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00:03:53
Join Exploratorium educator Ken Finn as he unlocks the mystery behind the black sand (a.k.a. magnetite) at Ocean Beach. This piece explores the origin of magnetite in the Sierra Nevada mountains, its journey down the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers to the Bay, and the interesting physical properties of this mineral, plus some fun things you can do with it.

00:04:58
Obsidian points, Spanish terra-cotta tiles, Prohibition-era liquor bottles—history lies buried underfoot in the Presidio, one of the earliest settlements in San Francisco, occupied in turn by the Ohlone Indians, Spanish, Mexicans, and the U.S. Army. Archaeologist Kari Jones shares tales of recent digs and discoveries in this national park, and explains why most artifacts are dug up only to be reburied.

00:07:05
Framing of the Exploratorium's Observatory Building, the only completely new construction at at the piers, began in April 2011. Iron workers placed various sizes of steel beams in piles around the concrete base of the Observatory. Then, while a crane raised and held each beam aloft, the workers used metal spikes to line up the holes of the beams and inserted bolts, tightening them down to tie the structure together. Because the Observatory Building is less than two stories tall, the iron workers were allowed to shimmy across the beams without harnesses. Once this process was finished, the beams were plumbed and welded together.

00:04:15
In this program we meet Elizabeth Young, pigeon rescue expert and head of the pigeon rescue organization MickCoo (http://www.mickacoo.org), for a personal introduction to pigeons-their history, their accomplishments, their contributions to research in animal behavior/memory/learning/and how they navigate long distances-as well as their plight in the city. For more information visit: www.RescueReport.org

00:43:00
Intuit Founder Scott Cook, NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Former Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Ramon Cortines, and Retired Congressman Vernon Ehlers join KQED's Dave Iverson for a lively conversation on the topic of Science for Decision Making. This discussion was recorded at the Exploratorium's 34th Annual Awards Dinner on May 4, 2011.

04:00
In this show we'll explore the EcoCenter at Heron's Head Park, San Francisco's only off-grid building and an inspiring model of sustainable living in an area that has historically been a dumping ground for industrial waste. We are guided through the place and its principles of environmental justice by recent college graduate and EcoCenter worker Jasmine Dow.

00:03:50
You've probably heard about the Texas-sized island of plastic trash swirling in the center of the Pacific Ocean. But did you know we have our own pockets of floating trash right here in San Francisco Bay? Join us on a trash safari with Sealife Convervation—a research and education group studying the volume, distribution, and sources of trash in the San Francisco and Monterey Bays.

00:04:16
Just outside the hum and buzz of San Francisco, there's a hum and buzz of a different sort. It's the sound of thousands of acres of almond crops being pollinated by bees—bees in such demand that they must be trucked in from as far as Texas. Almond grower Dave Phippen explains why. keeping this winged labor force happy and healthy is a vital but tricky business.

00:05:46
Come out to play on the concrete slides at Seward Street Mini Park in the Castro. A series of speed tests guided by physicist Paul Doherty takes on the question asked by sliders everywhere: How can I go faster?

00:03:16
In January and February of 2011, the first of the large 72" in diameter piles were driven 160 feet in to the sea floor at Piers 15 and 17 in San Francisco, the new home of the Exploratorium. These new piles were installed between the two piers and along the south apron of Pier 15. In early March, the steel casings were filled with concrete.