Plans Released for Discovery Cube Los Angeles Taking Shape in the San Fernando Valley
The Valley’s first major museum opens Nov. 13 with 71,000 square feet of exhibits tailored to L.A.
LOS ANGELES (Aug. 13, 2014) – Come November 13, science fans of all ages will be able to explore distant galaxies, take a helicopter tour of Southern California, shop for sustainable groceries in a miniature market and descend deep below the earth’s crust to help save water and protect the aquifer without ever leaving L.A.’s San Fernando Valley.
These are just some of the highlights of plans released today for the new Discovery Cube Los Angeles (DCLA) taking shape on the 2.5-acre site of the former Children’s Museum of Los Angeles in the Hansen Dam Recreational Area in the Lake View Terrace neighborhood.
The two-story space, representing the Valley’s first major museum, will offer 71,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits, displays, programs and learning spaces unique to Los Angeles but inspired by the 25-year success of Discovery Cube Orange County, formerly the Discovery Science Center, which is undergoing its own expansion under the newly formed Discovery Science Foundation (DSF).
“Discovery Cube L.A. gives us a once-in-a-lifetime, blank-canvas opportunity to dream up the ultimate hands-on science experience,” explained Joe Adams, CEO of the Discovery Science Foundation. “While we are including updated versions of some of the best exhibits from Orange County, most of this campus is being created from the ground up specifically for the Los Angeles visitor. The result is a best-in-class facility that will rank as one of the most technically advanced and regionally relevant science museums in the world.”
The two Discovery Cubes are part of an ongoing commitment by the DSF to expand STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) proficiency, early childhood learning, healthy living and environmental stewardship in Southern California through engaging science-based programs and exhibits that create a meaningful impact on the communities they serve.
In support of DSF’s environmental stewardship initiative, permanent, hands-on exhibits will spotlight the work of the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation (LA SAN) and Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) as part of both groups’ larger strategic partnerships with the museum. DCLA is being funded by federal, city and private funds including LA SAN and DWP monies earmarked for education, plus DCLA fundraising.
DWP sponsored and co-sponsored exhibits are dedicated to education on sustainable housing and preserving California’s valuable natural resources. The exhibits included are the Inspector Training Course, a simulated Helicopter Tour, and the first-ever “Aquavator” – a virtual elevator that takes guests down into earth’s crust to learn about aquifers and how to protect these fragile, underground reservoirs. Guests will learn about the different types of aquifers, how aquifers are beneficial, and why they are important to the local environment.
“Education is critical to the success of our efforts to transform Los Angeles’ water and power supplies and create a more sustainable future,” said LADWP General Manager Marcie Edwards. “LADWP is proud to sponsor exhibits at DCLA that creatively illustrate what it takes to get water and power to Los Angeles. Through this, we can engage Angelenos of all ages in protecting and conserving LA’s water and energy resources.”
LA SAN will also be represented by sponsored and co-sponsored exhibits dedicated to teaching visitors about waste reduction and resource conservation. These exhibits include the Discovery Market, Planetary Research Station, Inspector Training Course, Aquavator, and the “Race to Zero Waste” – a thrilling, game-based adventure that challenges participants to sort trash and divert materials from landfills. Players learn what items can be recycled, qualify as green yard trimmings, and what should be disposed at S.A.F.E. (solvents, automotive, flammables, electronics) Centers.
“L.A. Sanitation is proud to partner with Discovery Cube to inspire, educate and impact sustainable practices to promote quality of life and protect public health and the environment,” said Enrique C. Zaldivar, director, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. “These state-of-the-art interactive exhibits will send DCLA visitors home with the tools to get involved and be environmental stewards in their own neighborhoods.”
Discovery Cube Los Angeles is set to feature the following permanent offerings. For complete, constantly updated exhibit and program information, go to the just-launched DCLA website at http://la.discoverycube.org/.
- Helicopter Adventure – Step into a one-of-a-kind helicopter theater and lift-off on this multi-video adventure. Guests will followthe 300 mile journey water travels from Mt. Whitney through the Los Angeles Aqueduct system and into the L.A. basin, while learning about the scarcity of water and how conservation can protect this precious natural resource. Then, a second video explores the process of water sanitation and reclamation with an underground view of local sewer systems and the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant. Guests will learn what happens to water after it’s been drained, flushed, and used and how treated water can be repurposed in the community.
- Discovery Market – An immersive grocery store that uses game-based technology to teach kids and their parents the importance of purchasing and packaging decisions as well as labels, nutrition facts, and making healthy shopping choices. Based on one of the most popular exhibits in Orange County, DCLA’s version will be updated and customized to Los Angeles.
- Sun Stage – DCLA staff lead live, hands-on science demonstrations that use fun games, audience participation and guest interaction to educate and entertain.
- Planetary Research Station – Examine Earth like never before using a suspended, animated globe. Visitors will have a unique view to observe visuals related to the atmosphere, oceans, and land. With a focus on climate change, visitors can explore weather patterns and watch historic storms, observe the impact of catastrophic earthquakes and human activities, and gain an understanding of global warming along with flight patterns and all from an out-of-this-world perspective.
- Making the Grade Gallery – A customized gallery that brings grade-specific lessons to life through hands-on exhibits to help students throughout Los Angeles County better understand the Next Generation Science Standards.
- Inspector Training Course – Visitors will master their skills in resource efficiency and sustainable housing choices when they become eco-friendly home inspectors during the Inspector Training Course. Touch screen tablets will teach ways to employ the four R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle, recover; conserve water, energy, waste; and even offer tips for earthquake preparedness.
- Park Science – Learn about the environment surrounding the Hansen Dam area and the importance of exercise with rock climbing and mountain biking. Take a lesson in meteorology and learn about the Santa Ana winds, the L.A. River, local habitats, and tree science.
- School Readiness Gallery – It’s never too early to start preparing for kindergarten! Early learners will find activities to help build skills necessary for reading, understanding language, understanding the concept of numbers, and to succeed in school.
Other campus highlights include the Teacher Resource Center, a customized space allowing Southern California educators to check-out DCLA science kits and lesson plans and discuss school topics and content-related issues with trained DCLA staff and other teachers; and the 70-seat “Discovery” 4D Theater that will host an ongoing program of films and live presentations, many produced specifically for Los Angeles.
Using the Orange County center as a model, museum officials will supplement the permanent exhibits in Los Angeles with a continuing mix of traveling exhibits and programs to encourage repeat visits and keep the offerings relevant and consistent with in-classroom lesson plans and real-world science applications. Additional exhibits and installations, including potential partnerships with Los Angeles-based organizations, are planned.
“To borrow a phrase from another Southern California visionary, Discovery Cube Los Angeles will never be completed since we’ll constantly be updating our offerings to reflect new advances in science – and to give Angelenos exciting new reasons to visit,” added Adams.
Discovery Cube Los Angeles is expected to draw 180,000 visitors during its first year and create 24 local, full-time jobs and 70 local, permanent part-time jobs. Operating on a first-year budget of $4.7 million, it will receive the same operational, program-development and fundraising support that enabled Discovery Cube Orange County to receive the prestigious National Medal of Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 2013.
In addition to public and private funding, DCLA worked closely with the Los Angeles Development Fund (LADF) to receive an investment of New Market Tax Credits (NMTCs) through U.S. Bank. Sandra Rahimi at U.S. Bank arranged the partnership.
“LADF is proud to contribute to the financing of Discovery Cube Los Angeles,” said Sandra Rahimi, Manager, LADF. “They offer innovative exhibits and programs, which are made available to all residents of Los Angeles, and the facility creates an educational and cultural asset in a community where they are sorely lacking.”
An executive director for DCLA has been retained and will be announced in the coming weeks.
The museum is backed by a separate board of directors which, in addition to Adams, includes Kelly Cheeseman, Chief Operating Officer of AEG Sports; Bruce Corwin, Chairman of Metropolitan Theatres; Melanie Coto, President, Coto Foundation; The Honorable Wendy Greuel, Community Leader; Tim McCallion, President, Western Region of Verizon; Sukeshi “Casey” O’Neal, President, Kokoro Exhibits; The Honorable Alex Padilla, California State Senate; Pedram Salimpour, MD, President of Los Angeles County Medical Association; and, Miguel Santana, City Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles.
About Discovery Science Foundation:
The Discovery Science Foundation serves as the program-development, marketing and fundraising arm for hands-on science learning museums in Orange County and Los Angeles. Established in 1989, the original non-profit Taco Bell Discovery Science Center (DSC) in Santa Ana, now renamed Discovery Cube Orange County, presented by Taco Bell, continues to inspire and educate millions of young minds through engaging science based programs and exhibits. In 2012, the Center was named one of the ten “Most Trusted Brands” in Orange County and in 2013 was awarded the National Medal of Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
In November 2014, Discovery Cube Los Angeles, a second museum offering an exhibit and program mix unique to Los Angeles, will open in the Hansen Dam Recreational Area of the San Fernando Valley. For more information, call (866) 552-CUBE (2823) or visit www.discoverycube.org.
About L.A. Sanitation:
As the lead agency for the City’s environmental programs and initiatives, Sanitation protects public health and the environment through the administration and management of three program areas: Clean Water (Wastewater), Solid Resources (Solid Waste Management) and Watershed Protection (Stormwater). These infrastructure programs collect, treat, recycle, and dispose the solid and liquid waste generated by the nation’s second largest city of more than four million residents. Through these essential Public Works programs, Sanitation delivers a triple bottom line of economic, environmental, and social benefits that sustain the quality of life in Los Angeles. For more information, please visit www.lacitysan.org.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power:
LADWP is the largest municipally-owned utility in the nation that provides critical water and power to more than 1.4 million customers. It has provided utility services to residents and businesses in the city of Los Angeles for more than a century. For more information, visit www.ladwp.com.