When it comes to igniting the interest of the next generation of talent, the key is to start young say economic developers.

The Children’s Museum of the Upstate-Greenville will celebrate on of the region’s largest industries with a fully-interactive pit crew station, life-size bus and model car building areas — all features of the next exhibit Wheels on the Ground. 

The 2,000-square-foot exhibit will open June 4 and allow families to race against the clock to change tires and add gas to fuel tanks at the pit stop and test their model car creations on various race tracks to learn more about the physics of automobiles. 

Kids also can learn how to repair an engine through various prompts and the different components and environmental impacts of electric versus fuel engines. 

“Reflecting the larger community within our museum walls is incredibly important, and the automotive industry is such a critical part of the Upstate” Lauren Luneckas, the museum’s executive director, said in a news release. “Thanks to the generosity of our committed sponsors, the young learners visiting TCMU will have the chance to learn more about automobiles and transportation in an entirely new space that is incredibly educational, fun and interactive.” 

The museum hopes the exhibit will not only facilitate hands-on learning through play, but also ignite curiosity in children about careers within the field — from becoming a city planner, car mechanic, bus driver or motor sports announcer. 

The exhibit is sponsored by the S.C. Department of Education, Duke Energy, the William Bradshaw Family, ScanSource, F.W. Symmes Foundation, Jolly Foundation, Gaye Sprague in honor of Shelly Dezen and the Upstate SC Alliance Educational Foundation. 

Wheels on the Ground was designed and fabricated in partnership with Kraemer Design + Production Inc., an attraction design company based in Cincinnati, Ohio.