Exploratorium Field Trip Pathways


The Presentation: Build an Exhibit and Show What You Know
Suggested by Eric Muller

Note: This activity is very directed and requires a lot of pre planning. It is also intended for high-level students.

Many weeks before coming to the Exploratorium, the teachers assign the students the task of building a small-scale Exploratorium exhibit. These small-scale, classroom-sized exhibits are called Snacks. To find out more about Snacks, click here.

Snacks are low-cost teaching tools, many of which are modeled on current Exploratorium floor exhibits. Snacks contain the directions on how to build a small-scale exhibit and advice on how to interact with the finished product. Each Snack page also describes the associated science concepts.

There are Snacks for most science topics. Students can be split into groups and allowed to search the Exploratorium Snack site for ideas. With instructor approval, student groups should print-off their chosen Snack and build it. Students should be given several days or a few weeks to complete the construction task.

Note: Check to make sure the exhibit is on the floor of the museum.

When completed, Snacks can be presented and displayed in class.

When visiting the Exploratorium: Upon entering the museum, students are told to find the museum-scale version of their Snack. They are allowed to interact with the exhibit and told to meet back in front of the museum at an allotted time.

As a class, students go from exhibit to exhibit. The group of students that created a specific Snack bring the class to their exhibit. They present the exhibit to the class. Student presenters should introduce the exhibit, show how to interact with it, and explain the science involved in the exhibit.