All about WOW


The Wonders of Our World (WOW) science outreach program brings creative, hands-on science experiments to elementary school classrooms (grades K-5). The program was founded by Dr. Susan Olesik and began in November 1999 as a collaborative effort with the teaching staff at Chapman Elementary in the Dublin City Schools. 

Today, the WOW program works with three Columbus City Elementary Schools at a time, adopting each school for three years. In this three-year period, we span a variety of science unit topics (from biology, chemistry, and physics to electricity, sound, plants, space, and more) and visit every classroom once a month. Visit the WOW Units and Experiments page to learn more about the specific unit topics and gain a more in-depth look at the experiments themselves. 

Photograph of WOW volunteer talking about lights and colors blending together

WOW enhances elementary school science programs by: 

  • Partnering teachers and scientists 

  • Providing volunteer support for teachers as they implement exciting hands-on experiments in their classrooms 

  • Enriching scientific content in schools 

  • Donating scientific equipment to schools 

  • And most importantly, getting children, teachers, and volunteers excited about science! 


A professional development/teacher training workshop is held at the beginning of each WOW unit. During this workshop, teachers will learn about the WOW experiments, request experiments that are grade-appropriate, and schedule their program times. Volunteer workshops for Ohio State students, Battelle employees, and CAS employees are conducted prior to the classroom visits. 

After the workshops are complete and the visits are scheduled, WOW volunteer Ohio State undergraduates and professional scientists with the direction of the WOW Programs Coordinator implement and facilitate hands-on, small group science experiments in the elementary school classrooms.