At the Exploratorium, we believe there are different ways of learning and knowing: through direct experience, art, dialogue, and making. We see teaching and learning as joyful processes that are for everyone.
Research and evaluation help us find out how people learn and how we can help them. Research allows us to study learning broadly; evaluation helps us see how our work can be improved. We distribute our results through publications, workshops, and conferences. Over time, they affect our own work and influence the way learning environments are designed worldwide. Here are some of our current research and evaluation programs and projects.
Visitor Research and Evaluation
The Visitor Research and Evaluation group primarily focuses on learners’ interactions with Exploratorium exhibits. Their research investigates learning in informal environments and their evaluation studies help improve our exhibits and programs.
Teacher Institute Research
The Exploratorium Teacher Institute studies educators: what they learn, how they learn it, how they implement what they learn, and how their learning affects their work. The results help support educators inside and outside the classroom.
Institute for Inquiry: Inquiry-Based Science and English Language Development
This partnership between the Institute for Inquiry and the Sonoma Valley Unified School District explored the deep connection between inquiry-based science and language development, and how teachers can support both at once.
Tinkering Studio Research
The Tinkering Studio looks for ways in which learners can explore science, art, and technology by building projects, solving problems, and creating personally meaningful solutions to their own goals.
In addition to our current projects and programs, the Exploratorium has a long history of research and evaluation work. From the Center for Informal Learning in Schools to the Art as a Way of Knowing Conference to the entire Visitor Research and Evaluation archive, there’s plenty to learn about how we all learn.