The Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception located at Pier 15 in San Francisco, California. It believes that curiosity and asking questions can lead to amazing moments of discovery, learning and awareness, and can increase our confidence in our abilities to understand how the world works. Being playful and having fun is also an important part of the process for people of all ages.
The Exploratorium makes science visible, touchable, and accessible to a wide variety of people to make them explore the ways of learning and teaching science education worldwide, and supports others in their efforts to transform science teaching and learning.
It also provides learners with opportunities to directly observe and manipulate natural phenomena, and believes by doing that, it will encourage learners to ask and investigate their own questions and to test, modify, or expand their ideas and explanations about how the world works.
The professional development programs in the Exploratorium provide educators with the skills, tools, and support they need to apply inquiry-based learning and teaching in their classes.
The museum creates, experiments, tests, and builds nearly everything at the Exploratorium, and we can see hundreds of exhibits displayed made from the Exploratorium shop.
A community of more than four hundred Exploratorium staff members—scientists, artists, educators, exhibit developers, writers, designers, and more—make up its creative and administrative core. They all work together constantly to brainstorm, evaluate, create, and invent the Exploratorium.
The Exploratorium was the innovation of Frank Oppenheimer. At various times, Frank was a professor, a high school teacher, a cattle rancher, and an experimental physicist. While teaching at a university, Frank developed a “library of experiments” that enabled his students to explore scientific phenomena at their own pace, following their own curiosity. Alarmed by the public’s lack of understanding of science and technology, Frank used this model to create the Exploratorium, believing that visitors could learn about natural phenomena and also gain confidence in their ability to understand the world around them. This was a groundbreaking idea for a science museum in 1969 when the Exploratorium opened.