The Discovery Cube Orange County, formerly known as the Discovery Science Center and the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center, is a science museum in Santa Ana, California, with more than 100 hands-on science exhibits designed to spark children's natural curiosity. Designed by the architect firm Arquitectonica with structural engineers Carl Johnson and Svend Nielsen, it has become a visual landmark due to its ten-story solar array cube that stands over Interstate 5. In 1984, the Boards of the Exploratory Learning Center and the Experience Center joined to form the Discovery Museum of Orange County with the dual goals of teaching children what life was like in Orange County in the 1900s and creating a world-class science center. A funding feasibility study in 1989 indicated that county leaders would support the project. In the mid-1990s, prior to construction, a smaller "beta" version of the science center called Launch Pad operated in South Coast Plaza. The current 59,000-square-foot (5,500 m2) facility was opened on December 17, 1998, in what had originally been a Bekins Van Lines depot. Mark Walhimer served as the Vice President of Exhibits from 1996 to 2000 and oversaw the design, development and installation of the exhibits. In 2008 the Center became an affiliate within the Smithsonian Affiliations program. More information...

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