San Francisco, CA, USA — San Francisco’s Exploratorium will open Helix, a new community science center, in downtown Los Altos onDecember 13, 2013, bringing the museum’s curious blend of interactive science and inquiry to this vibrant Silicon Valley community. The 5,000-square-foot innovative hybrid space, located on State Street in Los Altos, will combine program and exhibit experiences with retail space, and is funded by a one-year grant from Passerelle Investments, a Los Altos investment company focused on community development, which is also a lead sponsor for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley.
“We’re excited by the prospect of an Exploratorium satellite in Silicon Valley, the heart of where so much of the region’s innovation takes place,” says Anne Richardson, Ph.D., Director of Helix. “The Exploratorium is a leader in informal learning, and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to experiment in a small, downtown setting, where we will be able to develop new programs and activities that connect with this community.”
Part science museum, part retail space, and part community center, Helix will engage with local schools and neighborhood groups to develop programs and events for all ages that reflect the unique character and needs of Los Altos and its surrounding communities. Possible activities at Helix include evening talks, workshops with Exploratorium staff, and fun, informal learning events exploring scientific phenomena.
The Helix space will showcase approximately 25 Exploratorium exhibits, including Chaotic Pendulum, which demonstrates how a deceptively simple set of pendulums can create surprising motion; Confused Sea, which mimics the action of wind over the ocean by generating waves; and Gaussian Melody, a sound exhibit in which three steel balls fall through an array of pins to produce a random melody that emulates a Gaussian distribution. Admission to Helix is pay what you wish.