In my continuing process of learning on the net I have come across a brilliant site from a brilliant museumThe Exploratorium (of science, art and human perception) which was founded by an incredible man named Frank Oppenheimer (the less well known but fascinating younger brother of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the “father” of the first atomic bombs) in San Francisco, California.
I have therefore decided to write three posts based on this find, the first of which is this one which is about the museum itself.
The Museum is an amazing place that was created by Oppenheimer with the idea that a museum did not need to be a place for static displays to be stared at. He saw science in particular as an active pursuit based on exploration and a “hands on” approach. He therefore created a wonderful space where children (and adults) could play with physical things and enjoy the wonders of the universe.
To get a feel for this just take a look at the following video:
From the very beginning of the video you can see the way that the children are completely immersed in the excitement of learning about natural phenomena. It is something that shows just how a practical approach science (and mathematics) can really gain children’s interest. This is not the science of the textbook but the science of touching, feeling, experiencing, enjoying and imagining which is what Frank Oppenheimer wanted and which he created.
The website of the Exploratorium has some wonderful interactive material as well which I can thoroughly recommend. If you are lucky enough to live in the San Francisco area or are likely to be visiting it then give yourself and your children a treat and go to the Exploratorium… you won’t regret it.
- Augmented Reality: After Dark, Get Surreal at the Exploratorium (wired.com)
- Exploratorium in S.F. beginning work on new home (sfgate.com)
- Exploratorium Breaks Ground at Pier 15 (sfist.com)
- Young Makers Program for Spring 2011, Bay Area (mt-soft.com.ar)