Trip to Oh Wow! is learning experience

Staff report


“I like drawing,” said 5-year-old Lillyana Brooks while using the new lighted drafting table at Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology.

She traced triangles, squares and rectangles to design the house she was making in the museum’s rotating exhibit gallery.

Lillyana was one of about 40 students from Millcreek Children’s Center who explored the museum as part of a grant-funded field trip from the PNC Foundation.

The field trip was the second of three such field trips provided by the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group. The preschoolers from Youngstown visited Oh Wow! through the $3,500 donation to the museum.

“Our support of science education for Youngstown preschoolers is a strategic investment to address the changing needs of an economy that is increasingly based on knowledge and skills,” said Ted Schmidt, PNC regional president for Youngstown. “By preparing our youngest citizens for educational success, we help build a solid foundation for the future of this region.”

Mary Jane Gingher, executive director of MCC, appreciates the involvement of PNC.

“PNC has afforded Millcreek Children’s Center an exceptional, engaging connection with Oh Wow!,” she said. “Our children receive a unique learning experience with exciting, hands-on opportunities.”

Five-year-old Tayonna Hayden’s favorite hands-on activities revolved around the water tables because she enjoys getting wet.

“I put the ball in the hole, and the water exploded,” she said, referring to the museum’s Laminar Shooter, which uses the force of water to propel balls.

The students at MCC will return to Oh Wow! near the end of the school year to continue their exploration and reinforce the lessons offered through hands-on learning.

“Oh Wow! is always researching opportunities to assist area schools so all students have the chance to experience our interactive museum,” said Suzanne Barbati, executive director. “We are thankful for our partnership with PNC because it allows Oh Wow! to enrich the lives of all children through hands-on exhibits rooted in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

The PNC Foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early-childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million, multiyear initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. For information, visit, and, or follow @PNCGrowUpGreat on Twitter.

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