OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science & Technology, 11 W. Federal St., Youngstown, exceeded all of its goals in its first year of operation of providing hands-on, interactive exhibits based in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to children and their families in the greater Mahoning Valley.
The museum has welcomed 34,000 visitors to its downtown Youngstown location in its first year of operation. This included 34,000 visitors, 780 memberships and 11,000 students for field trips.
To celebrate its successes, OH WOW! hosted a Birthday Bash in May. Guests were encouraged to share their ideas for the future of OH WOW!, and welcomed with free cake, chances to win door prizes, and the first OH WOW! Cake-itecture Contest. Four local bakeries went head-to-head, designing STEM-themed cakes for the party.
Clarencedale Cake of Boardman took OH WOW! guests back in time with a cake shaped as the prehistoric shark species, Megalodon. Sugar Showcase of Austintown emphasized engineering with its cake design, creating a Rube Goldberg machine.
The Cake Boutique of Warren presented a four-level cake emphasizing some of the greatest science related discoveries known to man, such as Newton's Laws of Gravity and Albert Einstein's discovery about the nature of energy.
The Blue Iris Cakery of Niles' invention reflected OH WOW's avionics exhibit and the concept of flight by adorning its cake with paper airplanes.
"We are so appreciative of the tremendous support we have received from the community on every level. Our board of directors, investors, members, volunteers and every visitor in the last year have contributed to our success," said executive director Suzanne Barbati.
"Every day is more exciting knowing that we are reaching so many children and their families. They are our biggest contributors, and as we consider the selection of programming and exhibits for OH WOW! in the future, their ideas will help guide that process."
OH WOW! summer hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Members admission is free. General admission is $8 per person, veterans and Senior Citizens are $7, and children younger than 2 are free.
For more information about OH WOW!, visit ohwowkids.org.