Santa Ana, CA, USA — Igniting imaginations and fostering wonder for how the world works, Discovery Cube Orange County, presented by Taco Bell, opened its expansion June 11 with new science exhibitions and enhanced services. Upon the grand opening today, the campus is offering an additional 44,000 square-feet of hands-on permanent exhibits, themed science adventures, interactive programs and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning spaces, with a focus on cultivating an appreciation for the smallest ecosystems on earth to the largest exploration of the cosmos.
“This expansion represents Discovery Cube Orange County’s evolving commitment to expand STEM proficiency by keeping up with the trends, events and news that are capturing kids’ attention – and creating an entertaining way to approach education through a day of family bonding”
“This expansion represents Discovery Cube Orange County’s evolving commitment to expand STEM proficiency by keeping up with the trends, events and news that are capturing kids’ attention – and creating an entertaining way to approach education through a day of family bonding,” said Joe Adams, president of Discovery Cube Orange County.
As a first among science centers, Discovery Cube Orange County features a new 10,000 square-foot Julianne Argyros Showcase Theater and Exhibition Hall. It provides the ability to transform an exhibition space into a 500-seat theater for greater flexibility in giving the families of Orange County an ever-changing destination for entertainment and education.
The first exhibit on display in the Exhibition Hall is The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes, a “who done it” mystery geared toward youth-sleuths in training.
Also as part of Discovery Cube Orange County’s healthy living initiative, a new onsite Bean Sprouts Café debuted at the grand opening. Bean Sprouts Café, a kid-friendly café and cooking school, specializes in healthy foods for visitors of all ages, supplementing its regular menu with vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, casein-free, nut-free and egg-free options. Visitors can order pizzas, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts as well as “Imaginibbles,” a signature line of themed, hand-held foods designed to make eating healthy fun.
The new featured exhibits help guests understand their roles in environmental stewardship and the importance of developing habits for health and wellness:
Mission Control – With this permanent attraction, kids no longer will have to imagine the work of astronauts and space engineers. Instead, they become in charge of selected missions. Using a touchscreen console, young guests design, build, and launch a Martian rover or satellite. Large, interactive walls enable them to complete their mission in space.
Helicopter Tour – Guests hop inside a virtual helicopter and fly from the mountains to the sea, over the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmarks, a biodiversity hotspot located in the heart of Orange County. Guests learn about this collection of public parks and protected wildlands that serve as a valuable resource to many rare and endangered species of plants and animals that call Orange County “home.”
Inspector Training Course – This immersive exhibit, presented by the Orange County Vector Control District, has guests go on an adventure in their own backyard to find and eliminate invading vectors. Using a touch-screen tablet, guests make their way through the Inspector Training Course to learn how to coexist with and keep their home free from mosquitos, fleas, and rodents in this competitive scavenger-hunt styled game.
Petersonville Healthy Kitchen – Expanding on Discovery Cube’s emphasis on teaching guests how their bodies function, this full, working demonstration kitchen, presented by Sheila and Jim Peterson, lets children become chefs creating good-for-them recipes. In addition, they learn valuable kitchen safety tips as part of this health and wellness exhibit.
Water Gallery – With Californians experiencing one of the worst droughts in history, the Water Gallery and Water Lab, presented by Pacific Life, gives families the opportunity to learn about one of nature’s most nourishing elements: water. From salt water to fresh water, frozen water to water vapor, guests are exposed to the scientific side of the H20 chemical formula in a fun and engaging manner.
Eat Well. Play Well. Sleep Well. – Opening later in 2015, for guests age 5 and younger, is a play area, which focuses on the three aspects of keeping kids healthy. If they eat, play and sleep well, children are more likely to think well, according to children’s health experts. This area also will provide parents with ideas for bedtime stories, structured playtime and healthy snacks.
Along with seven new exhibitions, Discovery Cube Orange County presents an enhanced guest service areas for families and teachers, including:
Welcome Center and Launch Pad Science Store – Presented by Janet and Walkie Ray, the all-new Welcome Center is the bustling hub that provides visitor information and hosts lost and found, baby care, first aid, and a retrospective chronicling of Discovery Cube’s history. The Launch Pad Science Store is triple the size of the original and features promotional and educational merchandise.
SchoolsFirst Teacher Resource Center – This special area is dedicated for teachers to check out science kits, lesson plans, and discuss school topics with Discovery Cube trained staff.
The Discovery Cube is grateful for the support of its opening event sponsors. Sponsors include The Orange County Register (Presenting); with Gold sponsors Farmers & Merchants Bank, Taco Bell, County of Orange; Silver sponsors, The Broadcom Foundation, Orange County Department of Education, Willis, Info X, Cindy Omiya; and Bronze sponsors The Boeing Company, City of Irvine, Irvine Ranch Water District, MacGillivray Freeman, Project Dimensions, Wells Fargo, Western Digital, Rick Baily, Jeff Benck, Harrison Smith and Del Stagg.