Instructor continues work on Science Hall evolution exhibit

Dilophasaurus (left), ichthyosaur (top right) and plesiosaur (bottom right) fossil replicas on display as part of the evolution exhibit on the first floor of the Science Hall. JENNIFER NICHOLS / GUARDSMAN

By Nick Squires
Staff Writer

City College’s “Story of Time and Life” exhibit in Science Hall is nearing completion. The exhibit walks viewers through the evolution of life on Earth, the solar system and the universe.

The process of bringing the comprehensive exhibit to City College began with a donation from the now redesigned Academy of Sciences.

“The academy donated items from their ‘Life Through Time’ exhibit to the City College earth sciences department,” said Katryn Wiese, an earth science instructor and the exhibit’s coordinator. “They began remodeling and needed a place to store it.”

While the donated items were a good start, Wiese felt there were many holes in the story and began planning the walking exhibit nearly four years ago.

“I wanted to make the story as complete as possible, from the Big Bang on. We started with 40 panels of information. We’ve made 40 ourselves so far,” said Wiese.

While spearheading the exhibit’s progress, which often included working on the exhibit alone, Wiese decided to take a one-year sabbatical to finish the project.

“As soon as I had the support of other department chairs, I felt we’d find a way to finish the exhibit. This is a CCSF-produced project, with the help of the department of planning and construction installing the exhibit and the students in the graphics lab designing the panel templates,” said Wiese. “The result is an interactive exhibit, which gives students a sense of time as they walk through the story of evolution.”

Experts from the Exploratorium have offered advice on how to present the project, which will feature dinosaur footprints to guide attendants through the exhibit with multiple panels providing facts and descriptions of the visuals.

“Evolution is just like gravity in the scientific community; no controversy,” said Wiese. “In this exhibit, I hope to illustrate evolution in a way that is fun, and gets students as excited about science as I am. By having these items such as dinosaur skeletons out in the open and not behind glass, we can transform the learning experience and inspire everyone who comes to the Science building.”

The “Story of Time and Life” exhibit will be completed in April, with a grand opening to follow.

Students interested in volunteering to help or to learn more about the exhibit are encouraged to visit the program’s Web site at

“The exhibit looks really detailed online,” said City College student Erin White. “I’m interested to see it completed in the science building.”

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