Published on Mar 26, 2014

The Waukegan Public Library's all-new transportation exhibit, "The Places You'll Go", opened on Dec. 8 in its children's department. The exhibit, funded exclusively by North Shore Gas, features 2,200 square-feet of car, bike, plane, train, and boat displays and interactive learning centers. The exhibit grand opening event from 1 to 3 p.m. was open to the public, free of charge, and included entertainment, refreshments, and fun activities for the whole family.

"The Places You'll Go" includes hands-on elements that teach children about the role of transportation in their lives. Covering the most relevant modes of transportation, the exhibit includes an auto repair shop, a train station with caboose, flight simulator and airplane cockpit, wind tunnel, and bicycles on stands. The exhibit also helps develop map-reading skills, teaches the elements of flight, and helps children recognize street signs. In addition, a G-scale model train runs above the children's department desk all year.

In addition to learning about practical everyday modes of transportation, the exhibit also includes information on energy efficient ways to travel. Energy generators attached to children's bicycles teach children how much energy they could potentially generate just by riding their bikes. Information on solar powered cars and vehicles that use Compressed Natural Gas are also included.

In addition to North Shore Gas, pieces of the exhibit were sponsored by Waukegan Tire, Michelin, and BRP and Evinrude Outboard Motors. The Waukegan Bike Project donated bicycles for kids and adults to pedal.

After the ribbon-cutting, students in grades 6 to 8 from Jack Benny Middle School performed holiday songs for guests, children were able to race remote control cars on a large track in the Bradbury Room, and families took part in the NASCAR pit stop challenge to see how fast they could remove and replace sports car tires.

The launch of "The Places You'll Go" marked the fifth year of rotating exhibits in the children's department at the Waukegan Public Library, following "Dig the Dinosaurs", "Under the Sea", "Creepy Crawlies" and the most recent "Oink, Baa, Moo". Each exhibit, including all programs, displays and installation, is funded exclusively by donations from North Shore Gas and the Morrison Family.

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