Teacher Review for Exploratorium

Best Science Museum in the World Has Created Free Resources for Teachers

Amy W.
Common Sense Media
San Francisco, United States
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My Subjects Science
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Knowledge gain
Small group
Teacher-led lessons
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
I have gone to the Exploratorium for inspiration for demonstrations to perform in front of students and instructions for how to make them. For example, students are always confused about what we have seasons. They often think that it's because the earth is farther away from the sun during part of the year. This misconception is reinforced by textbooks that illustrate the earth's path around the sun as heavily elliptical. (It is only slightly so). And of course when it's winter in Australia, it's summer in New York, so are we closer or farther. Of course, it has to do with the tilt of the earth's axis of rotation and Exploratorium.edu has a demo and lesson plan for you to use with students to teach the concept. http://www.exploratorium.edu/ancientobs/chaco/HTML/TG-seasons.html This is just one of hundreds of topics covered - all for free.
My Take
The Exploratorium museum in San Francisco is an amazing place where students can interact with experimental installations to experience phenomena first-hand in a way that can truly transform their understanding. Exploratorium.edu has created a treasure-trove of classroom activities for teachers to use covering topics that range widely. Often, the materials required for setup are basic, and the instructions on the site for how to create a demo and then what to ask students to do and think about is fantastic.