Ecosystems open at the new California Science Center

Now you can explore the varied ecosystems of land and sea, and discover how the physical and living worlds are connected and shaped by the same fundamental ecological principles. You can experience it by visiting the Ecosystems exhibit at the California Science Center. It is the only one of its kind in the United States. Amanda Herman of Annenberg Radio News has an audio report about Ecosystems.

Hundreds of kids ran from the islands off the coast of South America to the flash floods of the desert and back to urban Los Angeles all within a few steps at todays opening of the California Science Center’s newest exhibition wing. Eleven different rooms feature diverse ecosystems from across the world, featuring more than 250 species of plants and animals. The broad range of environments and creatures in the exhibition makes it the only one of its kind of the United States.

“There are just so many favorite things about the exhibit that I absolutely love,” said William Harris, the Senior Vice President of Marketing for the California Science Center. “What we hear from the public is that they love everything.”

The live habitats and hands on activities nearly doubles the amount of exhibition space at the Science Center. Harris hopes this will draw in people of all ages, as well as students.

“We have to be lifelong learners, and that is what the Science Center is all about,” Harris said. “We are trying to keep people thinking and exploring throughout their lives.”

Highlights include a River Zone that shows visitors the power and impact of currents through interactive wind machines, an Island Zone noticing how isolated species evolve, and a Desert and Flash Flood Zone that explores how animals adapt to the extreme heat of day and harsh cold of night.

“My favorite part was going to the pole. I looked at everything. I loved it, it was so cool,” Eighth grader Sarah Holmes said. Holmes came to the exhibit opening with her school.

Other students enjoyed the interactive aspects of the exhibit which includes games, videos, and touch tanks.

“I liked the part where I was in the desert and then it was flashed and all the water came because you get water on your hands”, said 7-year-old Kiara Scottlyn.

The exhibit features a 24-foot long transparent through a 188,000 gallon kelp habitat. The tank is populated with more than 1,500 live fish, kelp, and other marine life. It is the only walk-through kelp habitat in the world.

“You have a chance to really understand what it is like to be a species living in a kelp forest,” Harris explained. “There are so many wonderful experiences for the public to stimulate learning.”

More information about exploring the sights and sounds of the Ecosystems exhibit at the California Science Center can be found at