Speaker Series: OH WOW! Children’s Center of Youngstown

screenshot from Speaker Series webinar

In collaboration with Penn State Shenango’s VenturePointe Innovation Hub and the eCenter@LindenPointe featured a live online discussion with The OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology Executive Director Suzanne Barbati about how the hands-on STEM museum has adapted their services in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what is in store for the future of the museum.

The early days of the pandemic were used as a driving force for OH WOW! management to face their new reality. Barbati said, “We asked, ‘How do we transform ourselves to stay connected to our members, visitors and community during this unexpected pandemic?’ We aimed our focus on what could be done.”

Suddenly changing their business model to meet the new challenge allowed OH WOW! to become a museum without walls, featuring new and creative product offerings that keep the Science Center connected to learners of all ages.

“There can often be more than one right answer and more than one perspective to a problem,” said Georgia Macris, assistant teaching professor and VenturePointe coordinator. “Viewers will learn the importance of expanding creative thinking in order to solve problems differently — and often resulting in better outcomes.”

Changes due to the pandemic is only half the battle. Barbati will discuss how the science center plans to emerge as a stronger business by providing unique educational and entertaining services, allowing OH WOW! to continue being “the happiest place in Youngstown.”