Explore Away…

Inside the kaleidoscope room!

Inside the kaleidoscope room!

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the Exploratorium. As a child I remember coming here with my parents, my favorite part being the music section with crazy instruments you’d never find anywhere else. I’d learn about the inside of my ear, and what frequency meant and how to put together a melody.

That’s the beauty of the Exploratorium, really. It gives kids a chance to learn without really realizing that they’re learning (which is the best way, in my opinion). When my film class went last Friday, I got the chance to revisit my childhood (for free!) and revel in all the same exhibits I loved as a child, as well as explore (no pun intended) the new sections that have recently been added.

One thing in particular that I got to see for the first time was this secret screening room directly to the left of the entrance. I had no idea this cozy little theater existed! My class was lucky enough to get the chance to watch several 16mm independent short films and one digital short. My favorite of these films was a 5 minute stop-motion short, Things I’d Say If I Were Pope (1993). In this homage to artist and poet Dean Snyder, directors Marion Wallace and Michael Rudnick illustrate one of Snyder’s poems using a pin screen and stream-of-consciousness stop-motion animation. I loved its eloquence and its honesty.

Out of the entire Exploratorium, though, I think my favorite part was a small room of mirrors that made me feel like I was inside a kaleidoscope. When my friends and I all stuffed ourselves inside, it was overwhelming!

Haley Smith


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