The sound of blaring horns and laughing children filled the air of Robert Lee Frost School 106 Friday as crews with the Indianapolis Department of Public Works (Indy DPW) showed off the equipment that keeps Indianapolis running.
Close coordination with officials at Robert Lee Frost and Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) allowed Indy DPW to hold the Touch-a-Truck event, something that officials with DPW hope will foster stronger relationships within the Indianapolis community while educating Indy’s youngest residents on how infrastructure in Indianapolis is built and maintained.
“These types of events are a way to inspire our kids to learn more about the world around them,” said Dwayne Lucas, principal of Robert Lee Frost. “It’s not every day they can walk up to a massive piece of machinery and actually climb inside like this.”
Crews with DPW helped demonstrate more than 10 pieces of equipment on-site ranging from a Multihog, Kubota, snow truck, small trash truck, mowers, and more from several Indy DPW departments. Students from kindergarten to 6th graders were able to learn what the equipment does and even climb inside the cabs for a hands-on experience.
“The smile on the kids’ faces today says everything you need to know about why we are doing something like this,” said Brandon Herget, director, Indy DPW. “Being able to get out in the community and build these types of relationships are critical, both in being better connected in the communities we serve and sparking an interest in public works with these students.”
This event was the first that DPW has been able to coordinate since the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will not be the last. Officials with both Indy DPW and IPS are looking for more opportunities to connect in the future.