Project Director, Early Childhood Tinkering Programs

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The Exploratorium Tinkering Studio is seeking a dynamic and engaging leader with significant educator professional development experience, strong strategic thinking skills, a passion for early learning and community based education, and the proven ability to actively engage internal and external stakeholders. As a member of the Tinkering Studio team, the Project Director is responsible for the overall direction, planning, design and implementation of early childhood and community-based tinkering projects. This position requires a background in early childhood learning and knowledge of the current trends and landscape of professional development efforts at the state and national level. The Project Director reports to the Director of the Informal Learning Cluster.

The Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio team is a collection of artists, scientists, developers, educators, and facilitators who experiment with tools, materials, and technologies in playful and creative ways. We design opportunities for people to “think with their hands” in order to construct meaning and understanding. Tinkering Studio program outcomes include activity and exhibit R&D, program documentation, online dissemination, educational research studies, a public space for visitors to engage in new learning opportunities, and a global professional development effort that includes face to face workshops and online courses.



Project Leadership

  • Lead the development, articulation and implementation of statewide tinkering-based early childhood and local community-based tinkering projects.
  • Provide direction, support and supervision for project staff, interns and volunteers.
  • Develop and maintain project schedules, budgets, resource plans, and fundraising strategies.
  • Contribute thought leadership to ongoing Tinkering Studio visitor programs including facilitation, activity research and development, and educational research activities.

Communication with Internal & External Partners

  • Represent the work of the Exploratorium at the local, national and international levels with school educators, regional professional development providers, government officials, funders and community partners. 
  • Communicate the vision, goals, and activities of the Tinkering Studio across the institution as well as to other organizations, funders and to stakeholders across the education field.
  • Publish in peer-reviewed journals and present at professional conferences.

Project Development and Collaboration

  • Serve as a member of the Tinkering Studio professional development leadership team; develop workshops, lead activities, and cultivate professional project partners.
  • Collaborate with the Director, Program Manager and Exploratorium’s Institutional Advancement team to develop and write proposals and support fundraising efforts for Tinkering projects and programs.
  • Additional duties as assigned



  • BA/BS degree and 4 years’ experience in early childhood learning systems or an equivalent combination of education and experience. 
  • Management experience; demonstrated ability to think and plan at a broad-based strategy level.
  • Experience collaborating with, and building connections to, community based organizations and early learning and care programs highly desirable.
  • Understanding of and fluency with constructivist learning pedagogies; conversant with current education research and trends related to both in-person and online teaching and learning.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a broad range of audiences/stakeholders (students, educators, caregivers, donors and community and educational leaders) and participants of diverse social and cultural backgrounds.
  • Experience in grant proposal development and a leadership role on a large project in a non-profit institutional or educational setting preferred.
  • Ability to travel nationally and internationally; ability to participate in Exploratorium programs and events that may occur outside of normal working hours.



This position is open until filled



This is a regular, full-time (37.5 hours per week), exempt position that includes benefits. Please, no phone calls in regards to this job. To apply, please visit the Exploratorium job page.


The Exploratorium is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and values diversity, inclusion and respect.  We welcome and strongly encourage applicants from all backgrounds. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment.

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