NUMMY KNOWLEDGE: Let us pause and raise our spatulas and measuring cups to every parent and grandparent and teacher and educator and caregiver who starts a young person on a path of science love via the kitchen. It's the earliest place that kids regularly visit that uses a host of scientific theorems and methods and numbers and math. Even if it just seems like the place where brownies are made. The Discovery Science Center of Santa Ana is a major proponent of kids + kitchen + science, since it is a given that most children have at least a passing familiarity with foodstuffs and refrigerators and the mechanics of making dinner. To further celebrate this everyday branch of higher learning, the center stages a sweet exhibit each and every late fall. Literally sweet: It's called The Science of Gingerbread.
KITCHEN TO COMPETITION: Much of the annual exhibit, which is on at the 5-close Cube from Friday, Nov. 29 through Sunday, Jan. 5, is about how science isn't just beakers and goggles but baking pans and cook's thermometers, too. That's the educational aspect of the show, and it is a big one, but equally as eye- and mind-catching? The gingerbread competition. Entries will go on display, meaning you can get up close and inspect all of those licorice chimneys and gumdrop gates. And if you want to enter? You can, but the deadline is Sunday, Dec. 1. There are several categories to choose from, and the prizes are solid (one is a "VIP for a Day" Science Center visit -- coooool). If you and the fam do a house each and every year, but only you and the neighbors admire it, time to think bigger and more public. Best of luck and happy science-ing. Er, we mean baking. They're kind of one and the same in many ways, right?