Orange County Great Park
Public Information Officer
Discovery Science Center
Manager, Public and Community Relations
Discovery Science Center Brings Kids' Discovery Village to XPO
XPO Clean Energy Exposition held alongside U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 will include first-of-its-kind educational exhibition for children
IRVINE, CA (September 30, 2013): Discovery Science Center (DSC) will host the Kids' Discovery Village, a first-of-its-kind exhibition dedicated to raising a child's environmental and community awareness, at the XPO, a clean, renewable and efficient energy exposition. The XPO will be held alongside the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 at the Orange County Great Park this October 3-6 and October 10-13.
"Discovery Science Center's ‘Kids' Discovery Village' is intended to excite and inform Southern California children about the Solar Decathlon competition," said Janet Yamaguchi, Vice President of Education for DSC. "Hands-on activities throughout the exhibit will help them understand some of the design elements, constraints, and innovative decisions that were made by the university students when constructing their energy-efficient houses."
Sponsored by the Bosch Community Fund, the Kids' Discovery Village exhibit features four distinct areas, engaging children on the topics of solar energy, insulation, plant-life and open-space concepts.
Children will interact with small-scale solar panels to activate a bubble-blowing fountain while learning about how solar panels generate electrical power. By moving the panels and watching the fountain, children will discover that solar panels are most effective when the Sun's light is hitting the panels directly at a 90 degree angle and how daily changes in cloud cover and position of the Sun above the horizon affects the efficiency of the solar panels.
Insulation: Learning from Animals
In this area, children explore different materials that can be used as insulation. They will also perform an experiment that utilizes a large-scale ice wall as a backdrop and interactive, associated with how animals stay warm in the winter. A series of slip-on, see-through mitts insulated with either feathers, bubble wrap, or shortening will enable the children to place their hands onto the ice wall to see what material insulates the best. Analogies will be made to animal coverings (downy feathers, hollow-shafted hairs, and blubber) and compared to building materials, such as pink fiberglass insulation and polyurethane foam.
Plants: California Friendly
This area is surrounded by large-scale graphics of plants that will also be utilized as a maze. Children will investigate how indoor and outdoor landscaping can help (1) decrease the amount of direct energy used by cooling an area or (2) decrease the amount of indirect energy being used by reducing water consumption. Children will explore such concepts and designs as biowalls (living plant matter that substitute for walls inside a house), green roofs (live plant cover on roofs), shade plants, and drought-resistant plants.
Do You Have Enough Room?
A tabletop, interactive model of a house will enable children to learn about open-space floor plans, along with other concepts, including the practical and creative purpose of material selection. Children will be introduced to specialized, recycled materials, such as carpeting made from recycled plastic bottles and countertops made from re-purposed buttons. They will also be able to compare the actual Solar Houses with this smaller model to understand why an open-space floor plan is more effective monetarily and environmentally.
"The Kids' Discovery Village translates the inspiration and spirit of the Solar Decathlon and XPO into an experience that children can get excited about," said Cliff Wallace, Deputy CEO of the Orange County Great Park. "This engaging new element enhances the visitor experience at the XPO for families with children of all ages."
The Solar Decathlon, a renowned collegiate competition, is being held for the first time outside of Washington, D.C. The award-winning event challenges collegiate teams from across the country and around the world to design, build and operate energy-efficient, solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. Together, the Solar Decathlon and the new XPO will create a powerful showcase for technology, education, arts and business related to clean energy.
Visitors to the Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO are encouraged to consider taking public transportation options available through Metrolink and local shuttles. If driving to the event, please exit Jeffrey Road and follow traffic signage to event parking.
*Editors Note: Rendering of Kids' Discovery Village available upon request.
About Discovery Science Center
For 30 years, Discovery Science Center (DSC) has been a non-profit organization dedicated to educating young minds, assisting educators teach science and increasing public understanding of science, technology, engineering and math through interactive exhibits and programs. With one of the largest education outreach programs in the country and an unparalleled approach at creating immersive, game-based exhibits, DSC is revolutionizing how educational content is delivered. Throughout the year, guests can take the Eco Challenge and become a green superhero or feel the power of a simulated rocket engine launch. Traveling exhibits and annual events such as Spooky Science and Bubblefest throughout the year ensure that there is always something new to discover. DSC owns and operates the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center based in Santa Ana, CA and will be opening a second facility in Los Angeles in 2014. For more information, call (714) 542-CUBE or visit www.discoverycube.org.
About the Bosch Community Fund:
The Bosch Community Fund (BCF), a U.S.-based foundation established in September 2011, awards more than $3 million annually in grants to various 501(c)(3) organizations and educational institutions. The BCF focuses primarily on the enrichment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and the advancement of environmental sustainability initiatives.
About the XPO
The XPO is a clean, renewable and efficient energy exposition, featuring visionary and innovative companies, products and educational opportunities that will be hosted alongside the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013. The XPO will run concurrently with the Solar Decathlon 2013 from October 3-6 and October 10-13 at the Orange County Great Park. Through fun, interactive exhibits and activities, the XPO will provide visitors with information about the broad spectrum of energy efficiency in home design, transportation, consumer products, food production and education. Visitors will experience a 21st century festival of creativity, technology, design and educational experiences that will inspire children and adults alike. Visit The-XPO.org for more information.
About the Orange County Great Park
Hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Southern California enjoy the Orange County Great Park's array of recreational and educational opportunities and participate in shared experiences, including panoramic views from the iconic Great Park Balloon that rises 400 feet in the air. Other Great Park features include the Carousel, Farm + Food Lab, Kids Rock Playground, Walkable Historical Timeline, Palm Court Arts Complex, North Lawn recreation area and Historic Hangar 244. In addition to sports clinics, gardening workshops, weekly Farmers Market and other community events, the Great Park hosts an annual series of special events that provide unique experiences for the entire family, including the Great Park Pumpkin Harvest and the Flights & Sounds Summer Festival. With its approximate 1,300-acre master plan, the Great Park is the centerpiece of the redevelopment of the publicly-owned portion of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. For more information, please visit ocgp.org