YOUNGSTOWN - Area children on winter break from school occupied some of their free time with a trip to OH WOW! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science and Technology in Youngstown which is planning to expand this year.
Suzanne Barbati, executive director, said plans are for creating a ''Plan, Do, Check and Act'' (PDCA) lab focusing on manufacturing and also for a health and wellnesss exhibit for which funds have already been raised.
Barbati said construction of the PDCA is planned for late February and is scheduled to be completed by the third anniversary of being at the 11 W Federal St. in May.
Prior to being at its current location the center was located from 2004 to 2009 at 139 E. Boardman St.
Barbarti said the center offers two floors of activities allowing for exploration and experimentation.
Upcoming events include:
Make Robots, noon to 2 p.m. Saturday where participants can make robots to help solve a problem or task with the assistance of experienced makers;
Investigating Tech Programs 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday where participants explore how technology has been changing lives and what changes are still to come;
Make Tech Devices noon to 2 p.m. Jan. 18 where individuals learn about circuitry while making devices;
Safe Surfing Program 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 22 and 29 which instructs on safe strategies for investigating, exploring, and gaming online.
Also kicking off in January is the Penguin Regatta cardboard canoe race that allows students the opportunity to design, build and race their best ideas in an annual competition
Teams of students from area schools are assisted by a teacher/ coach to build a life-size cardboard canoe and get to apply STEM concepts in a real-world situations. This is geared for students in grades ninth to 12th from January to May 12.
With grant funding from the William Swanston Charitable Fund, OH WOW! was able to host events for foster families in the Mahoning and Trumbull County service areas.
Barbati said the objective of the collaborative pilot program is to provide an environment to help build relationships between foster families and the children they are caring for, while increasing their interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education through hands-on interactive activities.
Twenty-five families have been selected to participate this year.