Discovery Cube Happenings
LOS ANGELES GALA UNDERWRITING AND EXPANSION LAUNCH!!
We are grateful for those of you who were able to join us last week on a beautiful Thursday morning to celebrate the official launch of our exciting courtyard expansion and jump start our fundraising efforts in support of LA’s 10-year-anniversary gala on May 4!
We had a great mix of Board Members, donors, and partners who all came together in support of this exciting occasion. The event helped to secure over $100,000 in pledges towards this year’s Gala as well as create a palpable buzz and excitement for what is to come in our 10th year as part of the Los Angeles community.
The strides we have made together would not have been possible without everyone’s collective belief in our mission and support. We are excited to embark on the next chapter of growth and innovation together as a Cube family and look forward to having you join us on this journey!
JACK HORNER VISITS THE CUBE
Last Friday, Discovery Cube Orange County had a special visit from world-renowned paleontologist and dinosaur expert, Jack Horner.
Jack is currently a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University but is more notably acclaimed for his fieldwork and research on dinosaur growth and behaviors. His most important discoveries include the first dinosaur eggs and embryos in the Western Hemisphere and the first evidence of colonial nesting and parental care among dinosaurs. As a technical adviser for all the Jurassic Park and World films, he is also the inspiration for the series lead character Dr. Alan Grant.
At our invitation, Jack came out to the Cube for a tour and lunch to learn more about who we are and, of course, about our upcoming Dino Quest refresh. Upon his arrival, he was immediately blown away with what he saw and shared immense excitement to be involved.
Joe and I toured him through the exhibit site and share the grand vision for what is to come in the next few months. Jack enthusiastically agreed to lend his time, his expertise, and his authority to the project and sat with us dreaming up what else the future could hold for our newly budding partnership!
We are thrilled to partner with him and Chapman University, and look forward to what lies ahead.
TEACHERS NIGHT OUT | LOS ANGELES
On Wednesday, February 21st Discovery Cube LA hosted its annual Teachers Night Out. Offerings included complimentary food and drink, STEM activities, science demonstrations, and raffle prizes.
This event gives us a chance to celebrate formal and informal educators and showcase all the Cube’s educational programs from Field Trips to Outreach, Assemblies, and Camp. With nearly 300 educators in attendance, a record crowd for this event, and a number of our educational partners participating, the night was a great success.
BABY SHARKS DOO DOO DOO DOO, BABY SHARKS DOO DOO DOO DOO
(Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! Now you’ll all be singing that song for the rest of the weekend, my apologies.)
However, we have exciting news at Discovery Cube OC!
Our senior aquarist, Martika, has been working hard on build relationships around the country with other aquariums and like entities since opening Sea Lab. As a result, the Oklahoma Aquarium choose to donate five juvenile white spotted bamboo sharks to the Cube. We were selected over four other institutions who applied for the animals. The sharks are all females, and were just hatched this past October.
Until now, we have had an all male shark tank but females are an important add to our tank as they will help keep our males be less irritable and will provide breeding opportunities in the future once they’re grown. This is very important as they’re a frequently sought after animal in the aquarium industry and breeding them in captivity will not only help us when trading with other aquariums but, also works to safeguard wild populations from the aquarium trade.
We just received these little gals last week and they are currently in observation and quarantine before being introduced to the population. They’ll join the others once they are desensitized to the noise, commotion, and are eating off a feeding pole.
OCWR AWARDS DISCOVERY CUBE MULTIMILLION DOLLAR GRANT!
On Tuesday morning the Orange County Supervisors approved this grant, by a 4-0 vote, awarding the Orange County Cube over $2.87 Million from OC Waste & Recycling.
This grant is the continuation of a long and healthy relationship with OC Waste & Recycling and the grant will provide multi-year funding for:
- Eco Challenge exhibit upgrade and refresh
- Pumpkin Palooza festival enhancement
- Continued educational programming with OCWR
- Healthy Kitchen reactivation
- Marketing support
- Creation of new content with Cube Studios
- The future at Discovery Cube is looking GREEN!
DISCOVERY CUBE LOS ANGELES ANNOUNCES ITS 2024 GALA HONOREES
We are pleased to announce that this year’s gala honorees include one of your fellow Board Members, Tim Gaspar. We are thrilled to honor Christina and Tim Gaspar at this year’s event. Tim, THANK YOU for your service on the Board and your dedication to the Cube!
Additionally we’ll be honoring The City of Los Angeles with LADWP | Martin Adams and LASAN | Barbara Romero. The support from the City of Los Angeles and these agencies has been instrumental in our current success and will be pivotal for our future growth!
All these devoted Cube partners have made a tremendous impact on the lives of Southern California residents throughout the years, and we could not be more excited to honor them and celebrate our collective work towards educational equity at our upcoming Gala on Saturday, May 4th.
For additional information on the upcoming Gala, to purchase tickets, tables or support, click on the graphic below.
TOUR AND VISIT WITH ARTHUR AFFLECK
In support of the Lilly Endowment grant Executive Director of the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM), Arthur Affleck, came for a site visit at Discovery Cube Orange County. This was Arthur’s first visit to either of the Cube’s and he was monumentally impressed!
Arthur has traveled to over 100 science centers and children’s museums and he complemented us as an industry leader when it came to gamification, adventures, community impact, and our festival overlays which enhance the fun and educational factors of our exhibitions. In fact, Arthur was so impressed and inspired by the work we do that that he is planning to have the Association feature a summer story on the innovations that are taking place here at our Cube’s in their national publication.
So, there you have it, direct from the CEO of the Association of Children’s Museums, our Cube’s are leading the way and being noticed at a national level!
SECOND ANNUAL PARTNER BREAKFAST
On Thursday, January 18th Discovery Cube OC hosted it’s second annual Partnership Appreciation Breakfast to kick-off the New Year!
This event gives us a chance to celebrate and say thank you to all the people behind the scenes that bring the magic to the Cube. Designers, Contractors, Architects, Exhibit Fabricators, Suppliers, School Districts, Marketing Partners and even some Sponsors were in attendance.
It was wonderful to have all these people, beyond the staff, who share in our excitement to help carry out our mission and who are inspired by our work to keep advancing what we do in an effort to make an impact in our community.
AFTER SCHOOL CONTRACTS APLENTY
As the children of Southern California head back to school after Winter Break our army of educators will be launching new after school programs throughout the region this Spring!
Tina has secured four new contracts in Los Angeles and one new contract in Orange County all starting this semester with more on the horizon.
The four new LA partnerships include Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, Carthay Environmental Studies STEAM Magnet School, Harding St. Elementary, and Sulphur Springs Union School District. In total, these new contracts will account for nearly 40 workshops per student and over 7,800 student experiences.
The new OC contract is with the Merage Jewish Community Center; providing a total of 7 after school workshops and over 1,100 student experiences.
WINTER LIGHTS YEAR TWO
From Opening Night to closing day, this year’s run of Winter Lights shows and festival was well received by all audiences!
This year’s performance was enhanced by our new LED walls; positively impacting the production and wowing our audiences. Additionally, the underlying theme of Girls in STEM seemed to resonate with our guests in a wonderful way.
Winter Lights received great coverage and feedback with over 60 media outlets and their families in attendance at the Opening Night Celebration, in addition to donors and partners. The buzz was infectious and evident in our attendance from the very start. Please enjoy some of the social influencers comments shared below.
“This is such a delightful addition to the cube and the kids did not want to leave! So much fun! Come join them now through January 7th!”
“It was extremely cute! Definitely fell in love with the characters. Really great to inspire young minds with a bit of holiday magic❄️! ”
“We had a blast visiting Discovery Cube for the first time, and especially getting to experience the Winter Lights Holiday Show & Festival, which is wonderful for kids who are interested in science and their families.”
“The Winter Lights Show is a cute and fun musical that happens in the Discovery Cube theater. It invites audiences to come and get inspired in a winter wonderland filled with real actors, original songs and the holiday spirit!”
“If you love live performances, It’s a great time to visit Discovery Center Orange County. Winter Lights has three different showtimes to choose from, and it was tailor-made to be family-friendly!”
NOON YEAR’S EVE IN LOS ANGELES WAS POPPIN’
With nearly 3,000 guests attending one of two suspense filled balloon drops, Discovery Cube Los Angeles had a fun filled day to close out 2023!
The LA team up’d the ante this year with two separate drops, one at Noon and one at 3pm to accommodate the record crowds. New to this year was snow, confetti cannons, a DJ to keep the party rocking all day, guest favors, and ginger ale or cider for toasting to make sure everyone was in the Noon Year’s spirit!
With ticketed admission required for the first time this year, the event brought in over $17,000 of revenue for the day, acting as the exclamation point to this fun and festive event. Cheers to Noon Year’s Eve!
DINO QUEST CONSTRUCTION IS UNDERWAY
Since late October, Orange County’s Dino Quest exhibit has been closed for construction that is currently well underway! With a targeted opening of this Summer, the team is charging full speed ahead on all fronts.
Our partners at Stoneface have already completed their initial round of rock work including demo and resurfacing all the rock facades to maintain that prehistoric feel. Additionally, they gave Gina, our Argentinosaurus, a cosmetic makeover with a new full body paint job so she’s looking stunning to start the new year!
All the while, our contractor lead, HL Miller, has been demoing and started the construction of our brand new dig pit site, a 750 square foot structure where kids will be able to put their excavation skills to the test and uncover a replica fossilized T-rex skeleton.
More to come, so stay tuned for continued updates!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM DISCOVERY CUBE LOS ANGELES BOARD
Discovery Cube Los Angeles hosted its annual December board meeting and traditional Holiday dinner in downtown Los Angeles at Redbird restaurant.
A brief board meeting followed by a dinner full of Holiday cheer is the best way to wrap up the year! Not to mention a surprise special guest, Mayor Karen Bass, who stopped in to say hello, a small world indeed.
WINTER LIGHTS MAKES ITS YEAR TWO DEBUT
The auroras are back with a sold out house of over 500 expected guests to see Winter Lights: A Journey Home on it’s opening night. Tonight’s show will help generate media and community buzz and set the stage for a three week run through Sunday, January 7th.
Winter Lights: A Journey Home is a holiday musical created by Discovery Cube, in partnership with the Tony Award-winning production team, Apples & Oranges Studios.
This holiday musical and festival is an important showcase for our year round initiative to promote girls in STEM by blending a heartwarming story, with captivating music and a story line of heart and determination.
To come see a show or to learn more about our Girls in STEM initiative contact Jen Granger, Orange County Vice President of Development.
SCIENCE OF GINGERBREAD AWARDS CEREMONIES CELEBRATE SWEET SUCCESS
This past weekend, both Discovery Cube OC and LA hosted our annual Science of Gingerbread awards to celebrate Gingerbread creators of all ages. This year, we introduced a new “STEAM Student” category to recognize high school or college students who are currently enrolled in a culinary or engineering program. The Structural Engineering Society at Cal Poly Pomona was the recipient of this year’s scholarship, with their “Monster House” entry.
We also formed the start of an exciting new partnership that we hope to grow next year with the Structural Engineering Association of Southern California and their annual Gingerbread Challenge. They annually host their own SoCal Gingerbread Challenge encouraging engineering professionals across Southern California to get creative and construct elaborate but structurally sound buildings from gingerbread, candy, and icing. After an intense build night, the gingerbread creations are put to the test on a shake table to see if they hold up in an earthquake! Then, during a three day display the public is invited to vote for their favorites.
This year, after voting, the ten impressively sized surviving structures were brough to Orange County to be displayed and all participants were invited to join us at our Science of Gingerbread Awards night. We are in talks to hosting their event at the Cube next year and think there could be additional opportunities such as us benefiting from their foundation. There is a lot of excitement and synergy around our future partnership.
Last but certainly not least, we’d like to share a special thanks to our Orange County Science of Gingerbread sponsors Farmers & Merchants Bank, not only their partnership and support but for and Christine Walker’s participation as a judge and her attendance at the awards ceremony to help Joe present to all our winners this year.
INNOVATOR HOLIDAY PARTY
A family friendly affair, this year’s Innovator Holiday party hosted by fellow Board Member Emily Horowitz boasted ugly sweaters, good food, the traditional holiday pop-up store, science crafts for the children, and live entertainment – Cube style.
Guests were treated to a sneak peek of Winter Lights medley from the shows musical song writer, co-producer and performer, Pamela Winslow Kashani. And, as part of our Holiday tradition, a “Moment of Science” Competition was lead by one of our very own Discovery Cube educators, Cindy Di’Avani.
A good time was had by all!
NEW TRELLIS STRUCTURES ENHANCE ORGANIC WASTE LAB
Thanks to the ongoing partnership and support of Orange County Waste and Recycling the Cube was able to design, fabricate, and install two beautiful structures in our Organic Waste Lab patio to help beautify and add future shade for guests; making the outdoor space more inviting during the warm summer months.
A SNEEK PEEK AT THE NEW LED WALLS
Earlier this week the team loaded in 300 new LED modular panels, what you see here is only 170 panels spanning the Showcase Theater. This incredible technology was made possible through a $600K grant from the Samueli Foundation.
Our first feature use of these walls will be through this year’s Winter Lights musical spectacular this Holiday season. Then, in January we will use them to showcase new images from the James Webb telescope in partnership with UCI as part of our Solar System Encounter exhibit.
Exciting times! To watch a time-lapse of the LED wall build, CLICK HERE
DISCOVERY CUBE IMPACT EVENT
Another successful Impact Event in the books! On Sunday, November 5th the Cube hosted over 230 participants at Huntington State Beach. Our Educators were also onsite to engage with guests and help connect the dots from our exhibits at the Cube to the real world application and impact.
Together, we were able to collect over 163 pounds of trash from the beach and surrounding areas in only two hours. Most notably we gathered 834 pieces of plastic, 547 pieces of Styrofoam and 320 bottle caps, all tracked on our data whiteboard by participants themselves.
Understanding the importance of activating our mission through these events is key to making a difference beyond our walls!
LILLY ENDOWMENT GRANT “FOSTERING CHARACTER THROUGH CHILDRENS’ MUSEUMS”
Discovery Cube is pleased to have been selected and awarded $100,000 from the Lilly Endowment. This grant is focused on the topic of character development and will be used to explore and prepare a phase two implementation grant. Phase two funding considerations range from $1millon to $2.5 million and will be awarded next Fall.
The Endowment believes positive character traits can be learned and developed in many different contexts and that children’s museums may be uniquely positioned to help promote and enhance character development in their communities.
We will look to engage you, our Board Members, on this grant as we work to identify and explore character traits that the Cube hopes to develop in our young visitors. We will also be exploring innovative ways to engage our guests and create unique exhibits and programs that foster these same traits.
More to come!
WITH DEEPEST SORROW
This past Sunday, the Cube lost a very special family member, Lysanne Sebastian, daughter to Janet and Walkie Ray, wife to Rick, mother to Bradley and Sage, and so much to so many others.
We are proud to honor her life and joyful spirit through the work we do every day. Lysanne spent many of her younger years growing up alongside the Cube as her parents dedicated much of their lives to nurturing and fostering the Cube’s growth like one of their own. Lysanne herself also dedicated more than 10 years serving on the Innovators Leadership Council empowering others through her love and passion for science education.
We will continue to honor her loving memory and profound legacy every day and cherish the many memories she created with us.
While our hearts are broken, our spirits cannot be, because she carries us.
NEW CUBE TRADITION | DIA DE LOS MUERTOS OFRENDAS
Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican celebration honoring loved ones who have passed away. The two-day celebration, which takes place annually on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2, is not a somber holiday but a day that celebrates and honors the dead with festivities filled with color, music and food.An Ofrenda, or alter, includes photos of the deceased, sugar skulls, traditional sweet breads and marigold flowers. The marigold is included in the ofrendas not only because they are seen everywhere during this time of year, but also because according to Mexican folklore, its strong smell is believed to attract spirits. Both Discovery Cube sites have chosen to start a new annual tradition this year by erecting an Ofrenda at each site and have filled it with photos of those who’ve made a significant impact on the Cube. Our hope is to continue this new tradition each October as a way to remember those who came before us and helped to lay the groundwork for our current and future success. If you know someone that you feel should be included on the Ofrenda at either site, please don’t hesitate to contact me. The Cube history is long, and we would like to include all who have made an impact over the years.
ORANGE COUNTY INNOVATORS GET INTO THE HALLOWEEN SPIRITS
Innovators enjoyed an unforgettable night of immersion where the worlds of distillation and culinary science met in spectacular fashion right in their own backyards.
Surf City Still Works is an independent craft distillery founded in 2017 established with a clear purpose in mind; to bring craft distilling to Huntington Beach, celebrate the art of mixology, and support local artists.
Gaston, Surf City’s head mixologist, took guests on an informative journey through the high-tech distillation facility unveiling the secrets and science behind all their favorite spirits…the boozy kind that is.
He then dove into the science and art of mixology, pairings and culinary fusion with the help of Surf City’s Two Michelin-starred celebrity chef, James Beard Award winner and restaurateur Alex Stratta. Guests taste buds and minds alike were delighted!
Check out the event photo album: Innovator Event Photo Album
LOS ANGELES ENCHANTED HALLOWEEN SCARES UP SOME IMPRESSIVE NUMBERS
On Saturday, October 28th Los Angeles hosted its first ticketed spooktacular event, Enchanted Halloween, to wild success!
With nearly 1,100 guests in attendance the event brought in over $6,000 through event ticket sales, plus $7,500 in GA sales from non-Members. The night time festivities included face painters, magicians, food trucks, a DJ, costume contests and, of course, Trick-Or-Treating!
A frightfully delightful night!
LAUSD DAY AT THE CUBE
On Saturday, October 21st, Discovery Cube Los Angeles welcomed LAUSD Board District 6 visitors for the second annual “Family Day at Discovery Cube.” Families from across the district joined for an afternoon of science exploration and activities provided by Bank of America and LA Sanitation.
Photographed above is LAUSD Board Member Kelly Gonez with Luis for a brief chat as the day rolled out.
WELCOME TO THE BOARD JOHN!
This past week, we officially welcomed John Wilmarth to the Los Angeles Board of Directors at his first Board Meeting.John is a Principal in KPMG’s Advisory Services practice with more than 20 years of experience helping clients assess, manage and enhance their technology, business operations, risk management and governance capabilities. His primary focus is industrial manufacturing with a specific emphasis on automotive, while also spending time in the consumer markets and real estate sectors. He specializes in IT governance, risk management, information security, IT compliance, internal controls, SOX and internal audits.
John has significant experience managing and coordinating advisory engagements across multiple industries including industrial manufacturing/automotive, consumer markets/retail and healthcare sectors. He has served as engagement Principal with responsibility for planning, coordinating, budgeting, execution, and delivery of extensive IT and business process internal audit plans; broad SOX 404 assistance projects; application security design engagements; and business process efficiency and risk assessments.Please join us in welcoming John to the Cube family.
LOS ANGELES CHAIRMAN’S CUP INAGURAL EVENT
The very first Los Angeles Chairman’s Cup hosted 12 golfers and 23 participants up in Pebble Beach at the beautiful Inn at Spanish Bay this past weekend. The event was a huge success and everyone has already shared their excitement for next year and all that is to come! Attendees included current Board Members, prospective donors, and a few of our ‘next generation’ supporters!
The celebratory nature of the event was only fueled by the many Birthdays that marked the occasion. Those guests of honor included Michael Stephenson, Joe Adams, and Georgina Mueller. Cheers to each of you and thank you for celebrating with us!Special thanks to our Board and Committee Members Melanie Coto and Michael Stephenson, Wendy Greuel and Dean Schramm, Tim Gaspar, Tony Mueller, and Pedram Salimpour who spearheaded the effort; turning the idea into reality. This year’s success will only ensure next years growth!
ORANGE COUNTY’S PUMPKIN PALOOZA DOUBLES UP ON NEW SUCCESS
On Friday, October 6th Orange County kicked off the run of this year’s second annual Pumpkin Palooza by hosting its first ticketed Member event which promptly sold out bringing in 750 guests and yielding $6,000 in incremental income!
Another first for OC was a sensory friendly Pumpkin Palooza show which nearly sold out; boasting a crowd of almost 300 guests. The sensory friendly show was held on Sunday, October 15th at 10:30am. Jack-O-Lynn still led the crowd through the dance adventure, but ‘take it down a notch’ for those who might feel overwhelmed by all the excitement. Show audio and performer audio were reduced significantly, lighting affects were also dampened and slowed down, the floor projections, haze and strobe lights were turned off for this show and certain pieces of the performance was toned down. The show was well received by audiences and feedback has been very positive.
LOS ANGELES SPOOKY SCIENCE HAS SO MUCH TO OFFER
Spooky Science elevated the fun on Saturday, October 7th for our annual Member Event which saw over 500 members!
Visitors meet some extra spooky guest provided by the Reptile Zoo, enjoyed the haunting sounds of the “scarolers,” got gooey with some hands-on fun at the Spooky Demo Stage and did it all in style dressed in their Halloween costumes of choice. Not to mention taking part in some family friendly trick-or-treating along the way.
AFRAID that you missed out on all the fun!? Not to worry, LA is hosting its first ticketed spooktacular event, Enchanted Halloween, on Saturday, October 28th to delight guests of all ages with face painters, magicians, food trucks, a DJ and so much much more!
ASSEMBLYWOMAN LAURA FRIEDMAN PRESENTS BIG CHECK AT DISCOVERY CUBE LOS ANGELES
On Friday, October 6th we extend deep gratitude to Assemblywoman Laura Freidman for her generous contribution of $933,000 towards our future “STEM Walk” bike path at Discovery Cube Los Angeles. We greatly value the collaboration with her team and look forward to furthering our commitment to the San Fernando community.
Thank you to all those who were able to join us for this exciting moment alongside Assemblywoman Laura Friedman and Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.
YOU WILL BE MISSED PAUL
It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the loss of a beloved friend and longtime supporter, Paul Folino.
Paul was a champion for the Cube in every sense of the word and a true believer in the power of STEM education.
His legacy will live on through our annual Folino Hall of Fame, an honor established in 2021, which is bestowed upon those who share the same values, passion, and fortitude for impacting the children of Southern California.
He has left an indelible mark on our entire community through his philanthropy, dedication, leadership, and generosity of spirit. He will continue to inspire us all as he was the embodiment of unwavering support for us and so many others.