MUSEUM FUN: The Discovery Cube children’s scientific museum in Los Angeles on opening day.
By Laurie Hanson
Future-forward initiatives inspire educators, students, and all committed to lifelong learning at the Discovery Cube children’s science museums in Sylmar and Santa Ana.
For more than 35 years, they have offered Southern California’s families and kids’ hands-on scientific education through four core initiatives including STEM proficiency, early childhood education, healthy living, and environmental stewardship.
“We are really excited about our newest exhibits that debuted for the first-time last month, like Festivals of STEM, at Discovery Cube Los Angeles,” said V.P. of Marketing Erin Warady, who has been with them since 2020. “Sponsored by the Chevron Corporation, Festival of STEM features five STEM-themed areas and 10+ hands-on activities and adventures highlighting the invention and inspiration of STEM-based innovators and industries.”
At the height of the pandemic in spring 2020, they launched the Discovery Cube Connect, an interactive web-based STEM platform which connects parents, educators and students with hands-on STEM activities and resources.
“All content on the Discovery Cube Connect site has been rated and reviewed by parents and educators, available free of charge for young learners at home or in the classroom,” Warady added.
During the pandemic, both museums in Los Angeles and Orange County have undergone extensive renovations including new health and safety measures plus adoption of COVID-safe guidelines and protocols, according to Warady.
“Each campus location has several new ‘safe science’ installations including a MERV13 HVAC filtration system with UV lights, hands-free restrooms, onsite cleaning crews, contactless ticketing system and upgrades to the paint, carpet and much more,” she said. “Both museum locations underwent extensive interior and exterior renovations, totaling more than $10 million, which were unveiled during our reopening in May 2021. Part of reopening highlights include several new, state-of-the-art STEM exhibits, immersive science adventures and interactive gameplay for kids K-6 grade.”
The Orange County campus has four new STEM-themed areas with more than 15 new interactive exhibits while Los Angeles debuted five new themed areas and 10+ new interactive exhibits. Both locations also feature many of the STEM favorites as before including, Inspector Training Course, Early Learners, Planetary Research Station and more, according to Warady.
Popular exhibits in Santa Ana’s location include the Physics Lab which features hands on wooden race cars on a track, the Science of Hockey Lab which explores what it’s scientifically like to be on ice, the Organic’s Waste Lab (OWL) which demonstrates the environmentally conscious usefulness of compost for plant growth, the Dino Quest exhibit with life-sized outdoor dinosaur and skeleton models for up close explorations, and the Early Learner’s exhibit which allows young children hands on exploration activities such as rock climbing and telescope viewing.
Upcoming events at Discovery Cube in Santa Ana include Camp Discovery, running from June 28 to August 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., offered both in person and virtually this year. At this camp, kids learn about animals, dinosaurs, outer space, and all things STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). Back by popular demand is the Code Constructors Camp, a full-week virtual camp which demonstrates what it is like to learn code and be a programmer. Also, a family-friendly event offered is The Mega Bubblefest and Laser Show held July 2 at 10 a.m. to July 18 at 5 p.m., at the Santa Ana location.
Something unique the Discovery Cube is offering families and groups are onsite sleepovers which includes access to exhibits, interactive activities, 3D movie, snack, and continental breakfast with complimentary access to the Cube the following day.
Science is also brought to life through field trips or offered on location in classrooms at schools throughout Southern California through the Discovery Cube’s educational outreach programs, which offer scientific problem-solving and exploratory learning opportunities. Their unique Environmental Program, in partnership with Orange County Waste and Recycling, offers a free on school site assembly for 5th and 6th graders, educating on the importance of going “Green.”
Children under age 5 are not left out, either. As part of the Discovery Cube’s early childhood educational efforts, parents are given tips to help their little ones learn, grow, and play in scientific ways.
Both the Los Angeles County and Orange County museums are currently open Thursdays thru Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Due to limited capacity, patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online at www.discoverycube.org.
The community can support the Discovery Cube and the Discovery Science Foundation in through family memberships, volunteering, online store purchases or public and private donations.
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