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- About Us
- Join + Support
Phyllis C. Wattis Webcast Studio
Included with museum admission.
Adults Only (18+)
Note: There is limited capacity for this program; seating will be made available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
From the moment of its discovery, each element embarks on a journey into our culture. —Hugh Aldersey-Williams, Periodic Tales
The periodic table outlines the fundamental building blocks of all known matter in the universe. Composed of irreducible atoms, these elements arrived from the earliest reports of the Big Bang, the fusion wombs of stars and supernova, and collisions between interstellar matter and cosmic rays—as well as through artificial production in the lab. A scant 4.9% of the universe (the rest being dark matter and energy), the 118 elements currently arrayed on the periodic table display unique and yet beautifully related properties and behaviors. To us, they mean everything: from iron to uranium, their discovery and use have shaped the course of human history.
In this Thursday night series, we invite you to come be in your elements with Exploratorium host and scientific raconteur Ron Hipschman. Follow tales of intrigue and invention, join in dynamic demonstrations, and uncover fascinating connections between individual elements and our collective experience.
There's always something interesting happening here—check out our upcoming events calendar.
Thursday, March 21, 2019 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Introduce your outer adult to your inner child: Take a deep dive with with game creators into the ways they’re infusing play into everyday life.
Thursday, February 21, 2019 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Come into the light: learn about light-up nematocysts, flicker films, and flash pickling. Then illuminate your understanding of the dramatic, flame-retarding element bromine at Everything Matters: Bromine.
Thursday, December 20, 2018 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
What do we really need to survive? What happens when a key ingredient goes missing? Examine some essential questions surrounding ecology, packing lists, oils, and nutrition, including the element selenium at Everything Matters.
Thursday, November 15, 2018 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
“Only the dose makes the poison.” —Paracelsus
Pick your poison at After Dark. Discover the deadly history of arsenic at Everything Matters and weigh the threats and medicinal benefits of different toxins from venomous creatures and poisonous plants.
Thursday, October 18, 2018 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
From the synapses in our bodies to superconductors to Earth’s magnetic field, electricity is everywhere. Get a charge out of Van de Graaff generators and plasma tubes and encounter germanium’s potential at Everything Matters.
Thursday, July 19, 2018 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
A soft metal that melts at temperatures above 86°F, gallium is mainly used in semiconductors and blue LEDs. Join Everything Matters host Ron Hipschman and U.C. Davis professor Srabanti Chowdhury to explore gallium’s reputation as the “silicon” of next generation electronics.
Thursday, June 21, 2018 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Come be in your elements with Exploratorium host and scientific raconteur Ron Hipschman. Discover zinc’s history and explore its influence on our metabolism with Dr. Janet King, Executive Director of the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI). And watch sewing artist PNosa embroider your ideas on fabric.
Thursday, May 17, 2018 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Join us for Maker Faire activities and demonstrations. Malleable, conductive copper enabled the Bronze Age and is an essential element for life. Explore its significance with host Ron Hipschman and environmental scientist Seira Ashley Adams, who’ll share its chemical role in spiders.
Thursday, March 15, 2018 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Join us for an exclusive preview screening from National Geographic's new series One Strange Rock from award-winning filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and explore the versatility of nickel and watch a nickel electroplating demonstration.
Thursday, February 15, 2018 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
From ceramic bowls to cell phones, cobalt plays an important commercial role. Follow its history with ceramic artist Forrest Lesch-Middelton, who’ll share his unique making process and efforts to address the element with social responsibility.
Thursday, January 18, 2018 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Explore iron’s historical importance and amazing metallurgical properties at Everything Matters. Create mechanical sculptures from everyday materials. Join us for a rare screening of a charming, moving documentary recounting a story of love and loss.
Thursday, December 21, 2017 • 6:00–10:00 p.m.
Manganese is essential for life, yet too much proves toxic. Suzanne Angeli relates how environmental exposure manganese is a potential risk factor for developing parkinsonism and Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and shares her research into therapeutic interventions for PD.