Media Room Strategic Initiative Science Learning

Local Hero and Former Astronaut Steve Smith to Receive Legacy Award

May 1, 2018

This year's Legacy for Children Award honoree is out-of-this-world. Former astronaut and local resident Steve Smith is a remarkable role model who inspires young people to pursue their dreams with confidence, tenacity, and courage. After four rejections from NASA, Smith was accepted into the astronaut program at age 33. At 35 he traveled into space and became one of America's most experienced astronauts who now captivates audiences around the country as a motivational speaker. Read More

Early Childhood Development, General Museum, Partnerships & Resource Development, Science Learning

There’s a New Backyard at the Museum

Bay Area News Group
October 27, 2017

When Bill Sullivan stepped down 10 years ago as CEO of Agilent Technologies, he got an unusual retirement gift from his company: a rendering of an outdoor exhibit space and play area that would be built at Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose and bear his name. “It was a heck of a lot better than receiving a gold watch,” Sullivan told the crowd gathered for the dedication of Bill’s Backyard on Thursday, Oct. 19, at the downtown museum. Read More

Early Childhood Development, Environmental Stewardship, Exhibition Development, General Museum, Partnerships & Resource Development, Science Learning

Nature NOW! Bill’s Backyard Opens Oct. 29

Red Tricycle
October 22, 2017

Go outside and play. This sentiment is often at odds with the valley's tech-heavy culture, especially in the Bay Area. To encourage kids to put down their devices and engage with the outdoors, Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose recently doubled its exhibit space to add a new outdoor exhibit, Bill’s Backyard: Bridge to Nature, and it’s the tree house and dig pit of childhood dreams. Every detail was meticulously planned from the living roof on the junior ranger station to the life-sized bronze animals hidden throughout the exhibit. Read More

Early Childhood Development, Environmental Stewardship, Exhibition Development, General Museum, Partnerships & Resource Development, Science Learning

Seventy-five Charming Third Graders Help Dedicate Bill’s Backyard

The Mercury News
October 20, 2017

The same kids who tossed seeds into a patch of dirt last November burst through a commemorative ribbon and helped dedicate the museum's new outdoor space, Bill's Backyard: Bridge to Nature, on Thursday. Mayor Sam Liccardo, Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, and representatives from the visionary donors including Open Space Authority Santa Clara County, the California Coastal Conservancy, FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, and Agilent Technologies were among many who were on-hand to mark the occasion and speak about the importance of this new outdoor learning environment to children and the entire region. Read More

Early Childhood Development, Environmental Stewardship, Exhibition Development, General Museum, Partnerships & Resource Development, Science Learning

Low Tech High Thrills at the Purple Museum

South Bay Accent
October 15, 2017

Executive Director Marilee Jennings talks with South Bay Accent about everything from the early days of the museum to the latest and largest capital project since opening in 1990 - Bill's Backyard. San Jose's newest outdoor learning environment is primed for hours of exploration, discovery, and creativity for all ages, especially inquisitive youngsters. Read More

Early Childhood Development, Environmental Stewardship, Exhibition Development, General Museum, Partnerships & Resource Development, Science Learning

Children Become Little Scientists in Science + You Exhibit

October 9, 2017

Thanks to support from AbbVie Foundation, kids can become little scientists and discover the world of science in a fun, hands-on way. The exhibit offers a child-sized laboratory where kids can learn about working in a clean environment as they prepare to put on a lab coat and explore the role science plays in keeping the body healthy. The exhibit features tips about healthy eating and active living with plenty of role-playing including making nutritious soup in the "Test Kitchen," learning how antibodies help defeat germs, handling materials safely using the "Glovebox," and getting a magnified view of both natural and man-made objects using the "Wentzscope," and more! Read More

Early Childhood Development, Health Promotion, Science Learning

Executive Director Marilee Jennings Talks with Bay Area Focus

KBCW Bay Area Focus
October 8, 2017

Marilee Jennings joined Michelle Griego, host of KBCW's "Bay Area Focus," to talk about Bill's Backyard and why the museum is venturing outdoors with a half-acre outdoor learning environment focused on environmental and science learning - and, of course, lots of discovery and exploration for children and families. Read More

Early Childhood Development, Environmental Stewardship, Exhibition Development, General Museum, Science Learning

Nature Inspired Space Opens at Purple Museum

Bay Nature Magazine
September 25, 2017

Come play outside. That's what the museum hopes families will want to do in Bill’s Backyard: Bridge to Nature, the new outdoor exhibit space. It's intentionally designed as a hybrid between a playground and a nature park, where children can choose their own adventures, and parents can feel comfortable letting them. The half-acre exhibit includes large tree-shaped structures connected by sky bridges, a grassy hill and slide, a dig pit, and a fort-building area suitable for forts or fairy gardens. Read More

Early Childhood Development, Environmental Stewardship, Exhibition Development, Science Learning

Bestselling Author and Nature Advocate Richard Louv to Help Dedicate Bill’s Backyard

September 19, 2017

Bill’s Backyard: Bridge to Nature, San Jose's newest outdoor learning environment, will double the museum’s current exhibit space and provide endless opportunities for fun and learning with a focus on environmental and science education. Bestselling author and chairman emeritus of Children & Nature Network Richard Louv will give the keynote address at the dedication on Thursday, October 19 at 11 a.m. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo will speak about the museum’s leading role in making San Jose a nature-rich city for all children. Read More

Early Childhood Development, Environmental Stewardship, Exhibition Development, General Museum, Science Learning

Museum is Living Laboratory for University Researcher

University of Santa Cruz News Center
September 1, 2017

How do children learn? Development psychologist Maureen Callahan's life work is understanding the various factors that shape how a child learns. Nearly 20 years ago the University of California at Santa Cruz and the museum formed a partnership to study how children and families engage in science learning. It's been a mutually beneficial relationship since day one. Read More

Early Childhood Development, General Museum, Learning Research, Partnerships & Resource Development, Science Learning

Tree of 40 Fruit Only Public Sculpture on West Coast

Gardening Know How
July 19, 2017

Imagine picking 40 different types of stone fruit from one tree. The Tree of 40 Fruit is a delicious intersection of art and agriculture that will deliver the goods. Bursting with a kaleidoscope of pink, crimson, red and white blossoms, this living sculpture was created by environmental artist Sam Van Aken and will be the centerpiece of Bill's Backyard, producing 40 different heirloom and antique varieties mostly from Santa Clara Valley. Read More

Creativity through the Arts, Environmental Stewardship, Science Learning