OH WOW! reopens in Youngstown with new entrance, hands-on exhibits

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The science center is finally reopening at 9 a.m. Saturday, but guests will notice some major changes to the facility

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology is reopening this weekend after closing its doors to the public over a year ago.

In 2019, OH WOW! bought the McCrory Building from its landlord, First National Bank, to expand. OH WOW! then closed to the public in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The science center is finally reopening at 9 a.m. Saturday, but guests will notice some major changes to the facility.

“The adaptive technology exhibit gives everybody across any spectrum to say, you know, what we can do, anything anyone else can do. We preach universally here. All of our exhibits have the ability to give any family, child on any spectrum, across the whole world the ability to be able to play at the museum,” said Director of Education Mr. Ralf.

They removed their Federal Street entrance and moved it to the Central Square side of the building.

“Our new signage is going up. It’s not quite done but it’s pretty exciting so when folks come, we’re encouraging you to come to the new entrance on Central Square,” said OH WOW! president Suzanne Barbati.

Guests can also check out some new exhibits at the center. One of those is the “House of Shine” exhibit, which was developed and installed by a small museum out of Grapevine, Texas.

“Shine is all about your strengths, your hobbies, your interests, also your irritants, which I think is so interesting because we sometimes forget about those, your needs, your experiences and how all of those things make you who you are,” Barbati said.

Another new exhibit, in partnership with YSU, teaches kids about microelectronics.

OH WOW! will be open Thursdays through Sundays with two sessions offered each day: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m.

The center is currently sold out for today’s sessions.

Barbati said despite all of the exciting changes, she’s most looking forward to having kids back in the museum.

“It’s been so long and so quiet and we’ve been working so hard. All of our staff… it’s just tremendous all of the work they’ve done to help us get through COVID and then this construction project,” Barbati said.

Members and general admission guests are asked to register online.

It’s free for members and children under two-years-old. General admission is $8, but it’s $7 for veterans, seniors and educators.

For more information, contact OH WOW! at 330-744-5914 or by visiting their website.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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