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Science experiments are exciting!
Library Connects with OH WOW! to Offer Passes

Check Out a Special Kit at the Library for a Seven-Day Pass to OH WOW! and a STEM Learning Experience

 YOUNGSTOWN (For Release April 21, 2014) – How can you turn your Library Card into a visit to OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children's Center for Science & Technology? It’s not magic! A new kit available for checkout starting today at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County (PLYMC), includes books, science activities, plus a family four-pack of passes to visit OH WOW! during the checkout period.

The week-long membership to OH WOW! can be checked out with valid PLYMC library cards, and will allow up to four guests to visit the Center free of charge. The Center’s general admission rates will apply to additional guests exploring with guest members.

“The ‘OH WOW! STEM Exploration Kit’ is named for its emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM),” notes Janet Loew, Library Communications and Public Relations Director. “The Library’s mission is summed up as Connect, Inspire and Enrich. What could be more inspiring and enriching than learning how the world works by exploring science and reading? In this case, the Library and OH WOW! have joined together to connect people to this special information.”

Library customers age 18 and over can check out a kit for a seven-day circulation period, just like checking out books and other Library materials from any of the 15 public libraries in the PLYMC system.

The kit includes a week-long family pack of four passes to visit to the museum, plus science activities and two books. Library customers who check out the kit can use the pass as often as they would like during the seven-day circulation period. Please note - supplies are limited to one kit per library, so some restrictions apply: Library cardholders may check out only one kit at a time; kits are first-come, first-served; kits are not available for renewals; cardholders cannot place a hold on this item.

Library Executive Director Heidi Daniel notes, “We are pleased to announce this special new program which connects our Library customers to OH WOW! The Library is committed to connecting people to resources that inspire learning and enrich their lives at every stage of development.

“We have great resources in our library locations that support science and math learning for all ages,” she continues. “As part of our focus, we also feel it is important to connect our community with resources beyond our four walls. Hands-on learning experiences are wonderful for inspiring young minds to learn more. We feel strongly that offering OH WOW! passes for circulation to our customers, paired with Library books that assist at-home learning, would enrich the science experience for our young customers and their families. We are pleased to have these passed sponsored by Make Kids Count!”

Suzanne Barbati, Executive Director and President of OH WOW!, says, “We believe that this unique opportunity will result in more visitors exploring OH WOW!, and their local library, and expect more experiments will be conducted in homes and classrooms throughout our community as a result. The cool thing about science is that you don’t need all the answers – you just need to be comfortable looking for them and providing a safe place for children of all ages to do the same. We appreciate the Library’s interest in developing this pilot program, the support of its staff and Board, and the financial sponsorship by Making Kids Count that made this effort possible.”

Daniel notes, “It is our hope that families will check out a kit, use the books to conduct experiments and discuss science topics together, and then learn and bond during a visit to OH WOW! This program serves another very important need: circulating these kits makes this experience accessible to all families in Mahoning County and is another way for the Library to help remove barriers to learning.”

Josephine Nolfi, the Library’s Manager of Youth Services and Programming, says, “The Library is delighted to partner with OH WOW! in an initiative that will expand learning opportunities for all kids in Mahoning County. Jobs in STEM fields are among the fastest growing in the nation and will require knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This combination of background information and at-home activities found in books, coupled with the hands-on learning experiences at OH WOW! offers kids an opportunity to experience scientific method from beginning to end, and prepares kids to succeed in school and in the future.”

The Library purchased the family passes from OH WOW! through a generous donation from supporting partner Making Kids Count. "We are most appreciative of the sponsorship of Making Kids Count and excited about this collaboration between the Library and OH WOW!” said Deborah Liptak, Development Director for the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

Making Kids Count founder Jenny Kennedy says, “Making Kids Count believes that every child deserves to feel special. We may not be there with them, but just to know that our sponsorship can make for a happy day for those that otherwise might not be able to enjoy the OH WOW! experience is a great feeling for us. We hope that each and every child will enjoy their day of fun as well as some learning.”

OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology is a hands-on, interactive center offering exhibits, programming, and outreach rooted in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The Center will celebrate its third anniversary in May and has welcomed more than 105,000 explorers since opening. OH WOW! is located at 11 W. Federal Street.

In addition to this new opportunity with the Library, OH WOW!’s expansion plans for 2014 include a new public address broadcast system, two new WOW! Zones, a second classroom, upgrades to permanent exhibits, new field trip opportunities, and expanded outreach programs.

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OH-WOW-kit-group
OH WOW! Library kits available. Celebrating with kids who attended
a special program on April 21 are: (Back, from left) Librarian Samantha
Schneider; Josephine Nolfi, Library Manager of Youth Services and
Programming;  Heidi Daniel, Library Executive Director; Deborah Liptak,
Library Development Director; Suzanne Barbati, OH WOW! Executive
Director; Librarian Ashley Bentfeld.

OH-WOW-kit-wind-experiment
Librarians show kids how objects heavier than air can fly!