Exploratorium Opens at New Home April 17, 2013
Posted: Monday, April 1st, 2013
New Embarcadero Gem to Feature 150 New Exhibits, Bay Observatory, Outdoor Gallery and Free Civic Space
On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium will open at Pier 15 at the heart of the revitalized San Francisco waterfront radically improving access to visitors from all over the world and dramatically enhancing the size and scope of the museum. With three times more space overall than its previous home, the new Exploratorium will engage the curiosity and creativity of visitors of any age as they explore 150 brand new exhibits amongst more than 600 that will be on view. For the first time, the Exploratorium expands its investigations into the bay, city, and outdoor landscape.
As the global leader in informal learning, an approach that encourages learning outside the classroom, and the world’s most experimental museum, the Exploratorium will make use of the remarkable new space to push the boundaries once again. For the first time in 44 years, the signature ahhah! Exploratorium exhibits will be featured outdoors, taking advantage of the city and bay to encourage visitors to observe and engage in their environments like never before. Visitors will be able to experience their own storm by adjusting the frequency, size and velocity of raindrops (umbrella highly recommended), step into the mobile Camera Obscura and see an upsidedown world before them, and interact in realtime with invisible life – teenytiny plankton that produce almost half the oxygen we breathe. The site will feature the Bay Observatory, an all glass building. The Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery and Terrace, on the second level, is for viewing the waterfront and the city, designed to allow visitors to explore the science of the bay, the landscape, and the human impacts that have shaped the Bay Area. The new Exploratorium will also offer 1.5 acres of free public space a part of the Outdoor Gallery, for visitors to enjoy the views and play with participatory exhibits tied to the surrounding environment.
The 330,000 squarefoot indoor/outdoor project is being designed and constructed with the goal of becoming the largest netzero energy museum in the United States, if not the world. True to the spirit of the Exploratorium and the nature of netzero, achieving such an ambitious degree of energy efficiency will require monitoring and tinkering over time. The entire undertaking will be a realtime educational exhibit, with live energy use and photovoltaic production data on public display.
Along with the move, the Exploratorium will expand its programming and remain open late two nights a week. Wednesday it is open to the public from 10am-10pm. And for those who want to experience this exuberant learning laboratory amongst other adults, the Exploratorium will be open exclusively to the 18 and older crowd on Thursday evenings for After Dark, from 610pm, with a cash bar. Special programs will be offered both evenings.
The opening of the new Exploratorium is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year. With the move to the new site, the worldrenowned Exploratorium will attract even more visitors of all ages to play, observe and discover while soaking in the beauty of the bay and cityscape. But as always, exhibits will retain the familiar homemade authentic quality for which the Exploratorium is famous.
Opening partners are: PG&E, Premier Opening Partner and Lead Sustainability Partner; Chevron, Premier Opening Partner; Genentech, Premier Opening Partner; SunPower, Supporting Partner; Wells Fargo, Supporting Partner; KGOTV, Premier Media Partner; San Francisco Chronicle, Premier Media Partner;San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, Premier Media Partner.
Posted: Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
by Jessica Sawko
In June 2016 California submitted a waiver application to discontinue using the old CST (based on 1998 standards) and conduct two years of pilot and field tests (in spring 2017 and 2018, respectively) of the new science assessment designed to support our state’s current science standards (California Next Generation Science Standards (CA-NGSS) adopted in 2013). The waiver was requested because no student scores will be provided as a part of the pilot and field tests. The CDE received a response from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on September 30, 2016, which provides the CDE the opportunity to resubmit a revised waiver request within 60 days. The CDE will be revising the waiver request and resubmitting as ED suggested.
At its October 2016 North/South Assessment meetings CDE confirmed that there will be no administration of the old CST in the spring of 2017. (An archive of the meeting is available at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ai/infomeeting.asp.) Learn More…
Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
by Carol Peterson
1) To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Google has put together a collection of virtual tours combining 360-degree video, panoramic photos and expert narration. It’s called “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks” and is accessible right from the browser. You can choose from one of five different locales, including the Kenai Fjords in Alaska and Bryce Canyon in Utah, and get a guided “tour” from a local park ranger. Each one has a few virtual vistas to explore, with documentary-style voiceovers and extra media hidden behind clickable thumbnails. Ideas are included for use in classrooms. https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/25/google-offers-360-degree-tours-of-us-national-parks/. Learn More…
Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
CSTA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 CSTA Awards for Distinguished Contributions, Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, 2014 and 2015 PAEMST-Science recipients from California, and the 2016 California PAEMST Finalists. The following individuals and organizations will be honored during the 2016 California Science Education Conference on October 21- 23 in Palm Springs. This year’s group of awardees are truly outstanding. Please join us in congratulating them!
Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award
The Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to science education in the state and who, through years of leadership and service, has truly made a positive impact on the quality of science teaching. This year’s recipient is John Keller, Ph.D. Dr. Keller is Associate Professor, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Co-Director, Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In her letter of recommendation, SDSU science education faculty and former CSTA board member Donna Ross wrote: “He brings people together who share the desire to make a difference in the development and implementation of programs for science teaching. Examples of these projects include the Math and Science Teaching Initiative (MSTI), Noyce Scholars Program, Western Regional Noyce Initiative, and the Science Teacher and Researcher (STAR) program.” Through his work, he has had a dramatic impact on science teacher education, both preservice and in-service, in California, the region, and the country. He developed and implemented the STEM Teacher and Researcher Program which aims to produce excellent K-12 STEM teachers by providing aspiring teachers with opportunities to do authentic research while helping them translate their research experience into classroom practice. SFSU faculty member Larry Horvath said it best in his letter:“John Keller exemplifies the best aspects of a scientist, science educator, and mentor. His contributions to science education in the state of California are varied, significant, and I am sure will continue well into the future.” Learn More…
Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
by Peter A’hearn
NGSS is a big shift. Teachers need to learn new content, figure out how this whole engineering thing relates to science, and develop new unit and lesson plans. How could NGSS possibly make life easier?
The idea that NGSS could make our lives easier came to me during the California State NGSS Rollout #1 Classroom Example lesson on chromatography. I have since done this lesson with high school chemistry students and it made me think back to having my own students do chromatography. I spent lots of time preparing to make sure the experiment went well and achieved the “correct” result. I pre-prepared the solutions and organized and prepped the materials. I re-wrote and re-wrote again the procedure so there was no way a kid could get it wrong. I spent 20 minutes before the lab modeling all of the steps in class, so there was no way to do it wrong. Except that it turns out there were many. Learn More…
Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graph of evening planet setting times by Dr. Jeffrey L. Hunt
Our evening twilight chart for September, depicting the sky about 40 minutes after sunset from SoCal, shows brilliant Venus remaining low, creeping from W to WSW and gaining a little altitude as the month progresses. Its close encounter within 2.5° N of Spica on Sept. 18 is best seen with binoculars to catch the star low in bright twilight. The brightest stars in the evening sky are golden Arcturus descending in the west, and blue-white Vega passing just north of overhead. Look for Altair and Deneb completing the Summer Triangle with Vega. The triangle of Mars-Saturn-Antares expands as Mars seems to hold nearly stationary in SSW as the month progresses, while Saturn and Antares slink off to the SW. Learn More…