Since 1984, the Community Educational Engagement Program (CEE) has been a link between the Exploratorium and community-based organizations that work with underserved children, teens, and their families.
The program offers Exploratorium exhibit-based educational activities via ongoing partnerships. CEE staff visit neighborhood programs on a regular basis and invite participants to the Exploratorium for special field trips. CEE provides a variety of resources to some of these organizations, including free educational materials, professional in-service workshops for staff, and access to other Exploratorium resources.
The Community Educational Engagement Program currently works with San Francisco organizations including:
- San Francisco Public Library
- San Francisco Unified School District
- UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital
In recent years, CEE has worked with groups as diverse as Aim High, 826 Valencia, First Graduate, Chinatown Self-Help for the Elderly, and Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
CEE is also instrumental in producing the Exploratorium’s annual Latino Engineering Day in collaboration with the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.
For all these events and workshops, the CEE Program Director is assisted by on-call staff either currently involved with or recently graduated from the Exploratorium's XTech Program. These young, ethnically and culturally diverse team members serve not only as educators, but also as role models for children and teens. They are an integral part of the program's success.
CEE’s workshops and activities are always hands-on. Participants learn to manipulate materials, use hand tools, and sometimes even operate simple machinery. They engage in a wide variety of projects, from constructing zoetropes, spectroscopes, and kaleidoscopes to wiring circuits and creating armloads of musical instruments to take home with them.
All program services are provided free of charge.