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Institute for Inquiry

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Institute for Inquiry

Inquiry-Based Science for Elementary Educators

The Institute for Inquiry (IFI) is a professional development program at the Exploratorium that works with elementary teachers and leaders to promote science inquiry in K-5 education.

In the early days of the Exploratorium, the Institute for Inquiry began as “School in the Exploratorium,” a program to help teachers connect the excitement of a museum visit to the learning taking place in their classrooms.

While IFI's offerings have evolved over the years with the ever-changing needs, opportunities, and thinking in education, inquiry has remained a transformative and effective foundation that leverages students’ natural curiosity to help them make meaning of the world, communicate their ideas, and see themselves in science.

Today, the Institute for Inquiry has helped tens of thousands of educators worldwide, from small rural classrooms to ministries of education across the globe, and their ideas continue to reverberate throughout the museum. Currently, they are focused on working with district and county leaders and organizational partners throughout California, strategically supporting the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards. 

Contact Us

We provide professional development to educators and leaders in schools, districts, and county offices, and partner with state-level leaders to support inquiry-based science in elementary education. In addition to funded statewide and local work, we are available for on-demand workshops with groups of educators, professional learning providers, informal learning programs, and more.