Science can be a 'Drag'

Science After Hours: Pride


Adam Piazza

For our first ever Pride edition of Science After Hours, I wanted to look at ways to showcase the amazing potential that comes when people work together and collaborate on something amazing. So I thought of pairing 3 of the museums amazing Science Interpreters with 3 local Drag Queens to create 3 unique experiences for our guests that night. But how do you pair off 6 larger than life personalities, each with a passion for flare and expressing themselves…well like it’s a dating profile.

It started by asking our Science Interpreters and potential Drag Queens some simple surface questions and then I got to play matchmaker to see if sparks might fly. Here is how the story of one of these pairs, Brittany and Summer, begins.

Brittany Wickham
What science topics will you focus on for your show?  Combustion, fire, the color spectrum
What are the likely demos or activities you will cover?  Colored flames, fire, crafting challenges
What secret talent do you wish you had?  Singing/Walking in Heels
Favorite Color Combination  Purple and Glitter
Favorite Entertainer  Amy Poehler and Beyoncé

What is your favorite memory of science class when you were in school?  I did a project that I made floral botanical drawings. Had to label all the parts of the plant and make it as realistic as possible.
What secret talent you wish you had?  Regular or magical?!? Lol Regular: ability to dance well Magical: eat anything without gaining weight!
What does science means to you?  It’s something I use every day in my work life. I’m an elementary art teacher. Color theory, optical illusion art and the fundamental connection between art and science
Favorite Color Combination  Pink/white
Favorite Entertainer  Britney, most pop female artists!!!

I saw major potential with Brittany and Summer, in particular their love of art and crafting so I knew something could be there between these two. I was lucky enough to be there for their first date, at the museum naturally, so that they can meet face-to-face and talk about their plans for their presentations. They both seemed a little nervous at first, who isn’t on their first date; but soon enough they were talking about custom outfits, phosphors and black light, appropriate uses of glitter, and the best ways to use a mirror ball. I am happy to report that it’s been a few weeks since their first date and things are looking good for their second date at the museum for the event, here is what they told me they have in store:

“Light will be reflecting, refracting, and dancing through Musser Demonstration Theater with Drag Queen, Summer, and Science Interpreter, Brittany. Check out demonstrations with colored flames, UV light, and lasers while Summer performs her flashiest numbers as she lights up the room with her self-made costumes that will interact with the light. Get ready to be wowed and dance with us at Science After Hours Pride!”

Everyone is invited to Summer and Brittany’s second play date on Tuesday, June 25 for the first ever Science After Hours: Pride at The Franklin Institute and don’t forget to check in on our other great couples; Tiffany Uma Mascara & Fox, and Stephen & Kotton as they combine forces for one amazing evening, sparks will fly!


About the author

Adam Piazza

Adam Piazza is the curator of Science After Hours and other adult programs at the museum. When not at the museum you can find him attending music festivals and concerts, sometimes presenting science content along the way proving that no place is too strange to spread some science.