Oh Wow! Will Not Reopen Until Next Year

YOUNGSTOWN – Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology will remain closed until May.

The hands-on museum for children has been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision to not reopen until next spring was revealed to museum members Friday.

“Safety is our top priority,” said Suzanne Barbati, president and executive director of the museum, in a letter to members.

A representative of the museum confirmed the letter in a phone call with The Business Journal. Barbati declined further comment at this time.

A $4 million construction project to renovate the downtown museum’s main and lower-level exhibition spaces, as well as part of the second floor, will take place during the closure. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

The project will also relocate the museum’s entrance, which now faces West Federal Street, to Market Street.

As it has done since it closed, Oh Wow! will continue to offer at-home learning opportunities and experiments from its website, OhWowKids.org and on its social media pages.

The museum is also selling STEM Science Action Kits, or STEM SAKS, at the website. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“We have become a museum beyond our wall by giving our youth the chance to complete fun, exciting STEM-based projects from the comfort of their own home,” Director of Education and Outreach Ralf Urbach said.

Oh Wow! will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2021.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.