Outdoor Exploratorium: Experiments in Noticing and Understanding

September 1st, 2001 - August 31st, 2009 | PROJECT

The Exploratorium will create the "Outdoor Exploratorium," a 10,000-square-foot, open-air exhibit environment comprising 20 to 25 original installations. Each exhibit will allow visitors to interact directly with a variety of elements, that is water, wind, sound, light, and living things, as they exist in the natural world. One of the key components of this project will be the use of "Noticing Tours." Led by staff scientists, artists, educators, exhibit developers, and other "expert noticers," the tours will initiate a dialogue with the visitors as a starting point for exhibit development. To augment visitor learning and unify the museum's entire collection, exhibit text will relate the "Outdoor Exploratorium" experiences to exhibits. The project will culminate in a workbook for the field and two workshops for museum professionals. The Exploratorium Teacher Institute staff will develop two-week institutes that make extensive use of the "Outdoor Exploratorium." Classroom activities and inquiry-based learning experiences will be developed based on the new exhibits.

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Project Products

Outdoor Exploratorium - Front End Evaluation: Open-Ended Exploration with a Noticing Toolkit at the Palace of Fine Arts

Team Members

Peter Richards, Principal Investigator, Exploratorium
Thomas Humphrey, Co-Principal Investigator, Exploratorium
Thomas Rockwell, Co-Principal Investigator, Exploratorium
Theodore Koterwas, Co-Principal Investigator, Exploratorium
Joyce Ma, Co-Principal Investigator, Exploratorium


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0104478
Funding Amount: 1855212


Audience: Educators | Teachers | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Life science | Nature of science
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Parks | Outdoor | Garden Exhibits | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops