If you really want to understand why San Francisco is like no other city, make sure you visit the brand new Exploratorium. Founded by teacher and famous Manhattan Project scientist Frank Oppenheimer in 1969, the Exploratorium became Oppenheimer's "San Francisco" project, a museum dedicated to active learning for kids of all ages. When the museum needed a new space, the Exploratorium reinvented itself to reflect - sometimes literally - its new digs, along the shimmering waters of San Francisco bay.The Exploratorium — Photo courtesy of Facebook/Amy Snyder
What makes the Exploratorium unlike any other museum you'll visit is the insistent invitation to be actively involved in its exhibits - no security guards here to tell you not to breathe on the paintings, that's for sure. Many of the 600 exhibits and 1.5 acres of free public access ask visitors to learn by experience, whether its through listening to a wind chime, yanking on a pulley or twisting a handcrank. If you have questions, students from local high schools, paid museum "explainers," might not have all the answers but reflect the joy of active learning that is the core of the Exploratorium experience.
And besides exploring the tides, winds and currents of the water and the shimmy of tectonic plates that created San Francisco in the first place, the Exploratorium loves to put its spotlight on that most complicated and mesmerizing inhabitant of this planet: human beings.The Exploratorium — Photo courtesy of Facebook
Only a city as diverse and daring as San Francisco could come up with an experience as diverse and daring as the Exploratorium. If you want a true understanding of the city by the bay to take home, explore the Exploratorium.