan Hollan, executive director of the Children’s Museum. “They will learn about simple machines, inclines, wheels and gravity while having a lot of fun and building their social skills as they race with other children. The high school students learned a lot about what they can do, too, while they came together as a team for this project.”

   This is the first exhibit for the museum that was created by kids, but Hollan said she hopes to add more. It’s located within the science adventure area of the museum, and children were given their first opportunity to interact with the racetrack last week.

   Eastern Alamance teachers John Stewart and Mike Brumble, carpentry and drafting, and architecture and engineering teachers, respectively, and said the project gave the students real-world experience.

   “It’s great world experience,” Brumble said. “It’s not like book work. It’s something that somebody needed, and the kids were faced with a challenge, and they met that challenge. And they met a need in the community.”

   It’s giving back to the community that’s the biggest takeaway for the students, Stewart said.

   “Giving back to the community and knowing they can do something like this,” he said. “And it can be here five, 10, 15 years from now. Or I hope it is.”

   Tyler Perry, 18, is one of the students about to graduate and is one of Eastern’s resident 3D printing experts — something he hopes to apply in his chosen profession.

   “It was really fun, and I enjoyed doing this with the kids,” he said, “working with the kids and doing something for a good cause. It’s a good incentive for the high school students, and it gave me a lot of projects to work on.”

   Perry made a bulk of the derby cars that can be used on the track, while twins Brandon and Bryson Mitchell were the two students who painted the racetrack. It’s mostly red on the outside, but the tracks are various bright colors.

   “It was our first time working on a project where it was going out to where a bunch of people see it,” Brandon said.

   Natalie Russell, 17, worked on the frame and the slope of the track.

   “It was interesting seeing it all come together,” she said. “This is the perfect place for it to go because it fits the themes for the kids to play with.”

Though mostly red on the outside, the racetrack is colorful inside.  

Though mostly red on the outside, the racetrack is colorful inside.