Outdoor Exploratorium at Fort Mason
Funded by the National Science Foundation, Outdoor Exploratorium (OE) is a collection of interactive exhibits installed outdoors at Fort Mason in San Francisco, intended to help visitors notice and explore natural phenomena. The exhibits are located outdoors amid the phenomena they address, including the sky, wind, heat, wave action, ships, seagulls, and rust. The somewhat subtle project goals included user awareness of science as a means of understanding the natural and build world which surrounds them. Targeted observations and structured interviews assessed visitor use of exhibits, learning, interest, skill practice and skill awareness. Being outside and in a public space owned and operated by the National Park Service presented many unusual requirements and challenges for research design and data collection procedures.