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San Jose Tech Museum unveils new name and education mission

(Photo courtesy of The Tech Interactive)

After 20 years of operation, The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose announced May 23 that it will rebrand and change its mission to become The Tech Interactive.

The change will be accompanied by a new partnership with Discovery Education to bolster the museum’s reputation for hands-on science experiments beyond its downtown museum at 201 S. Market St.

Discovery Education creates K-12 curriculums as an offshoot of the Discovery Channel, and The Tech Interactive will collaborate with the organization to make digital versions of its interactive experiments, like Cyber Detectives, which teaches children about cyber security.

“Our new name is a reflection of who we are and the experiences we’ve become known for,” CEO and President Tim Ritchie said in a statement. “The Tech Interactive has long been a place where people learn by doing, and now we have a name that says that to the world.”

The museum’s online programs could reach over 5 million teachers and 51 million students in more than 90 countries over the next three years, according to Ritchie, paired with in-depth, in-person training sessions. This will include visits to, among other places, Bangalore in India, Kenya, Australia, Brazil and Mexico.

Locally, the museum will increase its professional development programs for teachers and expand its reach from 20,000 students a day to 125,000 students by 2039. The growth is an effort to close the opportunity gap between underserved and wealthy schools in Silicon Valley.