Kids discover the construction industry at the Big Dig

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By Bobby Ellis
bobby.ellis@education.ky.gov

At the Big Dig, there was the sound of running engines, large machines digging up dirt and horns. A lot of horns. 

The Big Dig, an event open to the public at the Boone County Fairgrounds, gives children and adults the opportunity to sit on and operate different machines from across the construction and building industries. 

Children were allowed to drive excavators, backhoes and bulldozers, with the help of adults of course. They also played with fire hoses connected to a fire truck and explored other activities, such as digging in a sand pit to search for buried candy. 

“There are a lot of people here so the waits were pretty long, but it was definitely worth it,” said Sarah Wylie, whose son Logan played on a large pile of wood and gravel after getting a chance to sit on the different machines. “The operators are extremely friendly and my son loves heavy equipment, so he was super excited to be here.” 

Along with introducing children to the construction industry, operators gave children safety lessons about how to behave around heavy equipment and handed out plastic hard hats. 

“The goal is get the kids interested,” said Andrew Arlinghaus, an operator at the event. “We want to introduce things like safety and curiosity to them early and show them that construction isn’t just this job that you end up at because you have nowhere else to go in life.” 

Haly Brown is shown how to drive an excavator by Andrew Arlinghouse during the Big Dig, an event at the Boone County Fair grounds meant to introduce children to the building and construction industry. Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Haly Brown is shown how to drive an excavator by Andrew Arlinghaus during the Big Dig, an event at the Boone County Fairgrounds meant to introduce children to the building and construction industry.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Christopher Furhman sits in the driver's seat of a machine used to blacktop roads at the Big Dig event at the Boone County Fair Grounds. The event, which was open to the public, allowed children a chance to sit on and operate different machines as a way to introduce them to the construction and building industry. Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Christopher Furhman sits in the driver’s seat of a machine used to blacktop roads at the Big Dig event at the Boone County Fairgrounds. The event, which was open to the public, gave children a chance to sit on and operate different machines as a way to introduce them to the construction and building industry.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Andrew Burgas plays withe the controls of a machine used to asphalt roads. Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Andrew Burgas plays withe the controls of a machine used to asphalt roads.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Stacey Price, right, helps his son, Jackson Price, look for buried candy in the sand pit section of the Big Dig. Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Stacey Price, right, helps his son, Jackson Price, look for buried candy in the sand pit section of the Big Dig.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Tatum Green digs in a sand pit at the Big Dig. Children where invited to search for hidden candy in the sand pit as part of the activities at the Big Dig event at the Boone County Fair Grounds. Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Tatum Green digs in a sand pit at the Big Dig. Children were invited to search for hidden candy in the sand pit as part of the activities at the Boone County Fairgrounds.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Logan Branch crawls through a pipe while attending the Big Dig event at the Boone County Fair Grounds. Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Logan Branch crawls through a pipe while attending the Big Dig event at the Boone County Fairgrounds.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Jackson Middleton stands on a woodpile and points to the machines at the Big Dig. Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Jackson Middleton stands on a woodpile and points to the machines at the Big Dig.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Cessy Winner, right, and her brother Charlie Winner play with a firehose during the Big Dig construction event at the Boone County Fair Grounds. The event was held as a way to introduce children to the construction and building industry. Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Cessy Winner, right, and her brother Charlie Winner play with a firehose during the Big Dig construction event at the Boone County Fairgrounds. The event was held as a way to introduce children to the construction and building industry.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Hunter McIntosh attempts to hammer nails during the Big Dig event at the Boone County Fair Grounds. Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018
Hunter McIntosh attempts to hammer nails during the Big Dig event at the Boone County Fairgrounds.
Photo by Bobby Ellis, April 21, 2018

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