About Us

The Great Valley Museum opens minds, touches hearts, and inspires action towards discovering, appreciating, and preserving our natural heritage and environment.  Science literacy and the unique Central Valley are promoted by engaging students, educators and the community through onsite and outreach programs.  The Museum serves as a resource to educational institutions, including Modesto Junior College.

The GVM home is the first floor of the Science Community Center on the west campus of Modesto Junior College.  We offer group tours for groups of up to 70 individuals.  Our docent guided tours cover the natural history and various habitats of the Central Valley of California.  Live animal shows in which we present some of the two dozen live animals are also available for groups.  In our museum we have a Discovery Room dedicated to hands-on activities and materials.  This room also houses 2 dozen live animals including snakes, tarantulas, skinks and many others.  Our Science on a Sphere, produced by NOAA, has over 400 datasets that are projected onto a 1.5 meter sphere including real-time worldwide events such as earthquakes, hurricanes and other phenomenon.  The planetarium has a top-of-the-line Zeiss Skymaster ZKP-4 LED/fiber optic star projector coupled with a Zeiss Velvet Projection System capable of displaying the night sky and full-dome planetarium films for an audience of 100.  Our Traveling Teacher program offers over 3 dozen programs that come out to local elementary schools to cover topics such as live animals, the various sciences, nature, craft topics and our California Valley history.  Such topics are also offered through on-site classes throughout the year.

The Great Valley Museum financially sustains it-self through admissions, tours, outreach & onsite programs.  Additional funding and support provided by the Yosemite Community College District and the Great Valley Museum Foundation.