Exploratorium Science Exhibits from Birth to Death


Date Thursday September 28th 2006
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

At the Exploratorium, scientists team with exhibit builders to create interactive science exhibits for the public. The best exhibits are enjoyed equally by 4 year-olds and physics professors. I will tell how several exhibits were made, and how they worked or failed when used by the public. (Some failed in spectacular ways: burning up, imploding, or dissolving.) The Exploratorium also has a large web site. I’ll present stories of some of our web programs such as “Iron Science Teacher” in which science teachers compete to teach science with simple materials. I’ll illustrate my presentation with demonstrations from the Exploratorium.


In 1986, I came to the Exploratorium Teacher Institute and began my exhibit-based explorations in science. I became the co-director of the Teacher Institute in 1990 and the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Learning in 1992. Since 1997 I have been a senior staff scientist at the Exploratorium. I am also a visiting scientist at Tom Tits Experiment in Sweden and an adjunct professor of physics at San Francisco State University. In 1999 I received the "Administrator of the Year" award from the California Science Education Advisory Council for my work directing teaching programs at the Exploratorium. In 2002 I was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award by the American Association of Physics teachers, Northern California Section. In 2003 I was given the NSTA's Faraday Award for excellence as a science communicator.

As an author, I have written over three dozen articles for Exploring magazine. For the Exploratorium Press I have have co-authored the Exploratorium Science Snackbook, and the book Square Wheels with Don Rathjen. For Klutz Press I have co-written the Explorabook which has sold over a million copies, and also the Book of Magnetic Magic, the Zap book, and Glove Compartment Science. For Chronicle Press with Pat Murphy I have written: The Color of Nature and Traces of Time. I am a regular science columnist for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Recently I wrote three articles for Muse magazine: one on Color with Pat Murphy, one on singing corrugated pipes, and one on great adventure books.

For more information on Paul Doherty's biography click here.

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