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Chico State

Gateway Science Museum Brings da Vinci’s Creations to Life

A model of Leonardo da Vinci's flying machine is suspended from the ceiling inside the Gateway Science Museum.
Matt Bates / University Photographer

As one of the greatest creative minds in history, Leonardo da Vinci’s influence remains pervasive and globally relevant today, over 500 years after his life. Celebrating his legacy, Chico State’s Gateway Science Museum is proud to bring Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion to our community, a dynamic collection of full-scale machines based on da Vinci’s designs.

Built using materials and tools suggested by him in his codices, including wood, rope, and glue, the new exhibit includes da Vinci’s parachute, glider, odometer, ladder, and others. Explorers and inventors of all ages and interests will learn from this fully interactive exhibit, which also showcases da Vinci’s early plans and drawings.

“This is an opportunity for visitors to take a step back in time and experience da Vinci’s inventions on a sensory level,” said Gateway Science Museum Director Adrienne McGraw. “You can see, touch, smell, and operate the machines. It’s a fully tactile experience that exposes you to his work in a way that goes beyond screen learning.”

  • Adrienne McGraw stands beside one of da Vinci's machine replicas at the Gateway Science Museum.
  • Vanessa Pierce explores the Leonardo da Vinci: Machines In Motion exhibit at the Gateway Science Museum.
  • Jeanne Greene (left) and William Henriquez (right) explore the Leonardo da Vinci: Machines In Motion exhibit at the Gateway Science Museum.

Later this spring, on Saturday, April 13, the Gateway Science Museum will host Science Rocks!, a benefit gala for the museum. Guests will be treated to food and drinks in the museum’s blooming native garden, as well as an exciting auction and raffle. The gala is a fun way to show support and celebrate the museum while perusing its exhibits in party attire. Tickets will be available for purchase soon.    

The Gateway Science Museum is open to the public Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 625 Esplanade. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children and students, and free for Chico State students and museum members. Follow @gatewaysciencemuseumchico for fun museum updates and event reminders about Fossil Fridays and Free First Friday events at the museum.  

For more information, call 530-898-5130 or visit

To consider giving to Gateway Science Museum, please visit its giving page

Annual memberships are also available.

Those who require an accommodation at the Gateway Science Museum or who have questions about accessibility may contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.