To nurture curiosity in how we see, hear, smell, feel, and otherwise experience the world around us.
Housed in San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts, the Exploratorium is a collection of interactive exhibits dedicated to science, art, and human perception. Since the museum's inception in 1969, more than 650 exhibits and collections have been designed, prototyped, and built on-site to spark the public's curiosity, regardless of age or familiarity with science. The Exploratorium is in the vanguard of the "museum as educational center" movement, and its exhibits are based on a carefully devised curriculum that's appropriate for both the informal and formal teaching of science. The museum also boasts an array of public programs, including workshops and multilingual activities, and has several exhibitions in circulation at other institutions.
Outstanding Web Features:
Online since 1993, the Exploratorium was one of the first science museums to have a Web site. Now comprising more than 18,000 pages, Exploratorium.edu is believed to be one of the most visited museum Web sites in the world. The site offers a number of interactive exhibits — many patterned after actual exhibits in the museum — and a digital library that includes ideas for do-at-home experiments, a searchable collection of resources and activities for K-12 learners and educators, and live and archived Webcasts. Webcasts are broadcast from the museum floor or via satellite from the field, enabling the public to watch interviews with scientists, tour unusual locations, and learn about topics such as solar eclipses and ancient writings. Other features include the Accidental Scientist, which engages visitors in the science of everyday activities, and Faultline: Seismic Science at the Epicenter, which provides current data and information about the science behind earthquakes.