The brainchild of the Junior League of Palo Alto in 1978 when they devised a plan for an interactive resource center devoted to science and technology, The Tech Museum of Innovation recently launched a new exhibit where visitors train to be cyber detectives, solving a variety of collaborative missions that teach them to safeguard their online identities.
In 1990 when the Internet was still in its embryonic stages, what was then called The Garage opened its doors on San Carlos Street in downtown San Jose’s then Convention Center. Eight years later came a change of name and venue when The Tech moved to its current location in the colorful 132,000 square foot dome shaped building on South Market Street. The Tech has become a landmark for tourists and residents alike, giving them and their children a peek into the inner workings of technology in its birthplace-the Silicon Valley.
Presented by Palo Alto Networks, the Cyber Detective exhibit is the nation’s first to educate and raise awareness and skills surrounding Internet safety. Because the Internet is fluid and ever-changing, online crime and data security evolves rapidly. Cyber Detectives empowers those who participate with the knowledge and tools to protect their digital lives.
Recommended for ages 12 and up, players first enter the training zone where they work both individually and collaboratively in eight interactive stations. These cyber boot camps teach concepts including password protection, writing code, how to identify phishing emails and scams as well as how to encrypt and decrypt messages and build secure networks.
Once training is complete, your cyber sleuthing mission begins. Newly acquired skills are put to the test in an onslaught of cyber assaults that revolve around data theft and financial breaches. When visitors leave, they will be armed with the knowledge they need to help defend their online presence.
In addition to this new exhibit, The Tech also has a myriad of other experiences that revolve around science and technology. These include Body Metrics, the Exploration Gallery, the Silicon Valley Innovation Gallery as well as it’s own IMAX theatre where a variety of historical and education films are presented daily.
With a mission to inspire the innovator in everyone, The Tech is a museum for all ages, creating ‘playful and profound experiences’ while awakening the lifelong curiosity that lives within each of us. It has received numerous accolades including the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service and the Bright Lights Noyce Foundation Prize for engaging the community in STEM fields of learning.