The California Science Center is an interactive science museum located in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, just south of University of Southern California. The museum isthe West Coast's largest hands-on science center attracting more than 18 million visitors since opening in February 1998.
The 400,000 sq. feet complex consists of the IMAX Theater, the Sketch Foundation Gallery - Air and Space Exhibits and the Science Center itself - including the March 2010 opening of the Ecosystems exhibition wing. Also coming to the science center is Space Shuttle Endeavour which completed its last mission on June 1, 2011. California Science Center is one of the three institutes in United States that won the bid to host the space orbiters.
California Science Center features the following exciting galleries:
World of Life
Interactive displays of all living creatures—from the single-celled amoeba all the way up to 100-trillion-celled human being. Highlights of displays include
- Life Tunnel: discover the connections between all life forms.
- Energy Factory: See a real human digestive tract; check out the table manners of all kinds of animals; see the difference between a cold-blooded lizard and a warm-blooded rat.
- Supply Network: Check how fast a mouse's heart beat; catch a ride on a red blood cell through the human circulatory system;pump blood to the brains inside a model of a child or a giraffe.
- Control Center: Examine the real brain of a fish, pelican, cat and monkey; float like a bat and see like a bee
- Defense Line: Search out camouflaged tree frogs and sea horses; watch footage of real heart or lung surgery happening right on the operating table; play computer game of attacking invading bacteria.
- Life Source: See the steps of human development from a single cell into a two-trillion-celled baby; visit to the chick hatchery to watch chicks break out of their eggs.
- BodyWorks: See Tess, a 50-foot body simulator.
- Cell Lab: Check out bacteria, protists and fungi.
Explore the benefits and consequences of invention from digital imaging to solar cars and earthquake-resistant buildings.
- Communications: play the game using virtual reality technology; play rocking tunes on a virtual guitar, keyboard or drum set; mutter a secret message into a transmission dish.
- Structures: build your own structures to test against an earthquake; feel the shaking of an earthquake; computer game to investigate the ways you can save energy at home; live demonstrations to learn about materials.
- Transportation: solar car race; wind sailors; design a car from engine; wind tunnel.
Explore the varied ecosystems of land and sea from the following galleries.
- Desert: see live tortoises, chuckwallas and scorpions; witness a flash flood.
- Poles: feel the chill of an ice wall; find out how species survive at the ends of the Earth.
- Deep Sea Vents: come aboard a mocked-up research vessel and explore the bottom of the ocean with a “virtual” camera.
- Rocky Shore: explore a tide pool filled with marine organisms
- Kelp Forest: walk through a tunnel at the bottom of a 188,000 gallon tank and see many of the plants and animals you’d find off the Southern California coast, from leopard sharks and garibaldi, to bat rays and moray eels.
- River Zone: discover which body shapes are best-suited to life in a river flow; power up one of four blowers and send streams of rippling air along a wall of shimmering sequins.
- Island Zone: observe colorful, live reef fish found only in Hawaii.
- Rot Room: watch roaches, sowbugs, millipedes and fungi transform a log into a mass of rotten wood.
- Global Zone: See Earth’s global cycles of air, water, land, and life play out in high-deffinition on a giant, six foot, MagicPlanet.
- L.A. Zone: L.A. Wall Map; make rain beads fall over two different landscapes; computer game to manipulate a city’s land-use decisions; take a look at the amount of garbage we all throw away.
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