Mission Statement

We inspire and educate young minds through engaging science based programs and exhibits to create a meaningful impact on the communities we serve.


The idea of Discovery Science Center began in 1984 when the boards of the Exploratory Learning Center and the Experience Center joined and formed the Discovery Museum of Orange County (DMOC). Simply stated, their goals were to teach kids what life was like at the turn of the century in Orange County in an interactive manner AND to build a world class hands-on science center. They first developed the DMOC site, which now has two historic homes, a carriage barn, rose garden, riparian habitat and much more. Once this project was up and running smoothly, the Board turned to achieving their second goal, building a hands-on science center.

Launch Pad

In 1989, a funding feasibility study was conducted to learn if the county leaders would fund such a project. They indicated strongly that they would. “And further,” they said, “we’re a county of almost 3 million people; we should have such a facility for our children.” There are more than 200 science centers in the U.S.

In 1993, “Launch Pad,” a preview science center, opened to the public in the Crystal Court at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Taco Bell Discovery Science Center opened to the public in December 1998. The Science Center is a 501(c) (3) private non-profit organization.