Ignite your innovation with a trip to Silicon Valley‘s Tech Museum.
The Tech Museum of Innovation—located in the heart of Silicon Valley—provides a deep understanding about how technology plays a key role in our lives. This museum in San Jose, California, offers interactive exhibits, an IMAX theater and countless ways to experience the forefront of progress in a world-class facility.
The Tech is more than a museum; it’s also a valued community resource for educating and empowering future generations. It features programs like the Tech Academies of Innovation, which partners with schools in underserved communities to build model programs for teaching STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. In 2015, the museum was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest honor for a museum in the United States.
Exhibits and galleries
At the Tech Museum, there’s no shortage of cutting-edge activities and exhibits. For instance, “Body Metrics” uses wearable technology to collect and analyze data about one’s physical attributes and emotions. Visitors can wear the sensory kits the entire day to learn about the changes they can make to improve their physical and mental health. For example, a visual representation of breathing and heart rates helps people to better understand the correlation between them and set health goals. The device also helps users achieve these goals by directing them to corresponding exhibits. Based on the collected data, visitors receive a detailed analysis of their experience, including how they reacted to everything they saw and felt.
Ever wanted to build a social robot? The Tech Museum’s “Social Robots” exhibition is the perfect place to design, build and program a robot using sensors, controllers and actuators. Visitors can learn about online safety at the interactive exhibit, “Cyber Detectives,” where they can train and tackle missions as cyber sleuths. They can learn how to decode secret messages, identify phony websites, protect passwords and networks and create code before they’re put to the test as cyber security professionals.
Space fans can experience what it’s like to be an astronaut by riding in a NASA-manned maneuvering unit at the “Jet Pack Chair” exhibit in the Exploration Gallery. People get to float around in a closed arena using jets of compressed air. Next up, check out the View from Space gallery, which features two projectors casting rotating images onto a six-foot sphere, creating the effect of Earth in space.
After this galactic trip, step aboard the museum’s Shake Platform, which simulates eight different earthquakes based on actual seismic data.
Don’t miss out on the world’s only exhibition that shows how technology coming out of Silicon Valley is revolutionizing the way people communicate, think and create—the Silicon Valley Innovation Gallery. This unique, hands-on exhibit explores the intersection of art and technology by immersing visitors in virtual travel, digital art, nanotechnology and computer animation.
Theater and studio
A visit to the museum won’t be complete without watching a show at the Hackworth IMAX Dome Theater. It mesmerizes audiences with 9,000 square feet of wrap-around image and 13,000 watts of digital surround sound.
At the Tech Studio, the question, “How can technology be used to make our community a better place to live?” is always on the table. The 3,000-square-foot collaborative design space has an array of daily guided programs and weekend workshops related to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) learning and engineering design, including helping visitors develop computer apps to solve social issues.
Each year, more than 120,000 children flock to the Tech Museum for field trips. The museum also offers summer camps, badge programs for Girl Scouts, bilingual family mathematics and engineering classes, birthday parties and even sleepovers for families and groups.
So what are you waiting for? Plan your tech trip of a lifetime to Silicon Valley’s Tech Museum today.
Anne Walls is a writer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California.