Spring is in the air, the flowers are blooming and the children are out of school. This is a great opportunity to take an educational day trip. Living near San Francisco provides many opportunities to focus on museums with a math and science theme.
One of the most popular destinations this spring is the newly renovated and reopened California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. There is an aquarium, a planetarium and a four story tropical rainforest just to name a few of the attractions. To view the living roof of the new museum go up to the tower in the adjacent DeYoung Museum (the floor the gift shop is on).
A time honored tradition is a trip to the Exploratorium. They have over forty hands-on science exhibits to increase your wonder of the world. Their website is also a treasure trove of information about science on the web.
For children between the ages of four and ten, the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose is a good destination. The museum offers an interactive experience with many different branches of science that will be fun for the whole family.
A great place to visit with the older children is the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. They have a visitor center open from Tuesday through Friday in the afternoons from 1 to 4. This is a great place to start a conversation with your child about careers in science. Call ahead you need to make an appointment.
Another super choice for the older teens is the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
I went to the Intel Museum in Santa Clara when I was in college. It has been open for 40 years and has over 30 exhibits. It is open Monday through Saturday, all day. For groups of 8 and larger they have tours through the museum if you call ahead. Otherwise, the self guided tour is fantastic. They also have some exhibits on their website to compliment your visit.
The Bodega Marine Lab offers guided docent tours. You must call ahead to schedule. They have one day (Friday) where they are open for drop-in tours. Check the website for more information.
The Marine Mammal Center is where the volunteers after the Cusco Busan oil spill went to be trained. Visiting hours are 10am – 5pm everyday of the year except Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years Day. The Marine Mammal Center is located in the beautiful Marin Headlands so you can plan a day of adventures.
Don’t forget to talk to your child about how fun math and science can be and wouldn’t it be wonderful if they ended up with a career in math or science!!!