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COSI Reopens After Being Closed For Over A Year Due To Pandemic

Frederic Bertley, president of the Center of Science and Industry, holds a container of liquid nitrogen as he greets families visiting the science museum.
Michael Lee
/
WOSU
Frederic Bertley, president of the Center of Science and Industry, holds a container of liquid nitrogen as he greets families visiting the science museum.

After over a year, the Center of Science and Industry, or COSI, reopened to the public on Thursday.

COSI president and CEO Frederic Bertley said it feels good to be open again after 446 days. And yes, he counted — down to the 642,240 hours and 38,000,547 seconds. The center had been closed since March 13, 2020.

The pandemic has been tough on everyone, but Bertley said he believes that the past year has given people a better appreciation for science.

"You think about how we got out of this pandemic mess: our loved ones in the hospitals, the therapies and the new drugs and medications that help," Bertley said. "And most importantly of course, the vaccines."

And that appreciation has reached families like Aaron Baughman's. While Baughman and his family recently moved to Bexley from Washington state during the pandemic, he grew up in Westerville and went to COSI as a kid. He said with the center finally opening, he's excited to share that experience with his two kids.

"It's so great to be able to come out now and be somewhere that brings back a lot of memories, but a place I can create new memories with my kids as well," he said.

The reopening has also helped those like Paula Banks, who went to COSI with her grandson on Friday. She said that during the pandemic, kids were limited in what they could do. So, she was glad to have an interactive space like COSI available again — especially as a family membership owner.

"It was a little disheartening that we couldn't come together and enjoy the time," Banks said.

Although he's happy that visitors are back, Bertley said COSI hopes to continue developing programs they started such as at-home science kits and partnerships with different Central Ohio cities, counties, institutions and organizations.

"We're looking forward to keep doing that and keep innovating on that front," Bertley said.

And for him, he looks forward to seeing as many people as possible now that COSI is open.

"Science is everywhere and science is for everyone," he said.