OH WOW!’s mission is to foster independent thinking and enrich the lives of all children by creating a welcoming environment where they can develop learning skills and knowledge through the exploration of HANDS-ON exhibits and educational programs which are rooted in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Annual Report 2016
The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology opened in downtown Youngstown, Ohio on May 12, 2011 to rave reviews and overwhelming community support! Since opening its doors, more than 284,000 explorers have been served.
The development of OH WOW! began with the creation of the Children’s Museum of the Valley (CMV), which opened in August 2004, thanks to the efforts of the Junior League of Youngstown. In 2008, the Board of Trustees adopted a new mission focused on STEM, and in January, 2010, began operating as OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology (OH WOW!). Today, OH WOW!’s brand is well-respected, and the organization is an anchor and economic development engine in downtown Youngstown’s central business district.
OH WOW!’s successful “Science Makes Cents” Capital Campaign raised more than $1.8 million dollars to fund the renovation of our new space and the purchase of our state-of-the-art permanent exhibit collection. Each exhibit is linked to the education content standards of Ohio & Pennsylvania.
OH WOW! embraces universal design principles in our 17,820 square foot facility, ensuring we’re accessible to the greatest number of people possible without regard to ability or disability on our exhibit floors and in our administrative offices. (1st Floor = 8,560 SF, Lower Level = 9,260 SF w/ 6,420 SF for Exhibit Hall & Support Area, 2,000 SF for Storage & Workshop, and 840 SF for Office Space.)
There are now eleven (11) galleries, or WOW! Zones and more than sixty (60) hands-on, interactive opportunities, or exhibits, linked to the educational content standards of Ohio & Pennsylvania in OH WOW!. OH WOW!’s permanent exhibit collections promotes understanding of the Scientific Process of Inquiry, encouraging visitors to make observations, draw conclusions from those observations, and adjust or modify their experiments (or actions) to get a different (or better) result.
We celebrated the grand opening of our InspireWorks! Lab in November 2014, featuring a lean manufacturing environment and Deming’s Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) continuous improvement process. Our guests are able to “MAKE” products of their choosing, using real world tools and materials. In 2015, we installed the locally-designed and locally-built “Kids in the Kitchen” exhibit, featuring a farm-to-table experience for our youngest visitors. In 2016, we will install “Drive to Excel”, our newest exhibit zone dedicated to the concept that visitors of all abilities can engage and interact with equipment and technologies that enable them to excel at activities of their choosing. Capital investments now exceed $2.5 million.
Our academic focus is on children ages 0 to 14, with “EDUtainment” opportunities for learners of all ages! In addition, OH WOW! offers:
- Self-directed and staff-guided “exploration opportunities” on site
- Focused outreach programs off site
- Professional development opportunities for area educators
- Volunteer and internship opportunities for high school and college students
- Research opportunities for college faculty
The WOW! Pals look forward to seeing you and your family and friends at the Center soon!