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Exploratorium General Press Kit

Exploratorium General Press Kit

About the Exploratorium

  • History


  • Fact Sheets & Background


  • Exhibits and Galleries


  • About Our Facility



  • Teacher Professional Development Programs

The Exploratorium has several long-standing, highly regarded professional development programs that are rooted in our educational philosophy: the Teacher Institute, which supports secondary science and math teachers; the Institute for Inquiry, which offers workshops about the theory and practice of inquiry-based teaching and learning; and the Exploratorium Network for Exhibit-Based Teaching (ExNET), which shares Exploratorium exhibits and teaching practices with other science institutions. In addition, a group of experienced educators who work with kids form the core of the Field Trip Explainer Program, which supports and inspires field trip visitors.


  • Learning About Learning

The Center for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS)—a collaboration with a number of universities and research agencies—was founded to develop a new generation of leaders across formal and informal educational settings. A four-decade-long commitment to art as a way of knowing about the natural world is reflected in our extensive arts programming as well as the first in an ongoing series of arts conferences, Art as a Way of Knowing. The Tinkering Studio has a global reach through its professional networks and online resources, fosters learning through the process of making. Research and evaluation are critical steps in understanding the nature of learning and in designing for learning innovation. The VRE group conducts research studies on learning in informal environments at the Exploratorium, as well as evaluation studies that inform and improve the exhibits and programs developed here.


  • Community Programs

The Exploratorium offers a wide range of science programs for Bay Area learners of all ages, engaging them in investigation, reasoning, and communication. Of particular note are programs for children and youth that provide opportunities for learners to be teachers. The High School Explainer Program both enhances the experiences of our visitors and provides training in communication, inquiry-based learning, and leadership for high-school-aged youth. XTech works with middle school youth from San Francisco neighborhoods to develop confidence, science understanding, and design skills in a socially supportive peer community. As they move into high school, they become XTech facilitators


Community Outreach Programs offer family science nights at schools, work with individual patients at UCSF Children’s Hospital, participate in neighborhood events, and host Engineering Day events at the museum. Such programs bring interactive, hands-on science activities to multigenerational audiences in settings primarily within their own communities. Our Tinkering in Afterschool Program works in partnership with the San Francisco Boys & Girls Clubs to bring new forms of science learning opportunities to children and youth participating in Clubhouse programs. 


Lifelong Learning Programs nurture curiosity and exploration through classes, workshops, excursions, and day camps. These learning experiences are designed for a range of audiences of different ages—children, teens, family groups, adults, and active older adults.


  • Additional Tools for Teaching and Learning 




  • The newly established Center for Art & Inquiry (CAI) is an R&D center for the arts within the larger learning laboratory of the Exploratorium. CAI leads the Exploratorium’s arts strategy and direction, expanding the museum’s focus on art as a medium for exploration, inquiry, and discovery.  CAI also includes our current Works on View, such as Over the Water, an annual program of large-scale temporary artworks for the public space, and dozens of artworks throughout the museum.


  • The Cinema Arts Program provides a collection of films and events that offer a rich resource for public audiences, and also provide an important research collection for both our teaching programs and exhibit development teams.


  • The Black Box is a newly dedicated space for a rotating program of immersive installations



  • The Artist-in-Residence Program (AIR) has grown to include hundreds of artists and performers since its inception in 1974. Each year we invite two artists – one emerging and a second in mid-career – to develop new projects and proposals. The program engages individuals and artist groups who are drawn to collaboration, interested in interdisciplinary dialogue, and open to developing new working methods.




Ongoing Public Programs

From yearly happenings like Pi Day, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, to monthly talks, screenings, art events, and the popular 18+ First Thursday After Dark, enjoy a selection of ongoing public programs at the Exploratorium.



  • Global Studios and Global Reach

Global Studios is actively growing the Exploratorium’s global influence through projects with foreign governments, universities, museums, libraries, hospitals, and other public and private entities around the world.

Online Engagement via our website is a perpetual work in progress, an infinite pairing of exciting ideas with the best technological tools. www.exploratorium.edu is a virtual museum. With more than 50,000 pages of original microsites, webcasts, videos, articles, podcasts, slideshows, online exhibits, and activities, there’s plenty to wander through, explore, do, and experience.



  • Collaborating with Science Agencies

The Exploratorium has partnered with science researchers and organizations since its very beginning:


  • Collaborating with Educational Institutions

The Exploratorium works to build understanding about learning, to change the way that people learn, and to make science education more accessible and equitable. While we do this at the museum and online, we also build powerful collaborations with other educational institutions—from King’s College London to MIT to the Sonoma Valley Unified School District—to further understanding and to effect change.


  • Osher Fellows

We bring outstanding artists, scholars, authors, and scientists to the museum as Osher Fellows through the generosity of the Bernard Osher Foundation. Fellows share their own research and work with staff and the public. These scientist/artist/thinker-in-residence fellowships are generally one to four weeks in duration. Learn more about the Osher Fellows