After Dark: Light Science

Thursday, December 1, 2022 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.

Not a member yet? Join us and get free admission all year long!

Adults Only (18+)

Note: Free for members and donors—only a membership card and ID required for entry. The Tactile Dome is currently closed.

Light is all around us, bringing energy and color to our world in a whole spectrum of ways. Tonight, learn about the science of what makes things glow, and experience demos from artists and makers who harness light to transformative effect. Wander our galleries and discover a collection of luminous sculptures that invite you to connect and get inspired. 

Light Science is a celebration of Glow: Discover the Art of Light, open November 17, 2022–January 29, 2023.

Laser Susan
With Dina Herring and Caroline Hermans

6:30–9:30 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3, Light Lab

Got two turntables and a laser pen? Explore the magic of phosphorescence as we spin the light fantastic. Use a lazy Susan, UV lasers, and pendulums to make kinetic light sculptures. Artist and engineer Caroline Hermans and Exploratorium New Media Exhibit Developer Dina Herring will facilitate your creations.

Amped-Up Accessories
With Sahrye Cohen and Hal Rodriguez

6:30–9:30 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3

Amp up your outfit with illuminated accessory-making. Sahrye Cohen and Hal Rodriguez will guide you in making specialized cuffs and corsages to activate your attire. Bring a creative eye to familiar materials and affordable lights, and you’ll leave glowing—literally.

Sahrye Cohen and Hal Rodriguez are the founders of Amped Atelier, a design studio specializing in tech couture—the melding of historical fashion and couture techniques with modern technology. They are coauthors of Make It, Wear It: Wearable Electronics for Makers, Crafters, and Cosplayers, which features easy-to-follow projects using readily sourced materials.

Long Exposure Light Painting
With Tinkering School

6:30–9:30 p.m.
Crossroads

The Tinkering School Mars Mission invites you to turn a prototype Mars rover into a machine that paints with light! Use colorful LEDs attached to cardboard wheels to make a luminous, large-scale collaborative canvas.

Tinkering School is a San Francisco–based educational program dedicated to youth-centered making and tinkering. As part of their Mars Mission, a team of young people ages 14–20 built an educational, hands-on experience operating prototype rovers in a simulated Martian lava tube.

Glowing Embroidery
With San Francisco School of Needlework and Design

6:30–9:30 p.m.
Crossroads

Stitch a shimmering masterpiece! Try your hand at embroidery with a selection of beautiful, glowing threads. Educators from San Francisco School of Needlework and Design will provide the tools and materials you need to realize your vision.

San Francisco School of Needlework and Design is dedicated to preserving and advancing the art of hand embroidery. They offer educational resources, an extensive library, and unique exhibition opportunities for emerging and established artists.

Neon-Bending Demo
With Meryl Pataky and Ames Palms

7:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Gallery 2

Neon signs serve as beautiful, glowing beacons that activate our city streets. Did you know that every single one is made by hand? Join artist Meryl Pataky at this neon-bending demo, where she’ll share her process step by step and introduce you to the tools she uses. Meryl will be accompanied by Ames Palms, who will show you neon-bending in action!

Light Investigations
With Zeke Kossover

7:30 and 8:30 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3, Classroom 1606

Become a detective of light! When our eyes are open, we are constantly receiving light. Can you describe how you are receiving that light—and how the images you see are formed? Join Exploratorium Educator Zeke Kossover in a series of interactive investigations that break apart the how of light to wondrous, and perhaps surprising, effect.

Glowing Toys
With Dr. Raymond Hall

8:00 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum

Bask in the glow of objects from Dr. Raymond Hall’s @physicsfun “Instagram museum.” Ranging from toys to artistic creations, these fascinating objects showcase the physics of how light is created, manipulated, and perceived. Join Raymond for illuminating demonstrations and discussion! 

Dr. Raymond Hall is a professor of physics at California State University, Fresno, and founder of the Instagram @physicsfun. He participated in the discovery of the top quark, a fundamental particle of nature.

Shadow Remix
With the Tinkering Studio

6:30–9:30 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3

Use your imagination and a new coding tool to bring shadows to life with the Tinkering Studio team! In this activity, you’ll create shadows using everyday objects, and then animate them with a creative coding app being developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.

DJ Flow
From Hip Hop for Change

6:30–9:30 p.m.
Bechtel Gallery 3

Get ready to dance your way through the night as DJ Flow from Hip Hop for Change sets the vibe and keeps the party moving!

Hip Hop for Change is an Oakland-based nonprofit that uses grassroots activism to educate people about socioeconomic injustices and advocate solutions through hip-hop culture.


Food and drinks will be available for purchase at our Seaglass Restaurant and additional bar locations.

Curious about what to expect during your visit? Check out our current safety protocols and guidelines.