Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Intel Museum

Perhaps you think the world of binary and wafers and ultra-clean rooms is beyond you. Or, maybe you are intrigued with anything remotely technical. Or, you might be interested in learning more about the brilliant minds behind the creation of Silicon Valley.

Regardless, head over to the Intel Museum at Intel’s headquarters in Santa Clara. Entrance is free, the staff is welcoming, and the museum is fascinating.

Intel has created a fully accessible museum following the history of computing from its humble beginnings through its applications today. Many displays offer hands-on activities which encourage interaction and aid in understanding complex processes.

The exhibits periodically change, but when we visited you could build your own chip—layer by layer, see what it’s like to wear a bunny suit (a cleanroom suit), and actually handle a silicon ingot.
For more field trip ideas,
check out GHF's Virtual Field Trip page.ip page.

The museum offers group field trips, starting at the second-grade level and going through high school. I have found the museum personnel very flexible when it came to age groups: they were happy to allow my son to attend a group based on his abilities, not his age.

The museum offers docent-led tours, or you can wander around on your own. Headsets are also available.

Occasionally, the museum offers classes for students, such as creating a recorded greeting card. They do charge for these classes, but the fees are not exorbitant. Check online or ask at the museum for the class schedule.

Article by Sarah J. Wilson

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