Betty Brinn Children’s Museum to launch Hands-On Harley-Davidson

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) – The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum will introduce a new educational exhibit for children and families on March 1st in Hands-On Harley-Davidson.

Hands-On Harley-Davidson was made possible by a grant from The Harley-Davidson Foundation and invites children to explore a pretend motorcycle dealership while learning about the people, places and processes that make a community work.

The exhibit’s pretend retail setting features two kid-sized motorcycles inspired by a Harley-Davidson Road King® and opportunities to “Dream It!,” Build It!” and “Ride It!” using activities that promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

Children can work together to create a motorcycle using interchangeable custom motor parts and accessories, including seats, saddle bags, mirrors, and a variety of engine components.

Once their bike is built, children can gear-up, climb on and select interactive videos that provide a first-person riding experience, including U.S. and international touring routes and a ride through the streets of Milwaukee.

Working turn signals, audio and wind effects, and a throttle that controls the speed of the ride complete the experience. An international map and computer activity provides math challenges and maintenance information for fuel, exhaust and other systems to ensure a safe trip.

The pretend dealership’s service department shows children a video of real mechanics hard at work. Outside the dealership, a second bike with interchangeable parts and costumes lets children role-play as a motorcycle-riding community service-officer, and includes a “see yourself” component along with opportunities to learn about traffic safety, protective gear and preparing for a trip.

The exhibit’s educational content reflects developmental milestones set by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and Wisconsin and national academic standards for school-age children. Signage in English and Spanish helps caregivers understand how the exhibit experience supports STEM education, literacy, social development and a child’s awareness of related careers.

The exhibit is free with Museum admission. The Museum is open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. Museum admission is $7.50 per person and $6.50 per senior (adults older than 55); children younger than 1 are free. More information is available at or by calling 414-390-KIDS (5437).