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Has the Discovery Cube Aged Well?

Has the Discovery Cube improved or is it past its time?

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If you took a trip to the Discovery Cube in 2019, you would think a lot of the older exhibits haven’t aged well. Turns out, you would be right. A lot of the technology such as the sand pit with projected water or the smoke blaster is still impressive, but the house inspection simulation feels old and creaky. I remember it used to be impressive when I was six or so, but now the animated people on the TV screens seem to look a little off. That doesn’t mean the whole thing is bad, just the very old exhibits like the inspection simulator.

I think the problem with the exhibits that require tons of technology, like the inspection simulation with all of its tracking devices and large TV screens, versus the exhibits that are just trying something new with relatively old technology, like the sand table with just a projector and some sand, is that the newer technology might feel outdated in a few or so years, but technology that was old even before they used it will always feel the same. It’s just a hypothesis, but it applies to a lot of the Discovery Cube stuff.

Speaking of newer technology, they have these hockey exhibits on the second floor, including a sample of hockey ice from the hockey arena, which you can touch, multiple hockey simulation games,  a quiz about hockey, and a bunch of other stuff all sponsored by the Los Angeles Kings. I highly recommend checking it out, except for the ice. It is probably covered in the bacteria from the previous people that put their hands on it. The best, in my opinion, was the reaction time tester, even if it glitches from time to time.

We had to do a structural design assignment about making a building stable without covering the windows, which was fun until you realize they give you more than enough supplies to make whatever you want, and very little penalty for using too many parts. Not the best assignment for the Discovery Cube, but it is definitely not the worst.

The old exhibits are still arguably some of the best exhibits at the Discovery Cube (besides the house inspection simulator), proving that the best ideas always come first. The sandbox with projected water was and still is very fascinating, and the smoke blaster was still fun to use until someone tried to cover it with his jacket. Still, the older exhibits aren’t always the best ones. The hockey goalie simulation was fun and I enjoyed it more than the home inspector exhibit.

There is much talk of the schools own STEAM lab making some of the old exhibits from the discovery center, such as the sand table, the smoke blaster, and one other I don’t remember. It is not a hundred percent guaranteed, but multiple teachers during the field trip mentioned it. A lot of the technology used seems relatively simple, since the Discovery Cube doesn’t really cover up how they did the sand table, and the steam tube is very visible under the smoke blaster.

I think the field trip was okay, not that bad, but also not the best. If you want to go to a science museum or center that is close by, the California Science Center is what I recommend. My final verdict on the Discovery Cube is that it’s worth visiting at least once.

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