The Exploratorium is now at Pier 15 along the Embarcadero! Some call it a mad scientist's playpen. Others say it's the wildest art show in town. Either way, the Exploratorium is like no place you've been before. Expand your mind and ignite your imagination with interactive exhibits, experiments, and experiences. You can blow bubbles, turn knobs, build bridges, push buttons, connect wires, create images, flip switches, make rainbows, make patterns in sand and smoke, and catch shadows. The Tactile Dome: Surround yourself with amazing textures as you climb, crawl, and slide through a pitch dark labyrinth. There is an additional charge, and the Tactile Dome can be reserved for parties. Advance reservations recommended; call (415) 561-0362. The Exploratorium has an outstanding film program. Films are chosen in conjunction with exhibits and events and often the filmmakers are involved and attend the screenings. Films are free with museum admission. Stop by the the Tinkering Studio to slow down, become deeply engaged in an investigation of scientific phenomena, and make something.
Sign up the brood for Family Investigation workshops for cow's eye and heart dissections and other hands-on explorations. This is for families with children ages 7 and up. Limited to 2 children per adult. The Girls Science Institute offers multi-day workshops in various scientific disciplines for girls ages 9 to 11. Hands-on activities model the work of women who made significant historical contributions to their fields.
Camps: Day camps allow kids ages 5 to 14 to use a mix of science activities, art projects, group games, and exploration of exhibit collections. Camps are offered during the summer and on school holidays throughout the year.
2014 Two-week Summer Camp Sessions:
Dates: Session 1: July 21–August 1; Session 2: August 18–August 29
Ages: 7 to 10
Days/Times: Monday through Friday, 9:30 am–4:30pm
Cost: $745 (members)–$925 (non-members) per two-week session. Extended care included.
2014 Out and About Camp Sessions:
Dates: June 2–June 5; June 9–June 14; June 16–June 20; June 23–June 27; July 7–July 10; July 14–July 18; August 4–August 8
Ages: 11 to 14
Days/Times: Monday through Friday, 9:30am–4:30pm
Cost: $390 (members)–$475 (non-members) per week
2014 Girls Science Institute Camp Sessions:
Dates: April 14–April 18; June 16–20; June 23–27
Ages: 10 to 12
Days/Times: Monday through Friday
Cost: $365 (members)–$450 (non-members) per week
Explainer Program: Meaningful Work & STEM Training for Teens: The Explainer Program is an integrated work and learning experience for San Francisco high school students. Explainers began serving as museum docents in 1969 when the Exploratorium first opened its doors to the public. In that first year a single teenage girl described a handful of exhibits to visitors. In 2014, 150 young people will serve as Explainers, ushering 1.2 million visitors through the museum. Explainers work during museum hours, 6 days per week, and the museum provides flexible schedule options to work around high school schedules. Each teen receives a minimum of 144 hours per session of academic enrichment, work based learning and pre-professional trainings.
Dates: May 31, 2014-June 15, 2015
Ages: 14 to 18
XTech: STEM Academic Enrichment & Leadership Development for Youth: XTech is a youth development program that uses project-based STEM learning to build academic competency and leadership skills among underserved San Francisco youth. As students ages 11-17 progress through the program they develop an understanding of science and engineering content and practices, deepen that understanding by facilitating younger students, and prepare for eventual employment opportunities as paid facilitators within the program.
Dates: July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015
Ages: 11 to 17