Inspiring young minds is the top priority for the educational centers of Discovery Cube. They engage children through science-based programs and exhibits, creating a meaningful impact on local communities.
There are three campuses – Orange County, Los Angeles and OceanQuest in Newport Beach. They make a positive difference through four core initiatives: STEM proficiency, early childhood education, healthy living, and environmental stewardship. Discovery Cube started in OC 20 years ago, Discovery Cube LA opened in 2014 and OceanQuest came into being 2 years ago. Their programs are geared to kids aged 3 to 13.
Why is science so important to young minds?
“It's a gateway and provides an opportunity for exploration, whether it's in a science-based field or just in life,” says Sacha Van Voorhis, the Director of Discovery Cube LA. “To understand the world around us, it feeds into all different aspects of what we do, and I think we have a big impact.”
Exhibits at Discovery Cube are math and science based. “Everything is very interwoven. We have a lot of exhibits that have a technology edge where kids are playing on a tablet where we have gamified a lesson,” says Sacha. “For example with math exhibits the kids have to solve a quick formula in their head to move forward to the next level.”
The Early Learners program caters to the littlest learners with a solid base in the fundamentals of reading and basic math. With this foundation, kids can then grasp larger science-based concepts. Discovery Cube also offers “Futuros Brillantes” an award-winning program designed for low-income parents of children six and under to help their children become school-ready, develop their complex language and reading skills in English and Spanish, understand number sense, and incorporate science-thinking skills.
Healthy living is also a huge focus. The LA campus is located inside the Hansen Dam Recreation Area so there are beautiful walking paths and neighborhood parks for the kids to explore. Discovery Cube also promotes health through exhibits. Education about recycling, sustainable foods, and buying locally is prominent. They focus on showing kids that making a change in your own household can also affect your community.
There are also some truly fun-filled programs: Birthday parties and Sleepovers! Birthday parties feature a science demonstration – along with tons of play. It's an opportunity for kids to come in and have a different experience and explore. Sleepovers create a truly unique time. Campers get to come in and explore specialized programming with different levels of engagement. You can even sleep in an exhibit!
Discovery Cube's exhibits have the intention of taking a science concept and encouraging kids to apply it away from the center. “We do a lot of reinforcement,” says Sacha. “Whether you are playing one of our games or exploring one of our exhibits there is always a call to action at the end. We want the kids to carry what we've brought into the science center into their own homes – and we try to make everything very relatable.”
The exhibits at Discovery Cube are original and exciting. In OC they have over 50 permanent exhibits and in LA there are over 14 permanent exhibits. They also have a rotation of traveling exhibits that come through both campuses. Currently, at the OC campus, kids can rule the jungle with The Lion Guard: The Exhibit. It's based off the Disney movie the Lion King, and takes kids through the pridelands, focusing on teamwork and imagination.
Science of Gingerbread, the exhibit and the competition, are now open and in full swing at both the LA and OC campuses. This is where Discovery Cube takes engineering and inserts it into the holiday spirit. The Science of Gingerbread annual competition allows guests and businesses to enter a creation decorated in the holiday theme. Entries will be displayed at the Discovery Cube LA and OC locations. The exhibit boasts a wide array of hands-on activities where guests can create their own winter sleigh, decorate cookies, build in the elves tinker shop, and more!
Other exhibits include: An Inspector Training Course exhibit teaches kids a variety of different elements in regards to sustainability and safety within the home. A recycling game called Zero Waste challenges children to sort trash into hazardous waste, recycling, trash and organics.Discovery Cube has plenty brewing for the future. Their goal is to be involved in the local community to outreach more kids and expand programming. Kids can learn and have fun!
For more info, call (866) 552-CUBE or visit discoverycube.org