Exploratorium Opens New Home
For over 43 years, San Francisco's Exploratorium has tested the theory that hands-on learning is the best way to teach science. And by all accounts, its model is successful. The museum-slash-playground has a new $300 million solar-powered building with gorgeous views of the bay and displays that range from bay life forms to a giant "tinkering" clock. The Exploratorium's model of interactive science learning has inspired centers all over the world, including the Mission Science Workshop in San Francisco. Dan Sudran runs this small, community-based program on a shoestring budget, using mostly materials he gathered himself. He wants to reach poor and underserved kids -- like those who live in the Mission District -- who might never find their way to a big science center like the Exploratorium. At both Sudran's down-and-dirty workshop and its upscale cousin across town, the key question remains: what kind of science education do kids need and what really works?
Reported by PBS NewsHour correspondent Spencer Michels and produced by Monica Lam