Science at Burning Man from the Exploratorium

Exploratorium Science of the playa
Exploratorium Science of the playa

Our friends at the San Francisco Exploratorium have put together a fantastic set of videos that examine some of the more scientific aspects of the Black Rock Desert.

Exploratorium video on Alkali“What do you get when you send a crew from the Exploratorium to Burning Man? Geeks gone wild! Join us on the playa in Black Rock Desert and explore the science of pyrotechnics, flight, dust devils, rainbows, and more.”

Senior Exploratorium scientist, Paul Doherty, unlocks the mystery behind the corrosive dust that coats the Black Rock Desert, the science of dust devils and the properties of Fire in the desert.

Enjoy the challenges of flying over the Black Rock Desert with pilot Michael Marin and learn about zoology in extreme playa conditions with Alex Smith as he visits the MicroZoo.

Check out these videos and more at and understand your temporary home just a little more next week.

About the author: Moze

John Mosbaugh aka Moze is a SF Bay Area heretic and writer who's been hauling himself out to Black Rock City since the Nebulous Entity first beckoned him to check out this phenomenon known as Burning Man. Moze is a "Life Collector" who scribbles down encounters with you to share on the blog. He enjoys the hyper reality of that week in the desert enough to keep coming back. He's been on the Burning Man web team since aught two and has written for Piss Clear and the YEP (Yahoo Education Project). He doesn't speak for the org and he finds you fascinating. He celebrates you and loves it when you take away ideas from Burning Man and shares them with the rest of the world. He likes to make grilled cheese on Saturday (Burn Night) afternoon and give it away because by then you may not have eaten for a while. And he's a big fan of fire and art.

3 thoughts on “Science at Burning Man from the Exploratorium

  • I loved each and every one of these videos. They each taught me something, I loved the dust devils snd the rainbow and the airport and the bugs, I really loved to buts. Paul and Alex and Amaris did an amaxing job!

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  • This is awesome. Years ago I wanted to make a Science project camp, and have a bunch of materials and instructions etc for kids of all ages. I didn’t do it of course, it was just one of those Brilliant Ideas Haha.

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