San Francisco Days: ExplOratorium

Amongst the attractions of this city, one that we were looking forward to visit was the Exploratorium. It is kind of a science museum, filled with experiential activities. We set a day aside for it, and it was one of Pesto School’s field trips.

We first heard of the Exploratorium from the Adagio crew while we were still anchored in the Aquatic Park’s Cove. After that, we kept hearing about it from other folks, and the interest to visit only got higher.

All of the museum’s attractions are experiential – you play with them. There are no monitors telling you what to do. It’s all learning. It is in fact a great place to support our homeschooling.

One of the attractions, for instance, made it very intuitive to explain Potential and Kinetic energy to the kids. On another, we held our hands to form a “family conductor” to lit a lightbulb, by having electrical current flowing through our bodies. At the Living Things session, Paulo was able to see actual cells on the microscope – it was super timely, as he was learning about cells the previous week.

All in all, each one of us enjoyed and had fun at the Exploratorium!

The ExplOratorium is located at one of the old piers right at downtown San Francisco.
The ExplOratorium is located at one of the old piers right at downtown San Francisco.
The kids had a great time exploring the attractions there - on the Listening session, this jukebox that plays exotic sounds from around the world was a top hit for them
The kids had a great time exploring the attractions there – on the Listening session, this jukebox that plays exotic sounds from around the world was a top hit for them
Raquel was fascinated by this machine, which spins a length of cotton cord at speed creating a large loop that she could play with.
Raquel was fascinated by this machine, which spins a length of cotton cord at speed creating a large loop that she could play with.
Paulo spent a full hour at the Movie Station, crafting a 2-minute still-motion movie.
Paulo spent a full hour at the Movie Station, crafting a 2-minute still-motion movie.
The adults had fun as well. Here, a playful 3-color shadow of Adriana.
The adults had fun as well. Here, a playful 3-color shadow of Adriana.
Composing an image of ourselves at the stroboscopic camera.
Composing an image of ourselves at the stroboscopic camera.
The huge convex mirror was one of the most popular attractions - we had to wait in line to play with it
The huge convex mirror was one of the most popular attractions – we had to wait in line to play with it.
The mirror could trick me, but not the camera.
The mirror could trick me, but not the camera (i took this picture very close to it. My eyes were having difficulty focusing on the reflection of myself versus the highly distorted background. I pointed the camera by curiosity, and it focused on my reflection – note the faded background behind).
Raquel, Adriana and I trying  the infrared camera.
Raquel, Adriana and I trying the infrared camera.
While Paulo was having some serious fun with the air blower (it is supposed to keep a ball in the air)
While Paulo was having some serious fun with the air blower (it is supposed to keep a ball in the air).
Playing with a magnetic field.
Playing with a magnetic field.
Paulo watching the bay from their observatory.
Paulo watching the bay from the observatory.
Having fun at the fog simulator outside
Having fun at the fog simulator outside
At the end of the day, we all agreed it was a great field trip.
At the end of the day, we all agreed it was a great field trip.

Pesto-30Oct14-034

Leave a Reply