Science Education

Blast Off at the Novato Space Festival This Saturday at Pacheco Plaza

August 2, 2016

2016 Novato Space FestivalCelebrate all things outer space at the annual Novato Space Festival at the Pacheco Plaza shopping center. This fun and educational family event is presented by the Space Station Museum and takes place Saturday, August 6 from 10 am to 4 pm at the museum and on Pacheco Plaza's Center Stage. Admission and parking are free! Over 4,000 people attended this event last year.

Meet real astronaut including Al Worden, who participated in the Apollo 15 moon mission; Charlie Duke, an Apollo 16 moon walker; and Novato's own shuttle astronaut Yvonne Cagle. Participating organizations include Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, the Planetary Society, NASA Ames Center, the National Space Society, and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

Visitors will also get a chance to check out the Space Station Museum's exhibits, including a 90% scale mockup of a lunar lander and an exact replica of an Apollo moon buggy, participate in hands-on interactive exhibits under the Big Tent, meet R2D2 and Imperial Stormtroopers, sit in a jet fighter cockpit, play with the San Marin Robotics Club, and more!

Unleash Your Inner Scientist at the 5th Annual Bay Area Science Festival

October 19, 2015

Bay Area Science FestivalThe Bay Area Science Festival returns October 22 through November 7, 2015, providing a wide range of science and technology activities, including exhibitions, hands-on activities, concerts, plays, workshops, and more, at locations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including many in Marin and the North Bay. Programs include Discovery Days for families, held in conjunction with local science outreach groups, Signature Performances, which feature high-profile science acts from around the country, and Explorer Days, tours that highlight the scientific wonders of the Bay Area.

Families in Marin and Sonoma County can take part in the North Bay Science Discovery Day, taking place on Saturday, October 24 at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa. This free event features local organizations like Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Dominican University of California, California State Parks, the Marin County Free Library, Kaiser Permanente, Marinovators, the MV Code Club, the Pacific Coast Air Museum, Play-Well TEKnologies, Safari West, San Marin High School's robotics club and STEM program, Sonoma Raceway, the Space Station Museum, WildCare, and many many more. Plan on staying all day to experience all the fun!

Hands-on Science Fun and Education at the Exploratorium in San Francisco

May 26, 2015

Exploratorium hands-on science museum San Francisco

If you grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, you probably spent some time as a kid at the Exploratorium. This innovative and influential hands-on museum of science, art, and human perception has been educating and entertaining families for over 40 years. The Exploratorium is a perfect place for an outing for families with children of all ages, from toddlers to teens. Parents, grandparents, and most other grownups will find it a lot of fun, too. I used to love coming here as a kid, and now my children love to visit, too.

For most of its life, the Exploratorium was located at the iconic Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco's Marina District, but in 2013 it moved into an all-new, much larger facility at Pier 15 on the Embarcadero. The new Exploratorium is bigger and better, and features all your old favorite exhibits along with 150 new ones, as well as a Bay Observatory that allows visitors to explore the environment of adjacent San Francisco Bay.

Win Tickets to the June 15 Penguins+Pajamas Sleepover at the Cal Academy

June 7, 2013

Penguins + Pajamas at the California Academy of SciencesWe can't think of a better way to spend Father's Day weekend than at the California Academy of Sciences' Penguins + Pajamas sleepover—it's a fantastic family experience that's both fun and educational. The next Penguins+Pajamas sleepover is scheduled for Saturday, June 15, and we're giving away a pair of tickets to a lucky Marin Mommies reader!

Experience your own "night at the museum" as you explore the exhibits after-hours, stargaze at a planetarium show, enjoy a special live animal presentation, explore the fastest fish and swiftest sailboats in the Academy's Built for Speed special exhibit, and dance and sing along to your favorite tunes from the Radio Disney AM 1310 Road Crew. Before bedtime, settle in for story time with cookies and milk to learn about Pierre—the Academy’s famous wetsuit-wearing penguin.

When the lights go out, unroll your sleeping bag in African Hall, next to the swaying kelp of the aquarium's California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for a continental breakfast.

Butterflies and Blooms Abound at San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers

May 26, 2013

Butterflies and Blooms at the Conservatory of FlowersOne of our favorite destinations in San Francisco is the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, especially when they're presenting a special exhibit. This spring and summer, visitors to the Conservatory can get eye to eye with a butterfly in Butterflies & Blooms, in the special exhibits gallery through October 20, 2013.

Butterflies & Blooms transforms the Conservatory's special exhibits gallery into an intimate cottage garden that plays host to hundreds of butterflies! You'll see over 20 species of North American butterflies, including monarchs, western swallowtails, red admirals, and more, as well as several giant moths like the colorful cecropia moth.

We paid a visit to Butterflies & Blooms last week. When you first walk into the room, you realize you're walking into the butterflies' habitat. The gallery is draped in a giant white net that contains the fluttering inhabitants. The hundreds of butterflies are free to fly around the room and land on the butterfly-friendly plants and flowers like daisies, sunflowers, and zinnias, and the effect is magical. Some will even land on you—we were told it's good luck!

Win Tickets to the May 10 Penguins+Pajamas Sleepover at the Cal Academy

May 1, 2013

Penguins + Pajamas at the California Academy of SciencesWe had a blast when we attended the California Academy of Sciences' Penguins + Pajamas sleepover—it's a fantastic family experience that's both fun and educational. The next Penguins+Pajamas sleepover is scheduled for Friday, May 10, 2013, and we're giving away a pair of tickets to a lucky Marin Mommies reader!

Experience your own "night at the museum" as you explore the exhibits after-hours, stargaze at a planetarium show, and enjoy a special live animal presentation. Before bedtime, settle in for story time with cookies and milk to learn about Pierre—the Academy’s famous wetsuit-wearing penguin.

When the lights go out, unroll your sleeping bag in African Hall, next to the swaying kelp of the aquarium's California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for a continental breakfast.

Win Tickets to the December 30 Penguins+Pajamas Sleepover at the Cal Academy

December 17, 2012

Penguins + Pajamas at the California Academy of SciencesWe had a blast at the California Academy of Sciences' Penguins + Pajamas sleepover when we attended last summer—it's a fantastic family experience that's both fun and educational. The next Penguins+Pajamas sleepover is scheduled for Sunday, December 30, 2012, and we're giving away a pair of tickets to a lucky Marin Mommies reader! This special 'Tis the Season for Science sleepover will include live reindeer, snow flurries, winter-themed programming, and live music and games from Radio Disney!

Experience your own "night at the museum" as you explore the exhibits after-hours, stargaze at a planetarium show, and enjoy a special live animal presentation. Before bedtime, settle in for story time with cookies and milk to learn about Pierre—the Academy’s famous wetsuit-wearing penguin.

When the lights go out, unroll your sleeping bag in African Hall, next to the swaying kelp of the aquarium's California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for a continental breakfast.

Win Tickets to the October 12 Penguins+Pajamas at the California Academy of Sciences

September 23, 2012

Penguins + Pajamas at the California Academy of SciencesWe a blast at the California Academy of Sciences' Penguins + Pajamas sleepover when we attended last summer—it's a fantastic family experience that's both fun and educational. The next Penguins+Pajamas sleepover is scheduled for Friday, October 12, 2012, and we're giving away a pair of tickets to a lucky Marin Mommies reader!

Experience your own "night at the museum" as you explore the exhibits after-hours, stargaze at a planetarium show, and enjoy a special live animal presentation. Before bedtime, settle in for story time with cookies and milk to learn about Pierre—the Academy’s famous wetsuit-wearing penguin.

When the lights go out, unroll your sleeping bag in African Hall, next to the swaying kelp of the aquarium's California Coast tank, or even at the Swamp window, face-to-face with Claude, the albino alligator. In the morning, rise and shine, then head over to the Academy Café for a continental breakfast.

A Prehistoric Adventure with Plantosaurus Rex at San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers

June 21, 2012

Plantosaurus Rex at the Conservatory of FlowersWalking into Golden Gate Park's magnificent Victorian Conservatory of Flowers is always a bit like stepping back in time. But through October 21, 2012, the Conservatory will transport visitors even further back in time than the 19th century with their newest exhibit, Plantosaurus Rex. Visitors to Plantosaurus Rex will encounter realistic model dinosaurs lurking within the Conservatory and surrounded by the plants that they were familiar with back in prehistoric times.

The first sign that something's not quite business as usual is the sight of a Tyrannosaurus Rex's fearsome looking head popping out of the glass Conservatory roof! (Don't worry—it's not really breaking throught the roof, it's just a clever and fun illusion.)

Inside, you'll see numerous examples of ancient plants from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, including ferns, horsetails, gingkos, coast redwoods, and orchids, along with the dinosaurs that ate them, like a life-sized baby Stegosaurus. You'll also see models of fearsome carnivores that ate the plant-eating dinosaurs, like the T Rex (or the rest of it, anyhow) and an Allosaurus.

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