With its April opening at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco’s revitalized waterfront, one of the world’s ground-breaking science museums now boasts three times more space than its previous home at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Arts.
That means 150 brand-new exhibits among the more than 600 interactive ones that have made the Exploratorium a landmark institution in the field of hands-on exploration and learning.
The new location allows the museum to expand its investigations into the bay, city and outdoor landscape, especially from its beautiful all-glass Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery with expansive views of the bay, its maritime traffic, Treasure Island and the Bay Bridge.
Outside is the bay, inside the gallery is a visually beautiful live reading of the tides through 24 tall columns of water that show the tidal water heights throughout the day at one-hour intervals; outside is the sky, inside is a stunning time-lapse mosaic of the sky in San Francisco at the same time during 360 consecutive days.
“The Exploratorium is really a museum of art as well as science, but it’s the kind of art you’d find at Burning Man, not at the de Young Museum,” says Paul Doherty, Staff Physicist and Co-Director, Meet the Teacher Institute Staff. “It’s about presenting information in new and beautiful ways,” he continues, “whether it’s a display on the flow of fog or making maps --which people love -- from an indestructible fabric.”
Doherty embodies the spirit of the Exploratorium, which is to engage visitors as they encounter phenomena they’ve never before seen, and to question how things work, what is real, what is virtual. The science is cutting edge – whether in biology, physics or perception exhibits – provocative and great fun.
The Exploratorium’s exhibits are so successful that they are tested, developed and sold to museums around the world, from San Diego to Paris and beyond.
Kids spend hours in The Tinkering Studio, a new area of the museum, building their own projects to take home – an electrical circuit board, perhaps a roller coaster made from marbles.
The Exploratorium is the biggest employer of high school students in San Francisco, and teachers from the U.S. to East Timor have attended the Meet the Teacher Institute, where they learn how to build copies of original Exploratorium exhibits for $10!
For more information, visit http://www.exploratorium.edu/visit
(415) 528-4444 telephone
Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm; Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.
$25 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. Tickets available at the door and advance tickets available online at http://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets
The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit http://www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions