Monday, March 21, 2011

Exploratorium and 826 Valencia!

When I was at my whirlwind Tinkering School workshop in San Francisco a month ago, we had the great fortune to have about half a day to go to 2 places I have been dying to visit for positively years. These pictures are completely shoddy, but still if you've never been I suppose they're better than nothing. If you've never heard of 826 Valencia you HAVE to watch Dave Eggers talk about it here... 20 minutes of your life that could not be better spent.

They were having a mini-Maker Faire the day we went to the Exploratorium.... swoon, swoon. The theme was cardboard. I am so ecstatic that they had that action going on as an extra bonus. I have to admit that some of the Exploratorium was a bit disappointing, a lot of the stuff upstairs left me a bit cold. Sort of your standard Children's Museum "Press this button and learn, kids!" stuff.... just a tiny percentage of it, hardly worth mentioning really, but when I got to the explosion of creativity that was really making, creating, and doing.... that was when my head was really spinning. Meaningful hands-on learning experiences, which was the phrase that Gever kept mentioning to us... the kind of core of it all, what we're trying to create for kids. That, and dolphin tears. Oh wait, not dolphin tears after all. Just the learning experiences. Yeah, that's right.

This was ferrofluid:
This was a giant cardboard robot (as you can clearly see), and this was some sort of magnetic dust:

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