By SEAN BARRON
During Evan Flynn’s first timeto a popular children’s museum, she found herself under the weather and was nearly blown away by one of the exhibits.
“The wind came out of the roof and middle, so it was really, really hard,” the 8-year-old Hubbard Elementary School student said.
Evan had just stepped out of the Hurricane Chamber, one of many hands-on exhibits she explored during a recent self-guided tour her second-grade class took at OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology, 11 W. Federal St., downtown.
The experience also accelerated Evan’s knowledge of weather, which her class studied before the visit. In addition, she picked up a few meteorological terms.
“I learned that high pressure is really sunny weather and low pressure is rainy weather,” she observed.
Accompanying Evan was her mother, Heidi Flynn, who said she appreciated the hands-on, interactive offerings on her first trip to the center.
The tour was to get the youngsters better acquainted with the scientific process while allowing them to explore and further
appreciate the numerous exhibits, noted Audra Carlson, OH WOW!’s education manager.
The field trip featured students from Stacey Fabrizio and Bettyann Spiech’s second-grade classes, who enjoyed exhibits such as a network of overhead plastic tubes that showed the effects of wind on colored balls and fabric, a weather station that allowed participants to appear on a monitor with varying backdrops, and a makeshift pipe organ that gave them a chance to hear different notes.
Both teachers said they felt the experience will better enable their students to think more scientifically while enhancing the youngsters’ critical-thinking abilities.
Also visiting the facility for a guided tour was Elizabeth Danyi’s kindergarten class from the Horizon Science Academy on Youngstown’s South Side.
Others who received a brief introduction to hurricane-force winds were 7-year-old twins Anthony and Anissa Essad.
“It felt like I was going to blow away,” an excited Anthony said, adding that he’s learning about storms and air pressure.
“It’s pretty fun; it’s really windy,” added Anissa, who said she also has learned in her class more about the science behind evaporation.
Summer is Anissa’s favorite season partly because she’s able to swim, visit the nearby park and take part in other outdoor activities, but don’t assume you won’t see her outside during the winter.
“I like to throw snowballs at my dad,” she said with laughter.
Brother and sister came with their mother, Dawn Essad, an assistant teacher for children with special needs at the Trumbull County Educational Service Center.
The two groups also visited the museum’s interactive Bone Zone, a new feature in place until Jan. 6, that provides illustrations and scientific facts about many of the body’s 206 bones.
Along those lines, some second-graders learned about the importance of calcium, which is common in seawater and Earth’s crust.
They also saw visuals showing how a healthful diet as well as bicycling, walking, swimming and other forms of exercise can stave off osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile, brittle and more susceptible to fractures.
For information about OH WOW!, visit its new website, www.ohwowkids.org.