The Outdoor Exploratorium at Fort Mason was created by the Exploratorium in partnership with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Fort Mason Center. These interactive exhibits were designed to help visitors notice and investigate the subtle phenomena of the everyday world and explore the complex systems at play in outdoor environments. Fort Mason offers a unique location for observing the movement of wind and waves, the interplay of light, shadow, and temperature, and the interaction between natural and built environments.

Originally established as a coastal fortification in the 1860s, Fort Mason was a key part of the San Francisco Port of Embarkation between 1910 and 1963. During World War II, Liberty ships built in Bay Area shipyards ferried troops to Lower Fort Mason’s piers. A National Historic Landmark, Fort Mason is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a U.S. National Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service.

The Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception founded in 1969. The Exploratorium’s mission is to create a culture of learning through innovative environments, programs, and tools that help people nurture their curiosity about the world around them.


This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. ESI-0104478. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.