WOW factor: World of Wonders $19m expansion plans underway

World of Wonders (WOW), a science museum in Lodi, California, has acquired five buildings in the first stage of an ambitious expansion plan.

CEO Sally Snyde‘s vision for the museum includes an open-air amphitheatre and a media dome, as well as two floors of new exhibit space, a teaching lab and workshop, reports Recordnet.

The museum first opened its doors in March 2009. Last year, it attracted 58,000 visitors including 12,000 students from school districts across the Central Valley.

The planned expansion will add 42,000 square feet of additional space in the proposed science and cultural centre and is expected to cater for 160,000 students a year. The $19 million price tag will be met by grants and donations.

WOW plans include media dome and amphitheatre

A media dome will present movies, 3-D videos, live video streaming and planetarium shows. The amphitheatre is envisioned as a multi-purpose facility which could stage live events, music and outdoor movie screenings.

Other planned attractions include a larger bookstore, café and a carousel featuring hand-carved and painted animals.

Snyde said she wanted to inspire children to get off their computers and get them outside.

Originally the brainchild of Lodi resident, Dan Ingrum, WOW owes its existence to the fundraising efforts and dedication of a group of volunteers eager to create a science museum for the community.

Today, it offers over 70 hands-on science exhibits and provides enriching science programming including Field Study Trips, WOW on Wheels, WOW University and Science Summer Camps.

Image courtesy World of Wonders

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