Glow Fest

Saturday, December 3, 2022 • 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

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

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

Watch science come to light at Glow Fest! Dig into the art and science of light at this all-ages celebration. Enjoy hands-on activities that illuminate the how of light. 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. 

Glow Fest 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

11:00 a.m.–2:00 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

11:00 a.m.–2:00 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

11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and 1:00–2:30 p.m.

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 Toys
With Dr. Raymond Hall

Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum

Bask in the glow of objects from Dr. Raymond Hall’s @physicsfun “Instagram museum.” In this talk, Raymond will illuminate items ranging from toys to artistic creations, and discuss the ways they showcase the physics of light.

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.

Glowing Toys Demo Table
With Dr. Raymond Hall

1:00–3:00 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1

Get up close with the objects from Dr. Raymond Hall’s @physicsfun “Instagram museum.” Join Raymond for sparkling demonstrations, and get answers to your questions in one-on-one conversation! Ranging from toys to artistic creations, the featured objects bring attention to the physics of how light is created, manipulated, and perceived.

Neon-Bending Demo
With Meryl Pataky and Ames Palms

12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 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!

Saturday Cinema: Let Your Light Shine
Presented by Cinema Arts

1:00 and 3:00 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum

In celebration of Glow, we invite you into gleaming worlds of cinematic light and color. A selection of animated and abstract short films shimmer in the theater’s darkness to conjure luminous worlds, both kinetic and contemplative.

Storytime Science Pop-Up
Every half hour, 11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1

Join us for Storytime Science—a storybook read-aloud geared toward children (and their grown-ups). Today, the Exploratorium’s Vivian Altmann offers a special pop-up experience: every half hour, she’ll read from a different book that will engage the youngest of visitors.