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Local Second-Grader Honored as 1 Millionth Visitor to Science of Hockey Exhibit

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
By Matt Vevoda

As Zachary Geiss ventured up to the second floor of the Discovery Science Center on Wednesday afternoon, he could hardly have known he’d soon be covered in confetti and posing for pictures with Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf.

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf with Zachary Geiss, the one millionth visitor to the Science of Hockey exhibit at Discovery Science Center.
But upon reaching the entrance to the DSC’s Science of Hockey exhibit, the 8-year-old was celebrated as the one millionth visitor of the interactive learning experience.

The almost speechless Geiss, a local second grader, was greeted by Getzlaf at the exhibit and presented with his very own team jersey. The landmark visitor, who could not hide his grin standing alongside the Ducks star, also received an annual family membership to Discovery Science Center and will attend an upcoming game at Honda Center in a party suite.

“We saw a fantastic event,” said Dan Nasitka, Manager of Public and Community Relations for Discovery Science Center. “Two years ago, we got this great exhibit in the Science of Hockey. We have now reached one million visitors since it opened. We got a great kid Zachary. He has a Ducks jersey, a family membership to the Science Center and some great gear. On top of that, he got to meet Ryan Getzlaf, the captain of the Anaheim Ducks. It doesn’t get cooler than that.”

The Science of Hockey opened to the public at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana on April 2, 2009. The state-of-the art exhibit explores how physics and physiology relate to the game. Created in partnership with the Ducks, NHL and USA Hockey, it is the largest interactive and educational hockey exhibition in the United States.

One of the first things you see upon entering the Science of Hockey is a large mural of Getzlaf in his Ducks uniform. The center was one of the very first people to see the exhibit initially, when he attended a special preview for approximately 100 kids of nearby Hoover Elementary in late March of 2009. He was more than happy to return now that one million visitors have had the opportunity to enjoy it.

“It’s awesome,” Getzlaf said. “It’s been a great experience overall. This is exactly what they had planned when we opened this exhibit here. It’s nice to know there has been that many kids coming through here and making the connection between science and the hockey involved. It was my pleasure to come down and congratulate the success they’ve had.”

Crowning Geiss as the one millionth visitor to the exhibit came in the middle of Anaheim Ducks Week (Oct. 15-23). Celebrating the start of the 2011-12 regular season, all children ages 3-14 wearing Anaheim Ducks gear (hat, t-shirt or jersey) are currently receiving free admission into Discovery Science Center.

“We’re able to reach so many people through this exhibit, now over one million people,” Nasitka said. "The support from the Ducks and the Samueli family has always been there. To have a partnership between the Discovery Science Center and the Ducks is fantastic not only for both organizations, but for the community and for Southern California.”

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