Creating Learning & Teaching Experiences
The Exploratorium provides science learning programs for children and youth from throughout the Bay Area and beyond.
We offer a wide range of programs for Bay Area children, youth, and multigenerational audiences. Events and programs both within the museum and in the community provide interactive activities, leadership opportunities, and free neighborhood events that make science more accessible to everyone.
High School Explainer Program
The High School Explainer Program has two intertwined purposes: first, to enhance the experiences of our visitors; and second, to provide training in communication, inquiry-based learning, and leadership, and to deepen the science knowledge of the Explainers themselves. This training enables the Explainers to serve visitors well and provides them with valuable knowledge and skills that they can use beyond the Exploratorium.
XTech works with middle school youth from San Francisco neighborhoods. Participants spend up to three years in the program, focused on a design and engineering curriculum that incorporates use of machine-shop tools and materials. During this time, they develop confidence, science understanding, and design skills in a socially supportive peer community. As they move into high school, they become XTech facilitators, taking on teaching and mentoring roles with incoming middle school students, with children in afterschool programs participating in our community tinkering work, and at community family science nights. XTech participants and facilitators develop a passion for science and engineering as well as for teaching and learning.
Community Educational Engagement
Community Educational Engagement programs offer family science nights at schools, work with individual patients at UCSF Children’s Hospital, participate in neighborhood events, and host Engineering Day events at the museum. These programs bring interactive, hands-on science activities to multigenerational audiences in settings primarily within their own communities. Led by a team of experienced educators supported by high school Explainers and XTech facilitators, this work makes science more accessible, inclusive, and exciting for a wide range of audiences.
Our Tinkering in Afterschool Program works in partnership with the San Francisco Boys & Girls Clubs to bring new forms of science learning opportunities to children and youth participating in Clubhouse programs. Children can develop their science interests and understanding in a context that is personal, creative, and joyful.