OH WOW! expands exhibit space

YOUNGSTOWN – OH?WOW!?The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology is undergoing a 3,000-square-foot expansion that will include a new exhibit area.

Suzanne Barbati, president / executive director of OH?WOW!, said a grant of $25,000 from the Youngstown Foundation is making the construction project possible. Plans are not only to expand the exhibit area but create a second classroom.

Barbati said in the more than two years that the center has been in Youngstown, it has hosted about 475 field trips.

“We are extremely excited to bring this project to our community, and very much appreciate the support of the Youngstown Foundation, which continues to be a leader in coordinating resources to promote positive change, meeting the needs of our residents now and for generations to come,” Barbati said.

The expansion is being developed in a collaboration with Oh Wow’s educational and manufacturing partners, originally dedicated to the plan.

Barbati said that the primary goal of the exhibit is to provide a safe environment for children and their families to work through the real-world process.

“We want to encourage our visitors to understand the process of generating an idea, and the successes and failures that come with making that idea a reality,” he said.

This week installing of the new flooring was taking place and was painting.

Target completion date is January 2014.

The need for the expansion project was identified in Oh Wow’s second strategic plan.

Barbati said the center is always working on website remodeling, and developing health and wellness traveling exhibition and a new Energy Wow! Zone on the main exhibit floor.