Coliseum deal could go forward today

The California Science Center Board of Directors could vote at its meeting June 5 to approve the latest terms of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum lease agreement with USC.

If approved by the Board, the agreement would give USC full managing rights at the state historical landmark and guarantee the university 70 percent of the parking spaces in the Science Center’s deck on 25 event days per year (33 if the NFL uses the stadium temporarily). It would also extend USC’s lease from 2054, the expiration date agreed upon in a December 2012 plan, to 2111 — a 98-year deal.

But opponents of the deal spoke out at public forums this week, saying that the loss of parking would take both revenue and visitors away from the California African American Museum , the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. [Read more…]

Standing out through science

California State Science Fair

California State Science Fair at the Science Center in Expo Park. (Photo by Emilie Mateu)

Listen to a story by Annenberg Radio News

The California Science Center hosted the 42nd Annual State Fair today, where students proved just how talented their generation of young scientists really is.

American writer Pearl Buck once said: “The young do not know enough to be prudent. They attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.”

Today, more than 1,000 students tried to explain the impossible through science at the 42nd Annual State Science Fair in Exposition Park. [Read more…]

Endeavour inspires future scientists in its new home

*Emmanuel Martinez contributed to this report.

Endeavour launched its final mission today at the California Science Center—an exhibit featuring the shuttle itself, its main engine, and the tires from its last space mission.

imagePhoto courtesy of Justin Higuchi (jus10h) at Flickr.

But the exhibit will do more than show off the shuttle’s design. Jeffrey Rudolph, President and CEO of the Science Center, said, “It really is a significant moment in our efforts to inspire young people, and people of all ages, to want to learn more about science and technology and engineering, and to become our future explorers.”

The inspiration is already taking root. Students from the Alexander Science Center School were already imagining what a trip into space would be like. Amarion Arias, one of the school-children in attendance, said he wanted to be an astronaut because he would be able “to see everything that’s in the space shuttle.” Moses Ross firmly announced his intention to fly in space. “So when I grow older, I’m going to be in the space shuttle and fly in space, and I can—like gravity—I can fly on the moon.”

Former astronaut Leland Melvin flew on the shuttle Atlantis in 2008 and 2009. He says the Endeavour may launch a whole new generation of budding scientists and inventors, “a new era in discovery and imagination for every child that sees it to think about themselves building the next vehicle that’s going to take us to Mars, or being the astronaut who steps onto the Martian surface, or being a doctor that’s going to save someone’s life with stem technology.”

Even grounded, the Endeavour still remains a potent symbol of possibility.

Dia de los Muertos at the California Science Center

As part of the closing phase of the “Mummies of the World” exhibition, the California Science Center plans to offer a special Dia de los Muertos display on Nov.1 and 2. The “Day of the Dead” is a traditional holiday celebrated in Mexico on Nov.2, and focuses on praying for loved ones who have passed away.

The California Science Center Dia de los Muertos display will feature the traditions and culture of the indigenous people of Latin America. According to a press release, the public is invited to bring non-returnable photographs of departed loved ones that will become part of the display which is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

The History of Dia de los Muertos, courtesy of the California Science Center:

Despite the sound of the name, Dia de los Muertos is a festive, centuries-old holiday rooted in Mexican tradition, predating the arrival of the Spanish to the Americas. The holiday memorializes the lives of family and loved ones who have gone before us. In this custom, it is important to maintain good relations with the dead because it is believed it is they who intercede and bring good fortune to the living. The display will feature traditional Mexican folk art, artifacts, flowers, pan de muerto (“bread of the dead”), and photos of the departed. Guests will also find the Libro de Recuerdos (“memory book”) where they may leave heart-felt messages for the dead.

“Mummies of the World bridges the gap between the past and present through science, which increases our knowledge of the historical and cultural record around the world,” said William Harris, Senior Vice President of Development and Marketing, California Science Center Foundation. “Dia de los Muertos bridges the past and present in a very different way through culture and family traditions.”

Photographs donated for the Dia de los Muertos display should be small to mid-sized, placed in a self-standing frame and only feature the departed loved-one. Photos and frames will not be returned.

The Dia de los Muertos display will be available for free public viewing November 1-2, 2010. To see the Mummies of the World exhibition, tickets are required and can be purchased in advance at  For more information, visit

Mummies of the World makes its Midwest debut at the Milwaukee Public Museum on December 17, 2010.

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

California Shake-Out in South L.A.


People all across the state took shelter under desks and other sturdy furniture as part of the great California shake-out. In Los Angeles, children at the California Science Center learned how to respond during a quake. Newly Paul of Annenberg Radio News has an audio report.