The Exploratorium’s Explainer Program: The Long-Term Impacts on Teenagers of Teaching Science to the Public
This paper summarizes a study from 1987 on the Exploratorium's Explainer program. The Explainers serve as the primary staff available to the public on the floor of the museum. The purpose of the study was to determine whether science museums, through such programs, can significantly affect students' social development, their attitudes toward science, and their interest in science, teaching and museums. The study examines the impact of the Exploratorium on a group of students who may spend as much time in the museum as in school, and examined the program to understand its impact on the teenagers who have participated in it. The study used both qualitative and quantitative techniques, and focused on how present and former Explainers viewed the job and how, looking back on that time, they felt that experience affected them.