Chabot partners with the Hong Kong Space Museum on Innovative Student Digital Science Program
Oakland CA, August 15, 2012 - Chabot Space & Science Center has been awarded a prestigious Museums Connect competitive grant to launch an innovative digital planetarium project with the Hong Kong Space Museum, the Digital Skies Student Partnership.
Now in its fifth year, Museums Connect is a joint initiative of the American Association of Museums (AAM) and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program pairs museums in the United States with museums abroad for a cross-cultural exchange that brings people, especially youth, together to open a dialogue through community projects, partnerships with local or tribal governments and schools, and local events. Digital Skies Student Partnership is one of 10 grants funded for this cycle of Museums Connect.
The Digital Skies Student Partnership pairs eighteen youth from Oakland and Hong Kong who will form cross-cultural teams to explore differences and commonalities in Western and Chinese astronomy and space exploration. Using virtual communication tools and working with local experts in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM subjects), students will conduct research, exchange information and discuss cultural influences and traditions that can affect notions about space and the night sky. Each team will develop and create the content for planetarium programs and hands-on presentations to their local communities and schools and participate in career development workshops that highlight career paths in astronomy and space sciences.
"Chabot is thrilled to receive this prestigious award, and eager to explore astronomy through a cultural lens with our colleagues and the students at the esteemed Hong Kong Space Museum," said Chabot CEO Alexander Zwissler. "The opportunity to work across international boundaries will be a remarkable experience for these students."ï¿½
"As a long time supporter of the Chabot Space & Science Center, I am pleased that they will be receiving this critical federal funding,"ï¿½ said Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA). "With this funding, Chabot is exposing East Bay students to the wonders of science and the cultural vastness of Hong Kong."ï¿½
"This program will build on our previous joint programs with Beijing and Nanjing, to bring our joint exploration and educational programs into the 21st century,"ï¿½ said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. "This is a great opportunity for the youth of Oakland to learn from their counterparts in Hong Kong and build this international relationship for the future."
"Through Museums Connect, the State Department and our partners strive to lead the way in building international partnerships and fostering mutual understanding through international collaborations," said Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of the United States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. "All of us have an abiding interest in creating new avenues for education, communication and understanding, and the Digital Skies Student Partnership is a perfect example of how we're doing that."
"AAM is proud to partner with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs on this vital program, and are equally proud that these two esteemed institutions are a part of it," said AAM president Ford W. Bell. "Museums, like all aspects of society today, are becoming more international in their focus, while also retaining their mission of service to their local community. Museums Connect builds global communities, spanning time zones, continents and cultures."
The Chabot Space & Science Center-Hong Kong Space Museum partnership is joined in this cycle by 9 other projects including three other California museums: the Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa and the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Gyeonggi-Do, Korea; the Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla with the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium in Pingtung, Taiwan; the San Francisco's International Museum of Women with The Women's Museum of Denmark, The Ayala Museum in Manila, the Philippines, and the Museum of Islamic Civilization in Sharjah, the United Arab Emirates. For more information on all the Museums Connect projects, past and present, visit www.aam-us.org/museumsconnect.
About Chabot Space & Science Center
Chabot Space & Science Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit interactive science center whose mission is to inspire and educate students of all ages about Planet Earth and the Universe. Located in the Oakland hills, the Center focuses on the earth, life, physical and astronomical sciences, with a 128-year legacy of serving Bay Area communities through exhibits, public programs, school field trips, science camps, teacher training, teen development programs and community outreach; hosts 50,000 students on school field trips and over 100,000 public visitors each year; and offers over 20,000 sq ft of interactive exhibits on a variety of space and science subjects, a world-class planetarium, giant-screen Megadome movies, school classes on over 30 different science topics, hands-on science activities, state-of-the-art classrooms and labs and publicly-available research-level telescopes.
About Hong Kong Space Museum
The Hong Kong Space Museum, on Salisbury Road in Kowloon, is a government institution dedicated to the popularization of astronomy and space science for members of public. It features a Space Theatre, a robotic iObservatory, an Astropark themed on stargazing and ancient Chinese astronomy, and exhibition halls highlighting its collections ranging from meteorites to historical astronomical equipment and memorabilia on space science. The Museum attracts more than 720,000 visitors each year to its Space Theatre, exhibition halls and wide variety of extension activities such as public lectures, family field trips and observational activities.
The American Association of Museums is the largest museum service organization in the world, serving all types of museums, including art, history, science, botanic gardens, zoos and aquariums. AAM helps museums serve their communities by developing standards and best practices, offering professional training and resources and serving as the national voice of museums for the public, media, and elected officials. Working on behalf of 17,500 museums, 400,000 museum employees, thousands of volunteers and the visitors who come to museums 850 million times each year, AAM is dedicated to bolstering museums in promoting lifelong learning, celebrating cultural heritage, and inspiring the creative skills to compete in a global economy. For more information, visit www.aam-us.org.
About the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, private-sector, professional, and sports exchange programs. The Bureau's exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and emerging leaders in many fields in the United States and in more than 160 countries. Alumni of ECA exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 320 current or former heads of state and government.