Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, science and technology are of paramount importance to our innovation economy and have helped carve a region-wide landscape of science-rich educational institutions. In the Moore Foundation’s Bay Area Program, we support work to help preserve the defining elements of the area’s character. An important part of that work is ensuring that children and families have continued opportunities to engage in productive, hands-on, science-rich learning in and out-of-school settings that inspire curiosity, spark interest, and lead to an understanding and appreciation of science.

The Tech Museum of Innovation

Within this work, we have been honored to include The Tech Museum of Innovation for many years among our Bay Area grantees. A welcoming interactive science and technology center located in the heart of downtown San Jose, California, The Tech is dedicated to developing tomorrow’s innovators. A  recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, The Tech is a local point of pride and community resource for education and invention. With its mission “to inspire the innovator in everyone,” The Tech creates unique and engaging experiences that motivate people to see themselves, their world, and their problem-solving potential differently. It empowers educators to build problem-solving skills among the next generation in classrooms, afterschool programs, libraries and community centers. 

Technological innovation to make life in the Bay Area, and on Earth, sustainable

With an eye to daunting global challenges, The Tech has been dreaming up some hefty inspiration for the sake of the planet. For the next decade, they have set their sights on empowering people—those who visit the museum and those who learn from educators around the globe—to roll up their sleeves and become active, creative problem solvers as they explore challenges from individual choices to systemic change. 

“Our Technology and Sustainability initiative highlights the power of technology to help us live sustainability on earth. The featured innovations will help build confidence that real solutions are at hand and inspire all of us—wherever we are—to take action,” reflected President and CEO Tim Ritchie. “And here at home, Silicon Valley can lead the nation as the most sustainable community in the world.”

A new exhibit

Within The Tech’s walls, an 8,000-square-foot expanse will host dynamic content through featured exhibitions that include:

  • Immersive Vision Lab. An interactive wall covered in futuristic ideas that respond to the visitors’ every touch.
  • Sustainable Bay Area. Interconnected, locally themed experiences that encourage a systems-thinking approach to finding solutions in transportation, food security, energy, water and biodiversity. The experience includes Sustainable Cities, a large-scale model of the Bay Area that challenges each visitor to build a sustainable miniature city with smart buildings that rise and fall in response to decisions about high-density housing, public transit, autonomous vehicles, and other city-planning scenarios.
  • Community Action Center. A collection of citizen-science activities that invite visitors of all ages to be real-life data scientists by contributing to ongoing projects. Visitors can also choose to participate in volunteer opportunities with local environmental groups.

Help us spread the word.

If you know someone who is interested in this field or what we are doing at the foundation, pass it along.

Get Involved
Article continues after image

Impact at a global scale

The initiative will have a broader ripple effect too, expanding far beyond San Jose, through the development of online tools for educators to bring engaging lesson plans and activities into classrooms. The initiative is premised on the central understanding that technology can help us—in the Bay Area and around the world—live more sustainably on earth. But to get there, we will need more innovators working on critical problems, and more people who understand the choices we need to make.

Some of that starts with kids and families. The Tech and the Bay Area’s other science museums recognize how vital it is to inspire us all at an early age to wonder and inquire about the world around us, and to believe in our own ability to make a difference.

True to the ethos of Silicon Valley, the new program will focus on emerging technologies, with a commitment to update the innovation that’s featured on a continual basis. Gretchen Walker, vice president of learning at the museum, explained, “The Technology and Sustainability initiative builds on our strengths to create learning experiences for young people and tools for educators that will both inspire and build the capacity of the next generation of problem solvers. By highlighting emerging tech we’re modeling what it looks like to take on big, global challenges.”

“We are honored to have helped with early support for The Tech in developing Technology and Sustainability,” said Janet Coffey, program officer for Science Learning at the Moore Foundation. “And, we hope others will join too. Like so much of what The Tech does, this will be much more than an exhibition—it’s a multi-dimensional experience and deep science education initiative that can spark children’s curiosity, and inspire creative problem solving at home, in school, in their community and around the world.”

Get involved

The initiative launches in January 2020. To learn more or find out how you can support this initiative and get involved, contact Linda Tsai, Vice President for Strategy at The Tech, at

Images courtesy of The Tech
Learn about The Tech's BioDesign, the nation's first interactive bioengineering exhibit 

Related Stories