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Exploratorium to Open Helix Community Science Center in Downtown Los Altos

For Immediate Release:
November 05, 2013

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Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367

Exploratorium to Open Helix Community Science Center in Downtown Los Altos

Silicon Valley Experiment in Informal Learning to Open December 13, 2013

San Francisco’s Exploratorium will open Helix, a new community science center, in downtown Los Altos on December 13, 2013, bringing the museum’s curious blend of interactive science and inquiry to this vibrant Silicon Valley community. The 5,000-square-foot innovative hybrid space, located on State Street in Los Altos, will combine program and exhibit experiences with retail space, and is funded by a one-year grant from Passerelle Investments, a Los Altos investment company focused on community development, which is also a lead sponsor for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley.

“We’re excited by the prospect of an Exploratorium satellite in Silicon Valley, the heart of where so much of the region’s innovation takes place,” says Anne Richardson, Ph.D., Director of Helix. “The Exploratorium is a leader in informal learning, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to experiment in a small, downtown setting, where we will be able to develop new programs and activities that connect with this community.”

Part science museum, part retail space, and part community center, Helix will engage with local schools and neighborhood groups to develop programs and events for all ages that reflect the unique character and needs of Los Altos and its surrounding communities. Possible activities at Helix include evening talks, workshops with Exploratorium staff, and fun, informal learning events exploring scientific phenomena.

The Helix space will showcase approximately 25 Exploratorium exhibits, including Chaotic Pendulum, which demonstrates how a deceptively simple set of pendulums can create surprising motion; Confused Sea, which mimics the action of wind over the ocean by generating waves; and Gaussian Melody, a sound exhibit in which three steel balls fall through an array of pins to produce a random melody that emulates a Gaussian distribution. Admission to Helix is pay what you wish. 

Regular Open Hours
Mondays–Wednesdays: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Thursdays–Fridays: 1:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Saturdays–Sundays: 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.

Extended Holiday Hours
December 21–January 5
Mondays–Wednesdays: 10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Thursdays–Sundays: 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Days

The Helix website at www.helixlosaltos.org will launch November 20, 2013.

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.

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.

Pier 15
San Francisco
California 94111
(415) 528-4444 telephone

Contact Us:
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367