Library’s Mighty Machines event goes virtual

Story by Stacie Gaetz


Photos by iStock

From July 6 to Aug. 15, kids can take virtual tours of some of the community’s mightiest machines on the Airdrie Public Library’s (APL) website.

The Mighty Machine event was held in APL’s parking lot last year and included fire trucks, dump trucks and other heavy machinery. It attracted more than 800 adults and children in 2019, making it impossible to hold as an in-person event this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m excited that we’re able to still offer Mighty Machines (virtually). I like to look on the bright side and by having videos done by the experts that use the machines, this means the people watching get a chance to learn more and see them in action,” says Eric Pottie, APL’s programming and customer engagement manager.

“It’s great to get that hands-on experience in the previous years, but this year you get a better understanding of how the machines really work and what it takes to operate them.”

The APL asked their partner organizations to create videos of the vehicles in action. A video from Fortis Alberta was released on July 6, showing how their equipment works to help put up and repair power lines.

The video also features one of the heavy equipment operators reading a story to the kids.

The Fire Department’s video was released July 13 and features Tower 88, the largest and most powerful firetruck in the Airdrie Fire Department fleet.

Kids get a tour of the inside of the truck equipped with a 100-foot ladder and get to see it in action.

Pottie said the feedback from the videos has been positive with many people saying their kids love learning about the machines and equipment. They are some of the top viewed videos on the APL website, he adds.

The library’s resident fish Gilbert wanted to join in on the Mighty Machines fun too. Children can find him in each video and submit their answers online by Aug. 22 for a chance to win a Mighty Machines prize pack.

Pottie said the videos will feature at least one machine a week until mid-August. He didn’t want to give away too much but did mention that Gilbert has a run in with the police and learns a bit about recycling.

He adds that the biggest benefit of APL’s Mighty Machine videos is that they are made right here in the community.

“There are plenty of other videos out there, but these ones are from our community. It is always great to see how the firetruck works, but there is an added benefit when you see ‘Airdrie’ written across it and recognize the fire station,” Pottie says.

“The videos may even spark viewers interest in learning more, and that’s the ultimate goal of Mighty Machines, getting kids thinking and wanting to learn more.”

Check out APL’s Might Machine videos by clicking here.