For Immediate Release:
March 23, 2012
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367
75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge - May 27, 2012
Featuring Exploratorium Interactive and Instructive Models
Installation Located Near New Visitor Center
May 27, 2012
The Exploratorium is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge by creating two, instructive, interactive bridge models — tributes to one of the world’s most recognized landmarks as a symbol of the San Francisco Bay Area — which will be installed near the new Visitor Center. The Exploratorium is also making a third scale model — a dynamic, 23-foot long, stainless steel, MIDI instrumented construction, with 16 touchpad sensors — for musician and Exploratorium Board member, Mickey Hart, to play at a future date. This sonified Golden Gate Bridge model, made possible by the National Science Foundation, will be installed at the Exploratorium as an outdoor exhibit when the museum moves to Pier 15, on the Embarcadero in 2013.
The museum is working with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, in partnership with the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District, as well as the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust — all organizers of a community-wide 75th anniversary celebration.
On May 27, 2012, with the opening of the new Southwest Plaza and bridge overlook, visitors will find the two Exploratorium-created, permanent working models. These exhibits, located between the new Visitor’s Center and the pedestrian entrance to the bridge, are to be installed April 2012, in advance of the anniversary. The following two exhibits can be found as of May 2012:
The Suspension Bridge Resonant model is a 1/500th scale model that displays vibration patterns inherent in a suspension bridge design responding to wind and earthquakes. It shows how and why the Golden Gate Bridge moves – a flexibility it needs in response to the elements, traffic and seismic activity. For example, the actual Golden Gate Bridge structure’s height changes as its metal skeleton expands and contracts. In fact, the center span of the bridge is designed to move up and down as much as sixteen feet as the temperature fluctuates and traffic flows.
The second bridge demonstrates the relationship between tower height and the tension in the cables, which holds the bridge up. The Suspension Cable Size vs. Tower Height bridge model allows visitors to pull ropes to find the relationship between tower height and cable tension. When completed in 1937, the bridge had the tallest bridge towers in the world. Relative to later bridges with higher towers, the Golden Gate Bridge design has shorter towers, but needs larger-diameter cables as a result.
In addition to these anniversary exhibits, the popular Bridge Thermometer exhibit, also created by the Exploratorium, is an outdoor exhibit mounted in Ft. Mason with a view of the bridge, and is also particularly timely. It allows visitors to view the Golden Gate Bridge through a calibrated telescope that illustrates the changing height of the span as it responds to temperature fluctuations and traffic loads. It sits at Upper Fort Mason, Golden Gate Bridge Overlook on McDowell Road, adjacent to Black Point Battery.
To view an Exploratorium Science in the City video that explains the dynamic Suspension Bridge Resonant model - go here: http://bcove.me/11502fj5
These Exploratorium created exhibits are part of a series of outdoor exhibits made possible by the National Science Foundation.
Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm; every Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.
$29 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. Tickets available at the door and advance tickets available online at www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets.
The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions.
About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367