Gone To The Tech Museum In San Jose

Even though I used to live just a few blocks from it when I was a student at San Jose State University, I had amazingly never been to the Tech Museum before.  After having a late lunch with friends, we walked over from downtown San Jose to see it.

Admission was $10/person.  We paid and headed downstairs.  This is a view of the conical shaped top structure from the bottom floor.

The bottom floor had a section that concentrated on different ways we get energy.  They had new and old electric cars.
They had very interactive displays that were kid-friendly like this game that let you arrange household items to guide a ball into a goal.

I was particularly impressed with their display of solar panels and their explanation of its advantages and drawbacks. 

There was also a display that showed the work involved in powering different types of items.  A bicycle was connected to this display and a meter tells you when you are pedaling fast enough to power each item.  The things on the left are less efficient than the ones on the right, which means I had to pedal harder to get the ones on the left to turn on.

After exploring the energy section, I checked out the internet etiquette section where they had a display of a bunch of commonly used abbreviations.

We also found this really cool arm wrestling station, which had two computers sending the force of the other computer’s input over to a fake metal arm.

Upstairs, they had a robot that spelled things out in blocks.  There was a crowd around this because people wanted it to spell out their messages.  I want to go back and have it spell “I Farted.” 

They had a second robot here that was drawing a picture.

Another display they had here was a cool board where you could program a chip that controls a Mr. Potato Head scene using basic conditional logic.

I’d like to go back because I didn’t get to see everything in this trip.  In particular, I’m interested in the American Innovation section.

The Tech Museum is a neat place.  I think of it as a more technological version of the Exploratorium.  We closed out our visit with a little shopping trip in their store.

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