Exploratorium – San Francisco’s Science Centre

15 Sep

While in the U.S. I wanted to visited a Science Centre to see how ours compared to theirs, so in San Francisco we spent the afternoon in their Exploratorium.

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It was in a really large warehouse-like building and there were so many rooms to explore, definitely more than our Brisbane Science Centre.

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Some of the exhibits were similar to the ones back home

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but there were lots of different ones too.

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Ethan loved this computer.  You had to talk to it (through typing obviously) and it would “learn” and acquire language from your interactions.

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I thought these tubes were really clever.  Each tube contained water that showed the bay’s tide level – one tube per hour per day.  It was a great visual representation of the rise and fall of the tide.

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The boys really liked sharing the Science Centre with their Uncle.

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We discovered that the social convention of ‘waiting your turn’ is broken no matter where you are in the world.

  The boys loved this exhibit – smoke rose up from the centre and you had to run around the column to create a ‘twister’ – but every time they started to get a twister, a child pushed in, ran through the middle and wrecked it.  Very frustrating.

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Actually there were a few odd, quite disturbing exhibits at the Exploratorium that I didn’t think were appropriate for children.

There was a mental health exhibit that focused on the mentally disturbed.  It was really out of place.

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In another room there was this horrific exhibit and to be honest I have no idea what its purpose was.  The sign said, “Grief unfolds like a flower and will not be rushed”.  But my horror led me to rush – out!

This image of a woman just stood behind this foggy glass panel and dragged her fingers across the glass.  The whole room was empty and dark except for this glass panel.  It was odd…and once again disturbing.

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Then there was this skeleton.  No it wasn’t the standard plastic sort.  It was a real human skeleton that had been donated to the centre.  Hmmm…just a bit distasteful I thought.

So there were just a few elements of the Exploratorium that I thought were inappropriate.

To be honest I wasn’t all that impressed with the centre.  I think I’d hoped for a lot more.

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The kids had a nice enough afternoon though but we didn’t stay too long.

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We grabbed a quick drink and made our way home to prepare to leave San Francisco the next day.

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Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Family Events, Field Trips, Geography, US Holidays


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