The Exploratorium, one of the world's leading hands-on science museums, officially opens to the public in its new location on April 17. Now located at Pier 15 along San Francisco's Embarcadero, the larger digs bring back most of the Exploratorium's classic exhibits, plus many new ones. More than 1,000 exhibits mix science and art to get visitors learning in an active way.
Pictured here is Wind Arrows, one of the free-to-the-public exhibits. It demonstrates that the wind rarely blows in just one direction using an "off-the-shelf" 35-foot-flagpole and sailboat wind direction indicators.
The new on-site Seaglass Restaurant and Cafe serves fare including tacos, Welsh rarebit, fresh seafood approved by the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch list, and chef Loretta Keller's well-regarded batter-fried green beans. You'll also find something for your brain to savor there: a large-scale version of the Exploratorium's popular Icy Bodies exhibit.
Thin shavings of dry ice are injected onto the surface of a shallow pool of water where they careen around like comets. Tiny jets of gas shoot out from the individual ice fragments, causing them to spin and tumble as they drift about. Side-lighting brings out the detailed structure of the out-gassing jets.
Nakaya's first piece at the Exploratorium was called "Cybernetic Serendipity" from 1968.