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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Exploratorium

Institution: 

Exploratorium

Designer: 

In-house

Category: 

Long-lived

Why

Exploratorium Home Page Exploratorium Home Page

Online since 1993, the Exploratorium, the museum of science, art, and human perception in San Francisco, California, was the first independent museum to have a website. Even in its early days, the site provided more than general museum information; it offered access to the museum’s digital library and to Exploratorium-developed software. Since then, the site has grown to over 25,000 pages and has been redesigned six times, most recently in 2010.

Who Are You? Educators Who Are You? Educators

Exploratorium TV Exploratorium TV

Explore Explore

The new Who Are You? section www.exploratorium.edu/who/ offers educators, museum professionals, teens, parents, artists, scientists, and geeks a curated entryway into the site, suggesting content that may be of particular interest to each audience. Exploratorium TV www.exploratorium.edu/tv/index.php is home to the site’s growing collection of webcasts, videos, podcasts, and slideshows, which feature the museum’s original programming—from Science in the City videos to webcasts from the South Pole. The Explore section www.exploratorium.edu/explore/ features a visual interface for accessing the museum’s vast collection of hands-on activities, online interactives, and videos, which are categorized by topics including astronomy & space, everyday science, and culture.

Some of the website’s many microsites delve deeply into a single topic—for example, Evidence: How Do We Know What We Know? www.exploratorium.edu/evidence and Geometry Playground www.exploratoriume.edu/geometryplayground. Others, such as The Tinkering Studio http://tinkering.exploratorium.edu/ and a growing assortment of staff-written blogs, connect online visitors with the dynamic ideas and practices of the Exploratorium as learning laboratory.