A collection of at-home educational activities The Tech Interactive created this year. For more visit thetechathome.org

Advice from a philanthropy professional on coming up with a giving plan for Dec. 1

Written by Michelle Dreyband, Major Gifts Director, The Tech Interactive

As we are all acutely aware, the world looks a little different these days. Everything seems to take a little more time and planning. Ordering dinner ahead, timed entries, curbside pickups, these are all just small parts of our new normal.

In regards to philanthropy, we are also finding ourselves overwhelmed with many new causes and organizations that need our help now more than ever. The good news is that folks have stepped up to meet the need of the moment. In the first 6 months of 2020 there was…

The science behind the sights, sounds and shape of fireworks.

Image: Fireworks and Stage FX America

Red, White or Blue?

Ever wonder just what makes fireworks glow a fierce red or fiery orange? Those bursts of summer fun get their color from different types of metal salts. For example, the strongest red comes from strontium carbonate. Purple is created by a mix of metals and their colors.

It turns out that blue is the most complicated color to create. Pyrotechnics can create a blue flame using copper, but high temperatures can sabotage the mix.

It turns out that you can take The Tech Interactive’s scientists out of the lab, but you can’t take the lab out of the scientists.

The team behind our BioTinkering Lab have continued to biotinker at home, and that includes coming up with a protocol to create a palette of watercolors using a single red cabbage! (You’ve got to see the video of how to do it yourself). …

Your students will love these STEM-focused lesson plans

Go green with these STEM-focused lesson plans.

Design challenges are all about solving problems, which is why they’re so great for the new world of distance learning we’re now in. You can assign these challenges to your students with an exciting story around what problem they need to solve, and then send them off to work independently to solve it!

Because design challenges work best when they’re tied to real-world situations, we’ve pulled together some of our favorite environmentally-themed design challenge lesson plans to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day this April 22.

Have fun, and share your students’ creation with us at #thetechathome!


Solve the…

Ida Jew Academy is boosting confidence and capability in students by embracing The Tech Challenge and Design Challenge Learning.

Ida Jew Academy alums Sydney Esquivel, Marano Ortega, and current student Maxwell Esquivel are Design Challenge Learning pros.

The 200 middle schoolers at Ida Jew Academy are gathered in the cafeteria, looking on breathlessly as a team of student engineers carefully place a structure on the table at the front of the room. Built entirely of toothpicks and marshmallows, their four-story building looks, oddly, both precarious and solid, featuring a wide, stable base but also a decided tendency to lean to the left.

The team of four girls slowly back away, willing it not to fall. It stands tall, but the real test is yet to come — the building needs to withstand the dreaded shake table, which…

The BioTinkering Lab was a source of inspiration and mentorship for the teenage winners of the international Biodesign Challenge

A trio of Bay Area teen girls from a garage makerspace stood on the stage at MoMA in New York City. They were among 37 international teams from universities and high schools from nine countries participating in the Biodesign Challenge Summit.

They had shared a vision for a future of toys that wouldn’t rely on single-use plastics. Rather, what if the packaging, and even the toys themselves, were completely organic and biodegradable? …

A longtime partnership with Stanford University demystifies DNA for visitors and teaches valuable communication skills to researchers

From late October to August, every morning the BioTinkering Lab becomes the ChromoZONE and is all about genetics. You’ll find school groups and families at tables with a graduate student from Stanford University’s Department of Genetics. Activities include making a necklace with your own DNA, playing forensic detective to solve a crime, or matching certain traits to our long-gone ancestors to piece together how they lived.

For visitors, the experience isn’t just about being exposed to science or learning the meaning behind intimidating acronyms like CRISPR. It’s also a chance for a fun and informal meeting with budding scientists. …

Alex Huang, known as Flash Domino on YouTube, shares his advice for building epic Rube Goldberg machines. He’s leading a team of chain reaction pros to break the world’s longest chain reaction record at an event called Reactica at The Tech Interactive Saturday, August 10.

The Tech: What was your first attempt at a chain reaction?

Alex Huang: My first Rube Goldberg machine attempts were in 2015, but my first attempt at anything chain reaction related was in 2011. It was a small line of dominoes that led to a wall — nothing special, but since I haven’t really stopped building since then, I’m happy to say I’ve improved a lot.

TT: Any tips for someone who wants to get started in making chain reactions?

We have a new name and a new vision for the next 20 years of STEM education.

Start with the name: The Tech Interactive.

So why did we drop “Museum of Innovation”? In the 20 years since The Tech first opened, we’ve become known for our interactive, hands-on experiences. We wanted to set clear expectations for visitors, especially those meeting us for the first time, that when you come to The Tech Interactive, you’re not here to look. You’ll be doing things — making, creating and building — with technology.

The Tech Museum of Innovation in downtown San Jose is home to unique exhibits and experiences.

Inside The Tech, visitors discover three floors worth of unique experiences. It’s a must-do attraction for anyone who wants a true taste of the best of Silicon Valley culture.

You can see for yourself and plan your visit to the place that inspires innovators of all ages.

1. Animaker

Imagine if there were a way to bring your LEGO creations to life as a kid. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s an experience you’ll find at The Tech.

The Tech

Our mission is to create problem-solvers locally, nationally and globally.

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