The Orion

Gateway Science Museum welcomes three new exhibits

Emma Wood-Wright

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Desmond Weatherby explores the excavation box during his visit to the Gateway Science Museum.Photo credit: Alex Boesch


The skull of a gray whale sits dead center on the floor of the Newberry gallery inside the Gateway Science Museum.

Donated to the biology department at Chico State, one of the three current exhibits at Gateway – Changing California: Geological and Ecological Transformations, this huge fossil which was found off the Northern California coast.

This exhibit showcases the changes California has seen since prehistoric times. Fossils from Big Chico Creek illustrate how early life looked in Butte County.

The museum welcomes all ages from children to adults.

Interactive stations provide the opportunity for visitors to engage.

Try to match the sound of a Pterosaur to its ancient maker. Or maybe start with something a bit more familiar, like the short-beaked common dolphin.

Jump into the dig box to get a feel for the excavation process by uncovering buried fossil replicas.

Track the West Nile Virus from when it was first found in California.

This exhibit will inform attendees about various transformations that have occurred in California.

Upon entering the second exhibit, titled Explore Evolution, one’s human reflection can stand next to a chimpanzee’s. Visitors can compare their hand to a chimp’s and see just how evolved they actually are.

Explore one of evolution’s greatest discoveries with Darwin’s finches, and learn how they had to adapt over just a few years.

“That happens with humans over thousands of years,” said Kyler Keller, guide and sophomore at Chico State.

Museum guide, and Chico State senior, Mindy Garagozzo demonstrated “fly karaoke” by buzzing her best mating call into the microphone.

Mating calls, fly dancing and flashy wings are some aspects that attract female flies.

“It’s sexual selection, so it’s based on what the females like,” Garagozzo said. “The males put on a show, and the females choose.”

The last exhibit is featured on the walls throughout the entire museum.

Geoff Fricker’s exhibition titled, Sacrament: Homage to a River, includes photographs of the geography, history and ecology of the Sacramento River.

Paired with descriptions written by Rebecca Lawton, viewers will become aware of specific river-related issues.

Emma Wood-Wright can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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Gateway Science Museum welcomes three new exhibits