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Exploratorium Launches Global Tinkering Studio™ Initiative

For Immediate Release:
July 13, 2012

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Contact:
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367
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Exploratorium Launches Global Tinkering Studio™ Initiative

Inaugural Event at Saudi National Science Festival

Signature Informal Learning Environment Encourages People to Hack, Build and Invent Their Own Experiments

The Exploratorium, the global leader in informal learning, today announced the launch of its Global Tinkering Studio™ Initiative to extend the reach of its signature hands-on learning space to museums, science centers and cultural organizations and events around the world. The initiative kicks off at the Saudi Aramco Cultural Program, an annual science festival in al- Khobar, Saudi Arabia, which is expected to draw upwards of 100,000 visitors over the next five weeks. Informed by ten years of educational research and development, The Tinkering Studio™ invites visitors to build, hack, invent and “think with their hands” while working on individual creations that explore the natural world. As part of the festival, the Exploratorium’s master tinkerers will hold professional development workshops that introduce local educators to tinkering and its application to science education.

The Exploratorium is at the vanguard of science education reform in emerging markets, including the Middle East, a region anticipating a shift from an oil-driven economy to an information economy. In Saudi Arabia, a focused effort has begun to produce the scientists, engineers and economists the country needs.

“We’re programmed to think that most learning happens inside a classroom, but it’s often informal learning experiences that have the most lasting impact on young minds,” said Dennis Bartels, Executive Director of the Exploratorium. “Tinkering teaches kids and adults alike to think critically and find their own unique style to solve problems by virtue of their missteps, trial and error, and ultimately success. It’s this spirit of creativity, curiosity and invention we want our global campaign to ignite, bridging cultural, language and social divides.”

The Tinkering Studio™ in Saudi Arabia engages visitors as active learners, designers and makers of activities — including constructing a Rube-Goldberg-like marble run form items found at a hardware store, sewing with conductive thread to create electronic jewelry, building mechanical toys using cardboard cams, levers, gears and pulleys, experimenting with floating and flying contraptions in a vertical wind tube, and completing circuits with everything form battery packs and light bulbs to home made conductive silly putty.

Prior to the Saudi Science Festival, the Exploratorium has piloted tinkering programs with audiences ranging from MIT engineers and the Dalai Lama’s monks to science museums across Arkansas.

Follow the Exploratorium staff on the ground in al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, as they introduce the next generation of Saudis to tinkering on the Tinkering Studio™ blog at http://tinkering.exploratorium.edu

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Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm;  every Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.

Admission
$25 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.

Getting Here
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.

Exploratorium
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media@exploratorium.edu
www.exploratorium.edu

Contact Us:
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367