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Discovery Science Center to Receive 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

National Award Recognizes Exceptional Contributions of Santa Ana, California Museum 

WASHINGTON (April 23, 2013) – The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced Discovery Science Center of Santa Ana, California is one of 10 recipients of this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community, the National Medal celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities.  The National Medal will be presented at a celebration in Washington, D.C. on May 8.

Discovery Science Center (DSC) has brought science education to vast audiences over the last 25 years through its Santa Ana facility and a soon to open Los Angeles museum. With a dynamic outreach program and state-of-the-art exhibits, the DSC team has led the way in creating innovative museum exhibitions and classroom programs. By blending hands-on science activities, immersive environments, game design, and role playing, DSC is modernizing how educational content is delivered to families and students. The award-winning Eco Challenge exhibit at DSC utilizes these unique, immersive experiences to encourage environmentally responsible behavior among their community. DSC also proudly participates in the Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens Initiative.

Patronage of DSC programs has more than tripled over the last decade and in the last year alone, programs impacted over 739,000 visitors and students throughout the Southern California region. Their outreach program in schools is among the largest in the nation. ­Its education initiatives are in 650 schools and 27 school districts across Southern California and include 71,000 field trip students who visit the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center every year.

“Museums and libraries serve as centers for lifelong learning and as cornerstones for our communities. Discovery Science Center has embraced environmental education as a core area of learning, and its programs, exhibits, and immersive experiences are positively affecting behavior. We are proud to name Discovery Science Center one of this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners,” said Susan Hildreth, director, Institute of Museum and Library Services. “This year’s National Medal recipients demonstrate the many ways museums and libraries alike build strong communities. These institutions are educating, inspiring, and leading lifelong learning while serving as community anchors.”

“The National Medal shows that a museum’s impact can go beyond the walls of a single location and bring education to hundreds of thousands of students in classrooms along with satellite locations,” said Joe Adams, president of Discovery Science Center. “This Award celebrates and recognizes the hard work and dedication of our team and community leaders towards delivering a mission that is not measured in dollars, but measured in the hearts, minds, and actions of eager learners.  We see this award as a challenge to continue to teach through innovation extending past museum norms, finding partners that align to our mission, and connecting to young minds.”

Twenty-three-year-old Kate Upton, whose frequent trips to the science center as a little girl inspired her be a “good and faithful scientist” and pursue a Ph.D., will travel to Washington and share the impact the Discovery Science Center has had on her life during the May 8 celebration.

This year’s honorees exemplify the nation’s great diversity of libraries and museums and include a science center, children’s museum, music museum, art museum, and public libraries and library systems, and hail from seven states.

Earlier this year, 33 institutions were announced as finalists for the National Medal, and community members were encouraged to share their stories about their experiences on the IMLS Facebook page.

Medal winners were selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach. After the ceremony, StoryCorps – a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans – will visit Discovery Science Center to document stories from the community.

For a complete list of 2013 recipients and to learn more about the National Medal winners, please visit www.imls.gov/medals.

 

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.  Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive.  To learn more, visit http://www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

About Discovery Science Center
For 25 years, Discovery Science Center (DSC) has been a non-profit organization dedicated to educating young minds, assisting educators teach science and increasing public understanding of science, technology, engineering and math through interactive exhibits and programs. With one of the largest education outreach programs in the county and an unparalleled approach at creating immersive, game-based exhibits, DSC is revolutionizing how educational content is delivered. Throughout the year, guests can take the Eco Challenge and become a green superhero or feel the power of a simulated rocket engine launch. Traveling exhibits and annual events such as Spooky Science and Bubblefest throughout the year ensure that there is always something new to discover. DSC owns and operates the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center based in Santa Ana, CA and will be opening a second facility in Los Angeles in 2014. For more information, call (714) 542-CUBE or visit www.discoverycube.org.

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