Discovery Cube OC Hosts Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails
Guests are invited to climb aboard on an imaginative adventure featuring everyone’s favorite train engine beginning Oct. 4, 2014
SANTA ANA, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2014) – The world’s most beloved blue engine rolls into Discovery Cube OC just in time for the holiday season on October 4, 2014. Thomas & Friends®: Explore the Rails is an interactive, hands-on exhibit, and is locally sponsored by PBS SoCal. The exhibit is set to run through January 4, 2015.
Featuring the favorite engines and destinations from Thomas & Friends, the STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Math) -focused exhibit seeks to engage children and families in foundational skills that foster STEM literacy through playful learning experiences. The exhibit incorporates foundational STEM practices that encourage thinking mathematically, making comparisons, experimenting to solve problems using a variety of methods and tools, thinking creatively and reflecting on actions and results.
Visitors to the 1500 square foot exhibit will be delighted as they find themselves surrounded by the Island of Sodor’s iconic locations: Knapford Station, Sodor Steamworks and much more. In the exhibit, children help Thomas and his friends solve a variety of challenges, from a simple sorting and shape identification activity to more complex engineering obstacles, such as completing a train track using track pieces with different levels of elevation. As children confront new challenges and test their abilities, the smiling faces of Thomas, Percy, Victor and others are there to offer encouragement and remind children how “really useful” they all are.
Inside the Exhibit:
- Climb into Thomas’ cab and explore the engine’s inner workings. Flip levers and investigate other moveable parts that trigger train noises such as braking, whistles and steam.
- Fix Percy’s wobbly wheel by removing and replacing parts and experimenting to find a combination of wheels, rods and bolts that work.
- Explore the favorite Island of Sodor destinations including: Tidmouth Sheds, Brendam Docks and the Sodor Search & Rescue Station on an over-sized Thomas Wooden Railway train table.
- Work with old and new friends loading luggage, livestock and other freight into the coaches of two train cars.
- Collaborate with others to get Percy moving by loading coal into his coal box and filling his tank with water from a water tower.
- Suit up as the conductor to exchange money and sell tickets to other visitors taking a ride on the train.
- Wander through a Thomas & Friends retrospective featuring model engines from the original live action series produced in London, copies of the original drawings and manuscripts from the Rev. W. Awdry, the creator of Thomas & Friends, and a collection of memorabilia documenting the history and evolution of Thomas & Friends through books, television, and toys.
The Thomas & Friends exhibit was designed and developed by Minnesota Children’s Museum in partnership with HIT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. The national tour is sponsored by 3M. PBS SoCal is the local media sponsor for the exhibit and the television home for Thomas & Friends. PBS SoCaL is excited that their PBS show is being brought to life by this dynamic exhibit for Thomas & Friends’ fans across Southern California.
Doors open to the public on October 4, 2014. Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails is included with general admission fees. Tickets can be purchased at Discovery Cube Orange County or online at www.discoverycube.org/oc. General admission prices are as follows: adult ($16.95), senior ($12.95), and children ages 3-14 ($12.95).
About Thomas & Friends®
Thomas the Tank Engine™ was created by a father for his son nearly 70 years ago and today is enjoyed by families in more than 185 territories and in 30 languages. The #1 blue engine and his friends invite children to enter a world of imagination through the tracks of a train and the words of a story. Children embark on adventures with their engine friends while experiencing timeless life lessons of discovery, friendship and teamwork. Thomas & Friends is the #1 preschool toy license in the US, according to The NPD Group, Inc., and makes tracks to great destinations on PBS KIDS® and Sprout® in the US and on Treehouse and Télé-Québec in Canada and with downloadable episodes available through iTunes. For more information, please visit Thomas and Friends website. Follow Thomas on Facebook and Twitter.
About Minnesota Children’s Museum
For more than 30 years, Minnesota Children’s Museum has combined early childhood research and best practices to provide children and families with hands-on experiences that develop healthy minds and bodies, build critical and creative thinking skills and prepare children for success in school and in life. A non-profit community organization and leading cultural institution, the Museum serves more than 450,000 children and adults each year through immersive experiences and environments that encourage children’s active exploration and adult engagement.
As the nation’s leading developer of traveling children’s museum exhibits, the Museum is a trailblazer in creating immersive learning environments, reaching more than 10 million children and adults in the United States, Canada and Mexico through the nation’s largest collection of children’s traveling exhibits. The Museum is consistently rated as one of the top children’s museums in the country by national media outlets like Forbes and Parents and was recently named as a finalist for an Institute of Museum and Library Services Medal of Service, the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries.
About Hit Entertainment
HIT Entertainment is one of the world’s leading preschool entertainment companies, specializing in building powerful brands based on engaging stories. HIT Entertainment’s world-class portfolio includes Thomas & Friends®, Mike the Knight™, Fireman Sam®, Bob the Builder, Barney®, Angelina Ballerina®, Pingu® and Rainbow Magic®.
HIT Entertainment excels at creating and building globally successful brands which capture the hearts and imaginations of preschoolers and their families. This is achieved through exceptional storytelling in multiple formats, enhanced by creating high quality character-based products and experiences with best-in-class partners. HIT Entertainment’s lines of business span television and home entertainment production, content distribution, digital media, publishing, consumer products and live events and attractions. HIT Entertainment, a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc., has operations in the UK, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. For more information visit HIT Entertainment.
ABOUT PBS SoCaL
PBS SoCaL is PBS for Greater Los Angeles and is dedicated to educating, entertaining and enlightening viewers throughout Southern California. With its three unique broadcast channels, PBS SoCaL HD, PBS SoCaL Plus and PBS SoCaL World, PBS SoCaL provides award-winning programs like Frontline, NewsHour, NOVA, Nature and Masterpiece, as well as local productions including Studio SoCaL and LAaRT. Through community outreach initiatives including PBS SoCaL Education, PBS SoCaL provides local schools access to new media materials that engage students in 21st century learning. Explore the future of PBS in Southern California at www.pbssocal.org.
3Mgives is a recognized leader in corporate giving, philanthropy, volunteerism and community engagement. Since 1953, 3M has invested $1.3 billion in cash and products around the world and was most recently honored with the United Way Spirit of America Award, the Silver U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award and the Excellence in Mentoring Award for Corporate Leadership. For more information, visit the 3Mgives website or follow on Twitter.
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.