A unique table featuring a periodic table was unveiled in a special ceremony in front of the Butte College main campus, Physical Science Building, 3536 Butte Campus Drive, at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16. Butte College president, Dr. Kimberly Perry was on hand for the unveiling.
Butte College alumnus Travis Wulff designed and built the 4-foot by 8-foot steel-frame table featuring hand painted tiles representing 118 elements of the periodic table.
"It's a periodic table, table," said Wulff. "My physics, math and biology teachers at Butte did a fantastic job preparing me for life outside Butte, Chico State and grad school. They really love their jobs and their students."
Wulff, now 22, entered Butte College as a math and chemistry student in 2007 and he successfully transferred to Chico State in the Fall of 2011, where he is now a double major for a bachelor's degree in both subjects.
Wulff came up with the idea from Google images where he saw a similar periodic table and thought it was something he and his dad could work on.
"I wanted to do more than just give my instructors and the college a verbal thank you. I wanted to give something lasting back and I thought this table would be the right thing," he said.
It took Wulff an estimated 100 hours or more to hand paint and apply protective epoxy to all 118 small tiles. He spent another 100 hours alongside his father, John Wulff, Paradise, who constructed the table and footings for it in its permanent home on the campus. Modern Building Company of Chico donated all materials and supplies.
"My dad was a driving force on the welding. We did everything we could think of to make the table endure and last so that in 20 years it will still look as new as possible," said Wulff.
The majority of the table's center tiles are white but each of the six groups of element is represented by its own color.
"The whole project was my way giving a big thank you to Butte College," said Wulff.