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Gateway Science Museum

Chico Science Fair Challenge

Gateway Science Museum is excited to partner with Chico Science Fair(opens in new window) to bring science education to our community.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, there will not be a traditional in-person fair in the Spring of 2021. Instead, we will work together to support scientific thought and exploration in an online format and investigate options to collaboratively plan a more hands-on, interactive science competition for student engagement in the future.

monthly challenges

Check our website every month for a new science & engineering challenge to try at home! Follow along on our social media for the challenge announcement. Post your designs and share them with us!

Bridge Engineering

Challenge Instructions (PDF)

Test your engineering skills by building a bridge! Check out the challenge instructions and learn more about the Leonardo da Vinci bridge.

Community Science Month!

Challenge Instructions (PDF)

For this month's science fair challenge, we're celebrating Community Science Month. Get involved in science in your community. Check out the challenge instructions and learn more about some of the Community Science projects in your area!

Recycling Paper
& Women's History Month!

Challenge Instructions (PDF)

Transform scrap paper or newspaper into recycled paper! In honor of Women's History Month, featuring women in history who are innovators in engineering, chemistry and the environment.

Mars Rover

Challenge Instructions (PDF)

In honor of the NASA 2020 Mission, Perseverance Rover, landing on Mars on February 18, 2021. Build your own cardboard rover! Check out the challenge instructions for all the steps and learn more about the upcoming rover landing!

Activity and additional images are courtesy of NASA Jet Propulsion Lab of the California Institute of Technology (JPL-Caltech).

Winter Adaptations

Challenge Instructions (PDF)

Learn about how the size and shape of mammals can help them survive cold winters! Check out our video below for an introduction to the challenge and and click the challenge instructions above to learn more about the relationship between heat retention, surface area, and volume. Upload pictures and videos of your experiment and tag us on social media. 

Sink or Float?

Challenge Instructions (PDF)

Why do some objects float and some objects sink? How do fish and submarines hover somewhere in the middle? Check out our video below for an introduction to the challenge and and click the challenge instructions above to learn more about buoyancy and find out why some objects float, and some sink. Upload pictures and videos of your experiment and tag us on social media. 

Parachute Plunge

Challenge Instructions (PDF)

Design & launch your prototype parachute! Check out our video below for an introduction to the challenge and and click the challenge instructions above to learn more about the science of parachutes. Upload pictures and videos of your parachute plunge and tag us on social media. 

Tallest Tower

Challenge Instructions (PDF)

Put your engineering skills to the test! This month, we're building towers. Check out our video below for an introduction to the challenge and and click the challenge instructions above to learn more about the science of building towers. Upload pictures and videos of your tallest towers and tag us on social media. 

Paper Airplanes

Challenge Instructions (PDF)

We have liftoff! This month, we're testing our flight skills. We're challenging you to design a paper airplane and test how far it can fly. Watch our video for inspiration, and click the challenge instructions above and learn more about the four forces of flight. Upload pictures and videos of your awesome airplane flights and tag us on social media. We're excited to see your planes take flight!