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Intel Museum

Special classes offered by the Museum from time to time

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Although most adults can remember a time when computers were not a part of everyday life and are somewhat aware of the history of their development, many children have no idea of how this marvelous machine has changed the world. Both of these groups, however, will find the Intel Museum in Santa Clara an educational and entertaining adventure. Intel established the museum to record the company’s own history but soon discovered that it was of interest to the general public as well. Catering to all age groups, the museum, which is housed in the Robert Noyce Building at the company’s headquarters, allows self-paced individual visits at any time during operating hours. However, teachers or leaders need to schedule their groups for guided educational tours.

The Intel Museum provides the visitor with a complete presentation of the history of the computing world and the brilliant people who worked behind the scenes to move it forward. Taking the visitor from the invention of the microprocessor chip to the progressively advancing uses of it in integrated circuits, the Intel Museum in Santa Clara presents the science behind graphic chips, flash drives, and embedded processors. While the experience is certainly worth paying an admission fee, touring the museum is entirely free to the public.

Open from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday, the Intel Museum in Santa Clara is the perfect place for a school field trip and hands-on activities are available for each grade level. The program for students in second grade includes instruction about binary beading. After learning about switches being turned on or off with a switch, students make key chains with their initials created with a special sequence of beads to give them an understanding of binary codes. These lessons serve as a way to generate an early interest in computer technology.

The Intel Museum’s presentation for third graders introduces them to the scientific method and shows its success in the computer industry. After establishing a hypothesis, the students will use ohm meters to collect data, analyze it and reach a conclusion about an electrical mystery. Fourth and fifth grades students are intrigued with the introduction to electrical circuits that is presented by museum staff. They actually work to build a simple circuit using batteries connected with wires to a light bulb and switch. The scheduled program for high school students is a bit more advanced and centers on teamwork and solving problems as a group. Called Garbage In-Garbage Out, this program challenges the students to follow written instructions to collectively put together round puzzle. As a result, the students laugh and learn at the very same time.

By checking the museum’s online schedule, patrons may find special classes offered by the Intel Museum from time to time. Though these usually require a small charge, they include activities such as making a greeting card with a recorded message and other kid-friendly crafts. Free mementos of a visit to the Intel museum are no problem because, unlike many computer related exhibits in the area, cameras are welcomed inside the building. However, after finishing their tours at the museum, many visitors like to browse the museum gift shop for Intel branded souvenir items to help them remember their visit to the heart of the Silicon Valley. Tee shirts, pens, and post cards are some of the popular offerings, but visitors can find a variety of computer related gifts.

If you have a couple of hours to spare when visiting the Silicon Valley, most people find the Intel Museum in Santa Clara worth a visit. You will depart feeling with feelings of awe in response to what has been accomplished in the electronic industry and excitement about what the computers might be able to do for us in the future.

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