San Francisco’s Exploratorium is a museum of science, art and human perception founded by Frank Oppenheimer in 1969. It creates tools and experiences for people of all ages that cultivate discovery and exploration in an interactive and playful way. Exhibits, film screenings, workshops, day camps, family investigations, evening art and science events for adults, and a website with over 50,000 pages of content are some of the Exploratorium’s offerings. Its 330,000-square-foot facility at Pier 15 in downtown San Francisco has one million visitors each year.
The Exploratorium has a number of initiatives that focus on innovations in learning and changing the way science is taught. The Center for Informal Learning and Schools supports the development of a new generation of academics, researchers and practitioners. The Tinkering Studio, an onsite maker space, has a global reach through its extended networks and online resources. Professional development programs for educators emphasize inquiry-based teaching and encourage interactive methods that allow students to observe and manipulate science materials. Community outreach activities share museum exhibits and content with other science centers across the globe to foster a greater public understanding of science.
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation funding has ranged from grants to develop new exhibits and galleries to specific community outreach and engagement efforts for teens.