Chico visits the moon in Gateway Science Museum exhibit


Chico local Nancy Park reads aloud a mars info-poster to blind friend Suzanne Gibbs. Photo credit: Emily Neria

The Gateway Science Museum opened a new exhibit in celebration of the Moon landing’s 50th anniversary, which happened earlier in the summer. The new exhibit, which aims to draw a wide range of museum-goers, features several interactive elements.

Children can build Moon stations, Mars rovers, as well as homes for hypothetical Mars colonists, while learning about the feasibility of each one. Adults can learn about the Moon, Mars and Earth via a touch-screen, holographic globe which allows users to get up close and personal with the surfaces of each planet. Visitors young and old can sit and watch the real moon landing footage in a life-sized model of a 1960s living room.

Kahne Tarter listens to President Kennedy’s “We will go to the moon” speech while his grandfather Howard Tarter watches moon landing footage on a retro television set. Photo credit: Emily Neria

Executive director Adrienne McGraw explained that the museum hopes to simultaneously connect younger generations with the Moon landing, while also drawing in an older crowd. Since the exhibit opened, the staff has noticed an increase in adult attendance.

A hologlobe displays earth at the moon landing exhibit at the Gateway Science Museum. Photo credit: Emily Neria

“My favorite part is seeing the older generation interact with the younger,” Curiosity Guide Jayne Weston said. “I’ve seen grandparents come in with their grandkids and say, “This is exactly what my living room looked like!”

A 1960’s living room where visitors to the Gateway Science Museum can watch footage from the first moon landing on an era-accurate television set. Photo credit: Emily Neria

The exhibit also focuses on the future of space travel and other forms of exploration, featuring a wall of informative posters about Mars, Arctic, and deep ocean exploration.

Admission to the Gateway Science Museum is free for Chico State students. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon-5 p.m.

To find out more, visit the Gateway Science Museum website.

Emily Neria can be reached at [email protected]