I think I may have landed the "edtech-ie-est" duo of them all. The Tech Museum of Innovation (in San Jose) and the Computer History Museum (in Mountain View, CA). Located a mere 13 miles from each other, in the heart of Silicon Valley, they work together nicely to give you a view of our techie past and take you well into our techie present and future.
As you can imagine, my trek to San Francisco & Silicon Valley certainly included the two of these museums... and a crazy number of photos taken at both. If you ever have the chance to visit in person, you should.
The Computer History Museum (CHM)
Exhibits while I was there:
- Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing: From the abacus to mainframes to where we are today! This is where I spent the most time. It was amazing and awe-inspiring to be surrounded by the number of artifacts (approximately 1,100...including the 1978 Merlin, which I loved as a kid!)
- Make Software: Change the World
- Thinking Big: Ada Lovelace: Dating back to the mid 1800s, Ada was a mathematician and a woman ahead of her time.
- Where To? Another favored area, where you got the opportunity to sit in a self-driving car. While in the Silicon Valley area, we actually saw two of these on the streets!!
- IBM 1401 Demo Lab: This room-sized computer takes you literally back in time to 1959
- PDP-1 Demo Lab: Another flashback to 1959 and the "one-ton minicomputer." These two rooms really show you how far we have come (as I took a picture of them on my smartphone hand-held computer!)
- Education Programs Overview
- Visits or Workshops for K-12 & also College Groups.
- One hour Beam Virtual Tours can be scheduled (at least 4 weeks in advance) for Mondays at 10 am PST. This involves a "telepresence robot," named Beam, who will drive you through parts of the museum with a docent! (This is totally on my radar to check into!)
- Resources for Educators including tool kits and educator newsletters.
- CHM Live: "High Tech Luminaries" share stories and more at the Museum. These are scheduled events on the calendar, or check out videos of these visits on the CHM YouTube channel
- CHM Collections
- Online Exhibits
The Tech Tag: Coming home with "digital mementos" of our experience there was pretty darn cool.
- BioDesign Studio
- Body Metrics
- Body Worlds Decoded: This was incredible with the plastinated bodies and slices of true parts. They also provided you with a tablet so you could see artificial reality images popping up on hot spots right there in the museum to truly make the learning come to life! I also liked the huge, table-sized touch screen computer where you could see right inside the human body!
- Cyber Detectives: Perfect for anyone who likes code breaking!
- Exploration Gallery: The Shake Platform simulated what a California Earthquake feels like. Feeling that magnitude of 6.7 was stronger than this Maryland and Midwest girl has ever felt!!
- Innovations in Health Care: Another one of my favorite exhibit. This is always where I feel innovation is going to be the key to solving so many of our global issues.
- Reboot Reality: "A Digital Experience Lab" where you can experience "immersive media." We loved the Animaker, where you used Legos to create animals, then it virtually created that animal from scanning your Legos, then popped it up on the animated big screen!
- Social Robots
- The Tech for Global Good
- The Tech Studio (A Maker Space on steroids, with just about any material you could think of to build with!)
- Unfortunately, the IMAX was down until November 2018 for renovations.
- Overviews on the multitudes of exhibits (complete with videos)
- Bowers Institute of Professional Development--both workshops and online resources for teachers
- Tech Academies: STEM Resources for students and teachers
- Field trip & membership information for the locals, as well as Tech challenges and Family Math/Engineering experiences
Luckily though for the rest of us, there are so many online resources, you can soak it up from... you computer, of course!
Images from my camera! Compilations made using the LiPix app. Logos from each museum's website!