Click to View Latest IssueClick to View Latest Issue

World of Wonders Science Museum: STEAM Edutainment and More!

By  0 Comments

World of Wonders Science Museum in Lodi, California, has lived up to its WOW acronym by delighting visitors of all ages with captivating exhibits and hands-on learning experiences since it began in 2009.

“There is something about the bubble exhibit,” said Jennifer Smith, a longtime WOW employee. “I think it’s my favorite, and everyone else seems to love it too.” Jennifer has worked at the museum for almost 11 years, and her passion for the nonprofit museum is not only palpable, but also uplifting.

The same can be said of WOW’s president and CEO, Sally Snyde, who began as a volunteer in the museum’s formative days. Sally explained that World of Wonders Science Museum was the idea of a local man, Dan Ingrum, a Lodi jeweler. Ingrum had taken his son to San Francisco’s Exploratoreum and was so impressed by the immersive educational experience that he wanted to start something similar for the Central Valley. He described the idea to his local Rotary Club and found them enthusiastic about making it happen.

Today the museum is a top choice for school field trips, its massive popularity spawning WOW On Wheels, an offshoot that helps the museum reach more students by bringing the unique science experience directly to schools and into classrooms. “We call it edutainment, because they’re really having fun learning,” said Sally. “WOW On Wheels covers a huge geographic area, from Newman to Wheatland to Sonora. We can touch so many more kids this way than just at the museum facility itself.”

One of WOW’s biggest events of the entire year will take place Saturday, October 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in honor of National Farmer’s Day. In partnership with the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation, the event celebrates our farmers and ranchers. This community day is free to all and will feature displays, activities, real farm machinery and representatives from a variety of agricultural specialties including dairy production and cherry farming, all with a special focus on the tech side of farming. “It’s really an absolutely amazing event, and it’s so important to understand how crucial agriculture is to our area,” Jennifer stressed.

Another source of inspiration is the upcoming groundbreaking for WOW Educational Science Plaza. The museum plans to expand with a new building across the street that will be three to four times the present size. “The plaza will feature a carousel with indigenous animals, history of the San Joaquin Valley, and a spotlight on STEAM, or science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics,” Sally elaborated. “Most importantly, the new expansion will provide more classroom space and the chance to educate more students. This is ten years in the making; we are
really excited!”

Sally summed up the value of what the organization provides. “Our children’s exposure to hands-on science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics is irreplaceable and essential to an interconnected learning experience. WOW Science Museum provides unique experiences in which children can discover more about the world around them through science exploration. These are the experiences that stimulate the mind, create dreams for the future, and place each child on a path to success!”

Visit World of Wonders Science Museum at 2 N. Sacramento Street, Lodi, California, or call 209-368-0969. World of Wonders Science Museum is open to the public Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The museum closes from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. for sanitizing since most of the displays are hands on. The hours are 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.