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4. Discovery Science Center

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Discovery Science Center

Left to right: Kate Upton, Joe Adams, and Mrs. Obama. Click image for a larger view.

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 & 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.

"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."

Community Member: A critical part of Discovery Science Center’s mission is to educate young minds and inspire the next generation of science innovators. Twenty-three-year old Kate Upton is a prime example. Kate’s visits to Discovery Science Center began nearly two decades ago, and her interest and enthusiasm in visiting resulted in her mom purchasing an annual membership. In second grade, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Kate replied, "a good and faithful scientist." Kate is on track – a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry and minors in Math and Physics are already under her belt, and she’s currently pursuing a Ph.D. at Cal Tech. "It was at a young age when I learned about my passion for sharing science, and that science could be experienced in multiple different ways," remarked Kate.

Praise for Discovery Science Center:

I am proud to celebrate Discovery Science Center as one of this year’s National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners. This is a monumental achievement for DSC, which is truly an exceptional institution and an Orange County treasure. Children and adults alike have enjoyed learning about science and technology at the Discovery Cube over the years. It’s wonderful to see DSC be recognized nationally for its innovation and its impact in our community.
U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez (Calif.)

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