Space Docking Simulator Photo courtesy California Science Center
California Science Center
California Science Center in Los Angeles is designed to stimulate
and nurture interest in science, math, and technology. Founded on
the premise that science is at the core of modern life, the center
is the result of ten years of planning by a creative team of top
scientists, educators, and designers. In 1998, Phase 1 of the
California Science Center opened in a new three-level building in
Exposition Park. In its first year, the center received two million
visitors. Two additional phases, which will provide exhibits
focused on Pacific Rim ecosystems and the universe, are expected to
be completed by 2010.
Center exhibits are presented in thematic and
interactive "worlds." Through hands-on experiences, visitors learn
about the planet, life on earth, and human innovations.
Programs are designed for children, families, adults, school
groups, and educators. The Weingart Special Exhibits Gallery
showcases prominent traveling exhibits developed by the center and
other museums several times a year. The center's overall purpose is
to create lifelong memories and to motivate visitors to pursue
The roots of the California Science Center reach back
to 1872, when the Southern District Agricultural Society purchased
160 acres of land in what is today Los Angeles. The private
corporation composed of local business people and ranchers sought
to promote agricultural interests among local producers and
stockmen through exhibitions of livestock, field crops, and farm
equipment at "Agriculture Park." Because of financial difficulty,
the state of California took possession of the park in 1880, and
planned to develop it as a cultural center for the growing
community. The State Exposition Building, which was completed in
1912 for permanent exhibition of products and resources for all
California counties, became the centerpiece of the renovated park,
renamed Exposition Park.
Following World War II, the State Exposition
Building, which had focused on agricultural related displays,
closed and reopened as the California Museum of Science and
Industry (CMSI), dedicated to a broad concept of educational
exhibits that could introduce and explain principles of science to
a wide audience. The museum evolved over the years, creating lively
"story telling" exhibits. The museum's goal was to dramatize
contemporary science for people of all ages and to encourage human
capabilities. New wings were added for math, economics and finance,
and aviation.. Exhibits were created by world famous scientists,
designers, and architects, such as Charles Eames. In 1984, an IMAX
theater was added.
Documentation comprises a catalog, an explorers
guide, two videos, and grand opening memorabilia.
Originally submitted by: Julian C. Dixon, Representative (32nd District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.