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OH WOW! center closed until May 2021

YOUNGSTOWN — OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology will remain closed until May 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will use the downtime to relocate its West Federal Street entrance.

“Safety is our top priority,” Suzanne Barbati, president and executive director, said in a statement. “We appreciate the efforts of our entire community in their support of OH WOW! but more importantly, in their efforts to keep our families and communities healthy, safe and secure.”

Parents and children will continue to have access to a variety of free STEM projects and experiments via ohwowkids.org as well as OH WOW! social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.

STEM Science Action Kits, or STEM S.A.K.s, also are available for purchase through the website or by contacting Director of Education and Outreach Ralf Urbach at 330-744-5914 or directorofed@ohwow kids.org

According to Urbach, “We have become a museum beyond our walls by giving our youth the chance to complete fun, exciting STEM-based projects from the comfort of their own home. We are committed to fulfilling our mission, launching the next generation of STEM stars while keeping our young visionaries safe. We need our communities’ support now more than ever.”

As OH WOW! prepares for the post-pandemic future, plans are underway to move the building’s main entrances to the Central Square side of the building for the safety of visitors.

“OH WOW!’s current entrances on West Federal Street have created access and safety issues for visitors and motorists traveling through downtown,” Barbati said. “We are in the process of selecting an architect and expect to move forward with construction later this year.”

A grand reopening is planned for OH WOW!’s 10th anniversary in May, and reservations for Summer 2021 now are available by calling 330-744-5914 or manager@ohwowkids.org.

The science center has served more than 530,000 explorers with hands-on, interactive exhibits since it opened in May 2011. Since its temporary closure in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, OH WOW! has reached more than 300,000 through virtual programming.

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