The Tech Interactive in San Jose

The Tech Interactive, once known as The Tech Museum of Innovation, is an emblematic institution located in the heart of downtown San Jose, California. This immersive technology and science center captivates its audience with a variety of hands-on activities, experimental labs, and design challenges that encourage STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) learning.  It is located at 201 S Market St, San Jose, CA.

An Overview of The Tech Interactive

The Tech Interactive is a vibrant and inspiring space, characterized by its distinct mango and azure color scheme. The facility encompasses three floors, each teeming with innovative exhibits and interactive experiences. Its purpose is to inspire and nurture the innovator within each individual, regardless of age or background.

Architecture and Design

The architecture of The Tech Interactive is a testament to the creative spirit of Silicon Valley. The building was designed by Ricardo Legorreta, a renowned Mexican architect known for his bold use of color and form. His design has transformed The Tech Interactive into a Silicon Valley landmark that mirrors the region’s innovative spirit.

The IMAX Dome Theater

One of the most notable features of The Tech Interactive is its IMAX Dome Theater, the only one of its kind in Northern California. The theater is equipped with a four-story wraparound screen and 12,000 watts of digital surround sound, providing a truly immersive cinematic experience. In 1998, the theater was the first in the world to introduce a dome laser projector, enhancing the viewing experience for up to 280 guests.

History of The Tech Interactive

The journey of The Tech Interactive began in 1978, spearheaded by members of the Junior League of Palo Alto and San Jose. The initial promise of funding for a technology center by the City of San Jose in the 1980s saw slow progress, but eventually led to the opening of a 20,000-square-foot temporary exhibit in 1990 called “The Garage”.

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The Tech Interactive Today

Today, The Tech Interactive stands as a 132,000-square-foot facility that houses a multitude of exhibits, labs, and interactive installations. Each year, it welcomes an impressive 400,000 visitors, solidifying its status as a must-visit destination in San Jose.

Programs at The Tech Interactive

The Tech Interactive offers a wide array of programs aimed at fostering innovation, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

The Tech for Global Good

This program is designed to inspire young people to use their problem-solving skills to make the world a better place. It focuses on a different theme each year, such as healthcare or data, and honors organizations under that theme for their problem-solving abilities.

The Tech Challenge

The Tech Challenge is a design competition for students from grades 4-12. The competition encourages students to use the engineering design process to solve real-world problems. It aims to engage students who are underrepresented in STEM fields.

The Tech Academies

The Tech Academies program provides in-depth professional development for educators to help them integrate high-quality STEM curriculum in their classrooms. The program has received multiple awards for its innovative approach to education.

School Programs

The Tech Interactive offers both in-person and virtual field trips to school groups from September to June each year. Scholarships are also available for underserved schools.

Exhibits at The Tech Interactive

The Tech Interactive boasts a variety of captivating exhibits that provide an immersive and educational experience for its visitors.

Lower Level Exhibits

The lower level of The Tech Interactive is home to several exhibits like the “Social Robots” and “Body Motion”. These exhibits allow visitors to design and build robots, and see how their movement and interactions affect their physical, social, and emotional health.

Upper Level Exhibits

The upper level features “Body Worlds Decoded”, an augmented reality-enhanced exploration of human anatomy. Another highlight is “The Tech for Global Good”, an exhibit that features stories of innovators who have used technology to create solutions to pressing global problems.


The Tech Interactive is a unique and inspiring institution that symbolizes the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley. Its hands-on exhibits, interactive experiences, and educational programs make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in science, technology, and the future of innovation. Through its work, The Tech Interactive continues to inspire the innovator in everyone.

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