Science museum

The Gateway Science Museum continues to enlighten the community with an anniversary party – The Orion

Families and other community members explored the many wonders of Chico State’s educational Gateway Science Museum, which celebrated its 12th anniversary with the community February 26-27.

Founded in 2010 and located at 625 Esplanade, the museum’s doors were open free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to the public.

The birthday party included STEM activities for visitors of all ages, raffles, gourmet cookies from The Cookie Shoppe and prizes.

Few children wandered around the museum in awe of the exhibits, their imaginations running wild.

The event was also part of the 3rd Annual Butte County Museum Weekend, where participating museums, galleries and cultural centers offered free admission all weekend.

“We are the only science museum in the whole [California State University] system,” said executive director Adrienne McGraw.

Judy Sitton, one of the museum’s founders and Chico State alumnus who has resided in Chico for 50 years, described the process of opening the museum.

“We worked with Dr. Ray Barnett. He was in the College of Natural Sciences and was really a driving force in organizing us all to move forward,” Sitton said. “So it was a step-by-step process based on information and support from the university through a state grant that we received, and then donations.”

Sitton and his colleagues felt that having a science museum here in Chico was just extremely important in many ways.

Skeleton of dressed short-faced bear. Photo taken by Mario Ortiz on February 26.

The museum offered a variety of exhibits for the enjoyment of visitors. Exhibits currently featured are Fossils and Formations, GEAR UP: The Science of Bikes, Fossils Lab, and the Native Plant Pollinator Garden.

The Gateway Science Museum is open Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free for Gateway members and Chico State students. However, the tour costs $7 for non-member adults and $5 for youth ages 3-17.

Mario Ortiz can be reached at [email protected] or @realnameismario on Twitter.

Community Advisory Board members Terry Battles (left) Judy Sitton (center) Liz Fleming (right). Photo taken by Mario Ortiz on February 26.