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Ongoing through March 31, 2013 | Times and locations TBA
Location: Multiple locations in San Francisco; for specific locations, follow @theexplainers on Twitter.
In the months before our grand opening, orange-vested Explainers will bring the Exploratorium experience to unexpected spots around San Francisco. These weekly site-specific activities will be designed to make you notice and engage with the world around you, and to shake you out of your normal, everyday routines.
Explainers will help you notice clouds at Aquatic Park, find north without a compass at Ghirardelli Square, experience our mobile Camera Obscura in Union Square, and challenge your sense of perception out in the neighborhoods. In January locations will vary; in February and March, look for those orange vests along the Embarcadero, in front of Pier 15.
Music by Pat Spurgeon
Catch a sneak peak of our new nine-acre campus at Piers 15/17 with Building Operations Manager Chuck Mignacco. Learn about features of the building that will help us achieve our goal of becoming the largest net-zero energy use museum in the United States.
Come see for yourself—doors open at Pier 15 on April 17, 2013.
The Exploratorium’s new home has an ace up its sleeve for the next big earthquake—a single seismic joint, 300 feet long and two feet wide, will isolate the entire pier structure from the rest of San Francisco. Watch here as the bulkhead at Pier 15 is readied for the installation of the seismic joint. On the cliffs above San Francisco's Ocean Beach perches a landmark observatory—a giant camera obscura. Step inside with Robert Tacchetto and see how this centuries-old technology creates enchanting images of the outside world.
As part of the weekend of celebrations in honor of the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th Anniversary, Mickey Hart and the Mickey Hart Band closed the festivities with a free concert. The show opened with Mickey playing a dynamic model of the Golden Gate Bridge created by the Exploratorium and sonified by Exploratorium exhibit developers in collaboration with Mickey Hart. Admit it: Hasn't the Godzilla inside you always wanted to grab the Golden Gate Bridge and shake it silly? Finally, you can. In honor of the iconic span's 75th birthday, Exploratorium exhibit developer Dave Fleming presents a dynamic model of the Golden Gate Bridge. What happens to the bridge during an earthquake? How about strong winds and heavy traffic? The model dances and wiggles realistically, displaying the same vibrational modes and motions that occur in the actual bridge. Beneath the 100-year-old piers that will soon house the new Exploratorium, highly specialized divers are working around the clock to repair and restore a part of the museum that most people will never see: the 1,200 concrete piles—sunk into the bay mud—that support the piers. The waters of San Francisco Bay are making a dramatic comeback as workers slowly remove a 1950s-era paved deck from between Piers 15 and 17 on the historic Embarcadero, at the site of the Exploratorium’s new home. In early November 2011, the east bridge, dedicated to the Fries family by San Francisco philanthropist Bill Fries, was put in place, connecting the terrace of the new Pier 15 Bay Observatory building to the adjacent side of Pier 17. When the museum opens in the spring of 2013, this bridge will offer prime views of the City and the Bay. There are green sea turtles in San Diego Bay? Where did they come from? Do they really live over 100 years? Why is it important for scientists to keep track of these giant creatures, and how on earth do they do it? In this interview with ecologist Tomoharu Eguchi (NOAA Marine Fisheries Service) and ecology graduate student Sheila Madrak, we meet the sea turtles and explore these 'big' questions. Pouring concrete is an ongoing feature of construction at the Piers. This footage, captured in July 2011, shows the well-choreographed process involved, from pumping the concrete into rebar-latticed slabs via remote-controlled overhead boom, to vibrating the concrete to get rid of air pockets, to flattening the surface using 2x4s (“screed”) and rakes (“come-along tools”), to tamping in (“jitterbugging”) bits of sand and gravel, to the final smoothing and leveling of the finished surface. This pour created an extension to the southeast apron of Pier 15, adjacent to what will become the East Gallery.