The Golden Gate Bridge As An Informal Science Education Resource

September 1st, 2009 - August 31st, 2014 | PROJECT

The Golden Gate Bridge Highway Transportation District (GGBHTD), in collaboration with the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering (CUREE), and in partnership with Princeton University, Stanford University, San Jose State University, the Sciencenter (Ithaca, NY), the Exploratorium (San Francisco), Eyethink, West Wind Laboratory, EHDD Architects, the American Public Works Association, and the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, is conducting a multi-faceted project about the science and engineering of the Golden Gate Bridge and about how public works facilities around the country can potentially become sites for public understanding of and engagement with science and engineering. GGBHTD, which operates and maintains the bridge, ferries and buses, hosts over 10-million visitors annually to their current visitor center at the south end of the bridge (San Francisco), serves an additional 2-million users of their ferries, and hosts a popular Web site ( The project deliverables are scheduled to coincide in 2012 with the 75th anniversary of the 1937 opening of the bridge. Educational products include: outdoor exhibits at the Golden Gate Bridge; exhibits about the bridge on the District's ferries; indoor exhibits at the Exploratorium; an expanded Web site with educational material about the bridge; an international conference in San Francisco around the time of the anniversary about public works as sites for informal science education; educational documents and a professional development program for public works staff from around the country; and a suite of publications for the public and professionals on public works research. The project involves a coordinated evaluation effort. Front-end and formative evaluation activities are being conducted by Inverness Research Associates. Summative evaluation will be conducted by David Heil & Associates.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Public Works for Public Learning: The Golden Gate Bridge Outdoor Exhibition Project
The Golden Gate Bridge As An Informal Science Education Resource: Summative Evaluation Report

Team Members

Denis Mulligan, Principal Investigator, Golden Gate Bridge Highway Transportation District
Robert Reitherman, Co-Principal Investigator, Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering
Maria Garlock, Co-Principal Investigator, Princeton University
Reed Helgens, Contributor, Consortium of Universities for Res in Earthquake Engineering


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 0840185
Funding Amount: $3,000,000


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Engineering | General STEM
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Conferences | Exhibitions | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Parks | Outdoor | Garden Exhibits | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media