The Gateway Science Museum continues to enlighten the community with a birthday bash

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

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

The birthday bash 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, with 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’re the only science museum in the whole [California State University] system,” Executive Director Adrienne McGraw said. 

Judy Sitton, one of the museum’s founders, and a former Chico State alumna who has been a Chico resident for 50 years, described the process of opening the museum. 

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

Sitton and her colleagues felt that it was just extremely important from a lot of perspectives to have a science museum here in Chico. 

Short-Faced Bear skeleton dressed up. Photo taken Mario Ortiz on Feb 26.

The museum had a variety of exhibits for visitors to enjoy. The 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, it’s $7 to visit for nonmember adults, and $5 for youth ages 3-17.

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

Community advisor board members Terry Battles (left) Judy Sitton (center) Liz Fleming (right). Photo taken by Mario Ortiz on Feb 26.