YOUNGSTOWN - If you've ever wondered what makes Jack jump out of his box, OH WOW! the Roger & Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science & Technology might just be the place for you.
For 3-year-old Jack Benson of Boardman, it was a "dream come true."
"This is so cool," the preschooler exclaimed as he jumped from one display to another, spinning gears, moving pulleys and working circuits to get the toys to work.
"You move this and that moves," he said, pointing from one piece of the puzzle to the other.
The excitement is all part of "Toys: The Inside Story," the new exhibit at the Youngstown center. The display, which opened Tuesday, features 12 hands-on stations that illustrate the simple mechanisms commonly found in toys.
It also lets visitors create their own toy-like combinations of gears, pulleys, linkages, cams and circuits.
Tribune Chronicle / Virginia Shank
Fiona McCormick, 3, Youngstown, checks out the new exhibit at OH WOW! children’s museum in Youngstown on Tuesday.
"It's all about how toys work and getting kids to think creatively," said Suzanne Barbati, executive director. "It's the scientific process of inquiry, looking at how things are made, how they work. It teaches problem solving, but it also teaches you that you can take those problem-solving skills anywhere, that they will work anywhere."
The display was installed in OH WOW's Rotating Exhibit Gallery on Monday with the help of the SenSource Corporate Volunteer Program in Austintown.
SenSource is an Ohio-based, privately held technology company that has provided foot and vehicle traffic monitoring analytics since 2002. Each quarter, SenSource selects a nonprofit project and a group of SenSource employees spend the day volunteering.
When you go
WHAT: "Toys: The Inside Story"
WHERE: OH WOW! the Roger & Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science & Technology, 11 West Federal St., Youngstown
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays
COST: General admission, $8; children younger than 2, free; veterans and senior citizens 65 and older, $7; OH WOW! members admitted free
Barbati said the Toys display is the second new exhibit at OH WOW! this fall.
"We are thrilled to offer more hands-on 'edutainment' for our members, visitors and their families," Barbati said.
Sara Hendel-McCormick of Youngstown said she was impressed with how easily her daughter, Fiona, was able to operate the displays despite how intricate and detailed they are.
"I think it's great," she said. "It's something I think all ages would be interested in and enjoy. It definitely keeps her attention.
Hendel-McCormick visited the center with her parents, Dale and Colleen Hendel, also of Youngstown, to help Fiona celebrate her third birthday.
"This is out first time here and it's pretty impressive," Colleen Hendel said. "It's very engaging for all of us."
The Toys exhibition was developed by the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vt., with funding from a National Science Foundation grant awarded to seven museums across the country that comprise TEAMS (Traveling Exhibits at Museums of Science).
"The kids can really see how detailed the toys are and what it takes to make them work," said Jack's grandmother, Sandy Benson, also of Boardman. "They have fun and they learn. It's a nice combination for the kids and the adults."