YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WJW) — Since opening its doors more than a decade ago, Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology has greeted more than one million explorers to their museum.
“We are one of the first children’s STEM museums in the country,” said Director of Visitor Services Collen Ruby. “Before that, you went to a children’s center or you went to a science center. So we’re one of the first museums in the country to merge those two things.”
“Stem” stands for science, technology, engineering, and math, with all of the exhibits here focus on those subjects.
“And all of them are hands-on interactive exhibits,” Ruby said. “It’s not a museum that you go around and walk and just look at things. We expect you to touch and use your senses at everything that we have.”
There’s a wind tunnel that can reach hurricane velocity. And for teaching erosion and currents there’s an experimental water-table, which is hugely popular.
Downstairs you’ll find the Inspire Works Makerspace where young scientists can make something great out of donated household items. Right around the corner is the “Drive To Excel” area that shows how technology can help those with disabilities and how they can overcome them.
And the perfect age for visiting Oh Wow?
“We say our focus is zero to 95, but our exhibits were purchased with about third, fourth, fifth graders in mind when we were focusing on state standards and the principles that were taught,” Ruby said. “…We are universally designed so everybody can use the exhibits and experience them in their own way.