Good Chemistry at the Hands On Children’s Museum

by Molly Gilmore for OLY ARTS

Friday night at the Hands On Children’s Museum, the subject is love. In fact, there’ll even be sex education happening at the museum’s quarterly Adult Swim, an evening of cocktails, music and discovery for those 21 and up. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the theme is Love & Reactions, and the museum considers it an “unconventional” date night. The state Department of Health will be on hand conducting an experiment that shows how different types of condoms interact with different types of lubricants and another that shows how sexually transmitted diseases travel. “They’re educational and fun and adult-themed,” said event organizer Adrienne Testa. “They do it in a fun way that makes the information accessible and easy to digest.”

If an exploration of STDs doesn’t sound terribly romantic, how about dissecting a sheep heart? Or maybe you’d rather smell a sweaty T-shirt. One popular experiment returning from last February’s Adult Swim explores how pheromones play into attraction. “I’ve recruited 12 of our staff members to wear the same T-shirt to bed for five nights,” Testa said. “We seal them in plastic bags and number them, and the guests will smell the T-shirts. When they find one that smells kind of good, they can read a dating profile about that person to see if they would actually be compatible.”

People loved that, she said. But there are options for the squeamish, too, including learning about the chemistry of chocolate and seeing ice lit on fire, experiments presented by the Saint Martin’s University chemistry department. Attendees can also do crafts, dance to the music of a DJ and simply explore the museum, which is usually off-limits to adults unaccompanied by children. The museum will serve coffee and cupcakes, and a cocktail is included with ticket purchase. More food and drinks will be available for an added cost.

Other Adult Swim events this year are BeerCraft: The Art & Science of Craft Brewing, April 21; Tinkering & Fiddling, June 9 and Illusions: The Story of Our Senses, Nov. 17.

What: Adult Swim: Love & Reactions

Where: Hands On Children’s Museum,
414 Jefferson St. NE, Olympia

When: 7-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10

How much: $20-$25

Learn more: 360-956-0818 | HOCM

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