CSU, Chico News

Gateway Science Museum’s Summer Exhibits Explore Sustainability and Climate Change

Date: 06-01-2011

Debra Johnson, Marketing Committee Member
(530) 898-4690, dejohnson@csuchico.edu

Dr. Rachel Teasdale, Acting Executive Director
(530) 898-4121, rteasdale@csuchico.edu

Joe Wills, Public Affairs Director

Gateway Science Museum launches its summer exhibit season with an emphasis on sustainability when it reopens with new summer hours June 11. Three new exhibits will have visitors examining their everyday lifestyle choices and the impacts those choices may have on the world around us.

Opening June 11: Sustainable Choices and Climate Summit

In the North Gallery visitors will explore Sustainable Choices, an interactive exhibit focusing on sustainability with decisions each of us makes every day. How does the way in which you care for your lawn impact the air you breathe or the water that drains into the soil? Examine the shirt you’re wearing. What resources were used to create that shirt and transport it to the store where you purchased it? How much does it really cost to keep your shirt clean? And what’s going to happen to it once you’re done with it? By focusing on decisions made every day, visitors are encouraged to examine their lifestyle choices and what those choices may mean for future generations.

Sustainable Choices highlights that the goal of sustainability is to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Visitors will explore themes of electricity, water, transportation, shopping and landscaping. Hands-on activities challenge visitors to sort objects to determine which is trash and which is recyclable. They’ll also create their own pedal power to explore energy consumption.

In the South Gallery, visitors will explore concepts of climate change with hands-on activities from the Gateway Science Museum’s Climate Summit held in April. Come learn how scientists study climate, the research methods they use, and how the data is interpreted. Hands-on activities include an Antarctic food web game, testing the reflectivity of surfaces, and examining models of rock and sediment cores to discover what life was like during specific time periods.

Opening June 25: Double Exposure

In the Valley Gallery, visitors will explore how global warming is affecting our planet. Double Exposure documents one aspect of the warming climate through fine-art photography that brings the viewer into panoramas of glaciers once grand but currently changing. For example, visitors will compare photographs of the Matterhorn taken in 1960 and in 2005 to examine how changing weather has impacted the levels of snow and ice on the glacier.

The exhibit features twin photographs of glaciers in Alaska and Switzerland. Legendary mountaineer Bradford Washburn took the original pictures in the early and mid-1900s. Writer/photographer David Arnold took the modern images between 2005 and 2007 from the same aerial vantage points first used by Washburn.

Sustainable Choices is organized by NRG! Exhibits. Climate Summit is organized by the Gateway Science Museum.

Gateway Science Museum’s new summer hours are Wednesday through Sunday noon to 5 p.m. The museum is located at 625 Esplanade. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children and free for museum members. For more information, please visit www.gatewayscience.org.