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Free for After Dark Members
Adults Only (18+)
Note: The Tactile Dome and some programs have limited capacity and are available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
Lose yourself in over 650 interactive exhibits exploring perception, art, and science at our adults-only After Dark. Grab your friends and a drink and get immersed in mind-bending experiences and unique, thought-provoking programs.
Warning: Certain atoms may be unstable—in fact, they’re constantly falling apart all around you. You may learn about about their occurrence in the universe, how we make use of their decay, and their effects on the human body at this evening of illuminating programming—including Full-Spectrum Science: Radioactivity with Exploratorium host and raconteur Ron Hipschman. (Don’t worry, you’ll be in no danger.)
With Berkeley RadWatch
6:30–9:30 p.m. | Gallery 2
Eight years after the release of nuclear materials at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, scientists have been tracking radiation levels in the sea to monitor and collect data. Come see how they do it with UC Berkeley’s Radwatch, as they show off some of their data-collection tools and discuss their ongoing research.
Environmental Justice in the Bayview:
A Radioactive Shipyard in Hunter's Point
With Sheridan Enomoto
7:30 p.m. | Gallery 3, Webcast Studio
Bayview-Hunters Point, in southeastern San Francisco, is the site of the defunct Hunters Point Shipyard. In addition to the waste from irradiated ships, the site is contaminated with radioactive paint used to make glowing deck markers and devices, and radioactive materials used in fuels and pesticides and for lab experiments. Learn from climate and environmental justice community organizer Sheridan Enomoto about ways the community is impacted by radioactivity in Hunter’s Point and other similar areas. Stay tuned to hear about some possible solutions.
Full Spectrum Science: Radioactivity
With Ron Hipschman
8:00 p.m. | Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum
Radioactivity can hurt us or help us; it’s found everywhere in our environment and lets us see inside ourselves at the doctor’s office. In the comics, it even turned Peter Parker into Spider-Man and Bruce Banner into the Hulk! We’ll look at different forms of radiation, its dangers, its applications, and how the human body reacts to it, with Exploratorium scientist and host Ron Hipschman.
Live Projection and Performance
With Flatspot + Science Band
9:00 p.m. | Bechtel Gallery 3, Webcast Studio
Expand your mind with Scienceband & Flatspot_’s experimental performance of interactive visuals and live jazz. Musicians in lab coats will be jamming jazz tunes and reciting science facts about radioactivity while analog looping projections simulate "visible" radiation fill the room. Using a analog video feedback projection audience members can experiment and interact with the performance in visceral way.
Building a Cloud Chamber
With the Explainers
6:30–9:00 p.m. | Gallery 3, Explainer Station
All around you, all the time, radiation from space strikes the atoms that make up all the matter around us. Sounds thrilling, right? It is, but it’s also just another completely normal day in the universe—and you can see it (indirectly) for yourself. Join the Explainers to see how you can build a cloud chamber of your very own.
Osher Gallery 1
Take an excursion through total darkness in our Tactile Dome. Crawl, slide, and bump your way through the pitch-dark Dome using your sense of touch as your only guide through its chambers and mazes.
Please Note: Due to the nature of this experience, certain restrictions apply. Guests who are afraid of the dark; claustrophobic; have back, neck, or knee injuries; or are in their third trimester of pregnancy should not participate. Guests wearing casts are prohibited. Also, please wear comfortable clothes.
Learn more about the Tactile Dome.
6:00–9:45 unless noted
Various locations throughout the museum
Ticketing at 6:00 p.m., first come, first served
Osher Gallery 1
Draw hypnotically flowing patterns with a swinging table, and watch friction cause the patterns to slowly shrink along a spiral path. Pick up a ticket to reserve your spot in line for this popular activity.
Bechtel Gallery 2
Tune in to surrounding sounds by experimenting with strings and vibrations, and use electromagnets to build a basic speaker. Learn how to listen with your bones, and explore the workings of the inner ear.
Cow Eye or Flower Dissection (alternating)
Do cows see color? How does a lens work? Examine the intricate structure of a cow eye to learn about similar structures in our own eyes, as well as some key differences.
Stigma, stamen, pistil, anther, style: Uncover the beautiful architecture of flower anatomy, and gather some surprising strategies that plants use to reproduce.
Osher Gallery 1
Everything is not as it seems—at first. Pick a card, any card, and watch the Explainers reveal some surprising aspects of human perception.