Field Trip Explainers

Reflections on life at Exploratorium

Hyperbolic Slot

by rob moss wilson

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Things in motion often defy our static, two dimensional expectations and ‘objective’ assessments often preclude our ability to adapt and transform in response to a given situation. A straight and rigid stick, when held at an angle and pushed around a circular axis, glides effortlessly through a curved slot.

Square Wheel

by rob moss wilson

squarewheel (3)

Everyone tries to ensure the ground they walk on is smooth and flat. Such efforts are futile and idealistic. Try this: change your shape to accommodate the irregular surface. As long as your center of gravity remain level, movement will be frictionless and graceful.


Bird in a Cage

by Julie C.

A few weeks ago, we drew our own versions of the Bird in a Cage illusion. The trick to seeing the illusion is to stare at the dot in the middle of the image…keep staring…until the image disappears…or does it?

Try these three examples:


The afterimage of these drawings should appear when the drawings disappear. You can draw your own version, too.

Kittens visit the Exploratorium!

by lapinehorizon

kitten 1 kitten 9 kitten 10

Clouds from the Observatory Deck

by lapinehorizon

observatory 1 observatory 2 observatory 3 observatory 4 observatory 5 observatory 6 observatory 7 observatory 8

Slow Exposure Camera Exhibit

by lapinehorizon

These chilling photos were taken with one of the exhibits in the corridor near the central gallery. I forget its real name, but it lets you take a photo of yourself over a full second, letting you make unearthly illusions out of your blurred results.

explo4 explo6 explo7 explo10 explo12 explo13 explo14 explo16

Explo Photos

by lapinehorizon

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Animation Station

by lapinehorizon

A cute little animation we did a few months ago.

Sounds of the Pentaphone Room

by lapinehorizon

One of our most popular sound exhibits, the Pentaphone Room. Where you can just bang randomly on pieces of wood and metal and get beautiful songs. Here’s a sample of some people playing:

Parody Explainer Song!

by lapinehorizon

You heard of the song “Bad Looks Good on You” by 38 Special? Well this is “Orange Vest Looks Good on You” all about Explainers!!!! Hahahahaha. Enjoy!

Morning you’re doing those orientations
Then practicing a jump in shadow box
Oh yeah man
When lunchtime comes, you’re on the south apron
Watching how high the tide has gone

We’re like a little bit of carnival sideshow, and a lot of genuine curiosity
With the field trips comin, we sketch the plankton
Check that out now
You got your magic tricks, dry ice too
And some say we got no rules, baby
orange vest looks good on you
That’s what I say
Man it looks good on you
Ooh yeah

Not cuttin that cow eye for the first time
Noo no
We sure do love to magnify
And where do you sit’s about to get real deep
We’re doing those dark-box rickshaw rides

We’re like a little bit of summer camp councilor, and a genuine individuality
You’re kidding me
With the people thinking we’re all in highschool
Talking bout lightbulbs and perception too, keep doin’ the things you do
Baby, orange vest looks good on you
Sure good on you

All along the fifteenth pier, there, unexpected happens here
A place where there is outdoor cart, fog bridge, and the big tree
The gyroid is a crazy time, and creepy ghosts are in your eyes
At botany we have a millipede, yeah

We got a little bit of bay area hippie, and a lot of genuine creativity
In the connectors or the studio tinkering
Getting into space-bears and preschools, embryos and echo tube
Baby, orange vest looks good on you

Baby, that looks good on you


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