Written by: Kristin Goedert
Keep them busy this summer with fun STEM activities! We are fortunate to live in an area where STEM opportunities abound. Here are a few ideas to stay busy this summer.
Bay Area Discovery Museum (Sausalito)
The Bay Area Discovery Museum features seven exhibition spaces and more than six daily drop-in programs for children 6 months of age to 10 years. Check out the Fab Lab- a maker space with digital fabrication technology such as 3-D printers, laser cutters, and vinyl cutters where kids have the opportunity to design and fabricate projects.
The first Wednesday of every month is free from 9am to 4pm!
California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life on Earth. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum—all under one living roof.
Friday, August 11, 2017 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM is Teen Science Night!
Centennial Light Bulb (Livermore)
Did you know that a lightbulb could burn for 100 years? This one has, and it is still going!
Chabot Space and Science Center (Oakland)
The mission of Chabot Space & Science Center is to be a place for students of all ages to learn and be inspired about the Universe and our Planet Earth. Founded as an observatory in 1883, today Chabot offers visitors the very latest in hands-on, interactive exhibits, displays, and Planetarium shows that explore the mysteries of the universe and of life here on earth.
Children’s Creativity Museum (San Francisco)
The Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco is an innovative art and technology experience for kids ages 2-12. Our mission is to nurture creativity and collaboration in all children and families. We believe that creative expression, innovation, and critical thinking are core to fostering the next generation.
Children’s Discovery Museum San Jose (San Jose)
Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose inspires creativity, curiosity, and lifelong learning. At Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, today’s children become tomorrow’s visionaries.
Computer History Museum (Mountain View)
Spend a day at the Computer History Museum! Find out why computer history is 2000 years old, play a game of Pong or Spacewar, and see over 1,100 historic artifacts, including some of the very first computers from the 1940s and 1950s.
Curiodyssey (San Mateo)
“A Serious Science Playground”
As a non-profit science museum and zoo, CuriOdyssey lets kids loose to observe wild animals, experiment with scientific phenomena and let the natural world answer their questions. We treat kids like the geniuses they are.
De Anza College Fujitsu Planetarium (Cupertino)
The Fujitsu Planetarium at De Anza College is the largest school Planetarium west of the Rocky Mountains and since our renovation, is one of the most modern in the world. The Astronomy program at De Anza is the largest in the California State Community College System. About 35,000 community members, including students from pre-school through high school, attend shows and events every year.
ExplOratorium (San Francisco)
The Exploratorium isn’t just a museum; it’s an ongoing exploration of science, art and human perception—a vast collection of online experiences that feed your curiosity. Friday evening 06/23/17 from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM is free!
Musée Mécanique (San Francisco)
Welcome to the Musée Mécanique, one of the world’s largest (over 200) privately owned collection of coin-operated mechanical musical instruments and antique arcade machines in their original working condition. (You can play them!) Free Admission Every Day!
San Francisco Cable Car Museum (San Francisco)
The Cable Car Museum was established in 1974. It is operated by the Friends of the Cable Car Museum as a nonprofit educational facility. Located in the historic Washington/Mason cable car barn and powerhouse, the museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables. Downstairs is a viewing area of the large sheaves and cable line entering the building through the channel under the street.
Play-Well TEKnologies (Multiple Locations)
LEGO®-inspired engineering classes for kids K-8
Kids dive into our classes and exercise their innate gift for building. They come away understanding fundamental principles of engineering and physics. The experience boosts their confidence, creativity and ability to collaborate. Kids can’t get enough.
Wings of History Museum (San Martin)
The Wings of History Museum is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of antique aircraft, and displaying items from aviation history. The Museum has been in existence for more than 40 years!
Western Railway Museum (Suisun City)
With over 50 historic cars on display, 22 miles of track and 22 acres the Western Railway Museum is ideal for families and group outings. The Museum features historic railway exhibits, vintage streetcar and interurban train rides, a large shaded picnic grounds, our Museum Store, library archives, and Depot Cafe.
The Space Station Museum (Novato)
The Space Station is an innovation in museum exhibits in that vacant commercial space is filled and the public gains a new education venue in their local neighborhood through private contributions. It is located in the Pacheco Plaza, a shopping center located in the upscale Ignacio neighborhood of Novato.
Hiller Aviation Museum (San Carlos)
The Hiller Aviation Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, was opened to the public in 1998 by helicopter designer and inventor Stanley Hiller Jr. and features a collection on display of over 50 aircraft from more than a century of aviation history.
Intel Museum (Santa Clara)
Go behind the scenes in the high-tech world of California’s famed Silicon Valley. See what it’s like inside an ultra-clean, highly automated silicon chip factory, and connect with technologies that give us new ways to work, learn, play, and communicate. The Intel Museum is 10,000 square feet of fun, interactive learning for children and adults.
Lawrence Livermore National Lab Discovery Center (Livermore)
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Discovery Center provides visitors with a window into state-of-the-art research programs, computational capabilities and experimental tools.
Lawrence Hall of Science (Berkeley)
Visit the Hall and explore all of our most popular exhibits and STEM activities every day this summer, June 10–September 10, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Explore our newest featured exhibit, Going Places, build an artbot in the Ingenuity Lab, and catch one of our two new National Geographic 3D Theater films. Plus, join us every Sunday to discover new and unique ways to engage with science.
Moffett Field Historical Society Museum (Mountain View)
From lighter than air … to faster than sound … to outer space. Moffett Field Historical Society Museum exhibits are organized by the significant eras during our history since the early 1930s. Museum visitors can enjoy a self-guided tour at their own pace.
The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (Oakland)
The MADE is the only all-playable video game museum in the world. We were the first dedicated open to the public video game museum in the United States. Our collection houses over 5,300 playable games The MADE is dedicated to the preservation of video game history, and to educating the public on how video games are created. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of game developers.
NASA Ames Visitor Center (Moffett Field, between Mountain View and Sunnyvale)
NASA’s Ames Research Center is a key facility for many of NASA’s missions and projects. Come to the Ames Visitor Center and take a self-guided tour to learn what we’re doing at this amazing NASA facility.
Nike Missile Site SF-88 (Sausalito)
During the tense years of the Cold War, from 1953 to 1979, the United States Army built and operated close to 300 Nike missile sites in the United States. These sites were designed as the last line of defense against Soviet bombers. Today, a dedicated group of volunteers works in partnership with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area on the continuous task of restoration at site SF-88L, the only fully restored Nike missile site in the country. This museum is an enduring reminder of the Cold War and allows visitors to reflect upon the realities of the Cold War and their influence on today’s society.
Niles Canyon Railway (Fremont)
A Railroad Museum Where the Exhibits Come to Life!
The Pacific Locomotive Association, Inc. operates the Niles Canyon Railway as a living history museum interpreting the importance of our heritage railroads in the development of California and the nation. The purpose of the organization is to preserve the physical aspects and atmosphere of Pacific Coast railroading during the period from 1910 to 1960.
Pacific Coast Air Museum (Santa Rosa)
You’ll find a five-acre field covered with authentic, well-cared-for aircraft. You can crawl under them, look inside wheel wells and bomb bays, peer into cockpits, and actually sit in some of them on Open Cockpit Weekends. Kids love PCAM!
Pacific Pinball Museum (Alameda)
The Pacific Pinball Museum is an interactive museum/arcade offering over 90 playable pinball machines that span decades.
San Francisco City Star Party (San Francisco)
Come join us for our monthly San Francisco City Star Party. SFAA members provide telescopes for your viewing pleasure. Be sure to check the SFAA website for the latest updates…bad weather or overcast skies will cancel!
The Tech Museum of Innovation (San Jose)
The Tech Museum of Innovation is a family-friendly interactive science and technology center located in the heart of downtown San Jose, California. It has become a landmark for visitors seeking a glimpse of the most inventive place on Earth — Silicon Valley.