Touch-A-Truck event puts kids in the driver’s seat

Community News

Robinson, Foundation

Earlier this year, employees from Marathon Petroleum’s Robinson, Illinois, refinery, and their families came together with the community for the Crawford County Touch-A-Truck event held at Washington Elementary School (WES).

Hosted by the school’s Get Set Preschool and Storybook Preschool programs, the unique event allows kids of all ages and their families to explore and interact with vehicles of all shapes and sizes, from emergency response vehicles to a large crane.

“In addition to being an event for the whole family, Touch-A-Truck offers a unique opportunity to educate people on how these vehicles work and what they do to help and support our community,” said Molly Hardiman, WES Parent and Family Coordinator, and coordinator of the local Touch-A-Truck event.

From taking a photo by the crane to sitting in the cab of a fire truck, there was something for everyone. Inside the school, other activities kept event-goers busy, from arts and crafts to an interactive booth staffed by Robinson refinery employees introducing participants to the concept of density by using helium filled balloons and bottles of colored water and cooking oil.

“We had the kids shake the bottles and then watch the oil rise and the water sink until the materials once again separated,” said Shayna Shick, a Laboratory Technician at the Robinson refinery and member of Marathon’s Community Action Team. “It was really fun watching their reactions in real-time.”

Marathon’s training team also sent heat exchanger and pump props to the event, giving kids a firsthand look at what they might see inside the refinery, a staple in the Robinson-Crawford County community.

“I always knew that the refinery was a big part of the Robinson community, but I was impressed with the number of families who approached our table because that’s where mom, dad, grandma, or grandpa works, and was encouraged by the number of kids who expressed interest in working at the refinery themselves someday,” said Bruce Boehl, a Refining Engineer at the Robinson refinery.

Hardiman called the night a big success and a wonderful way to bring the community together.

“We had a tremendous turnout, and we couldn’t have done this without partners like Marathon Petroleum. We are very thankful to everyone who helped make this happen.”