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Preview: 'Big Wheels: A Touch-a-Truck Experience'

What kid doesn't like big stuff?

As in humongous dump trucks and front-end loaders and cement mixers. Or how about the chance to stand next to a Michelin tire that is 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide?

The EdVenture Children's Museum parking lot will be filled with all that stuff and more Saturday, as "Big Wheels: A Touch-a-Truck Experience" rolls in.

The event will showcase large machinery and trucks, including a firetruck, police car, garbage truck, cement mixer, front-end loader and an articulated dump truck (that's one of those monster-sized yellow ones). There also will be other machines, along with exhibits and displays for children.

"Kids get to see these trucks on the road or at a construction site but don't get to get up close and personal with them," said Jennifer Suber, EdVenture's director of marketing. "They'll be able to come and see the trucks and talk to the (people who) work with the trucks."

"We're always looking for new ways to get kids excited about science and the real world," Suber said. "Sometimes you have to bring some real life big things in. Every child, little boys and little girls, are just fascinated with everything from the local firetruck to dump trucks."

Along with being able to gawk at the size of the big trucks, some of the equipment will be available for children to climb aboard. Kids will get a chance to learn about the science and technology of big machines, too, said Greg Nagel, director of museum experiences at EdVenture.

They can ask: What are they doing? How does that work? How does it pull something so big?

And there will be some safety lessons. The state Highway Patrol will have a rollover simulator that can show what happens in an accident if you aren't wearing your seat belt.

EdVenture is betting the exhibit will appeal to all ages. "But that tremendous 'wow' factor will be for all our kids who normally come to (EdVenture), ages 12 and under," Nagel said.

An hourly interactive simple machine show on a stage in the parking lot will allow kids to use a series of simple machines to move items.

"It's all about getting kids to ask questions, to get their minds working," Suber said.

Children also will be able to participate in a timed obstacle course in the parking lot, driving, naturally, Big Wheels.

IF YOU GO

When: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday

Where: EdVenture's parking lot, 211 Gervais St.

Cost: Free with regular museum admission.

FUN FACTS

- A tow truck (provided by M&W Towing) can pull up to 100,000 pounds. It is remote-control operated.

- The Richland County Sheriff's Department Dodge Magnum can go as fast as 155 mph.

- The forestry tires provided by Michelin are 6 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

Some of the items on display:

Fire ladder truck

S.C. Highway Patrol SUV and rollover simulator

Dump truck

Hydrogen bus

Bulldozer

Tow trucks

Tractor trailer

18-wheeler

Dragster

Race car

Concrete mixer truck

Tree lift

Garbage truck

Recycling truck

Emergency response vehicle

Army National Guard F-350

Richland County Sheriff's Department Dodge Magnum

Recreational vehicle

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