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Press Releases

Local Teen named 2014

Oakland CA, January 14, 2014 - The American Alliance of Museums ("AAM") has selected the first Great American Museum Advocates from nominations submitted by museums across the country. Simone Batiste, a teen volunteer at Chabot Space & Science Center, is one of only two chosen this year to travel to Washington D.C, where she will present remarks at a gathering of several hundred museum professionals and members of Congress on Museum Advocacy Day, February 25.

In a video sent by Chabot Space & Science Center to support her nomination, Simone's compelling story about the impact that Chabot's science education programs have had on her life, convinced the AAM selection committee that she was an ideal choice. A resident of Oakland and sophomore at the Athenian School, Simone is passionate about science, a pursuit sparked and nurtured at the Center. Her affinity for the Center began at age 5, when she attended science camp at the museum. It was an awakening for the budding scientist. "Those days passed quickly, and I soon found myself engaged in the deeper aspects of science and how the pieces of our Universe fit together to solve mysteries," she said. Since that introduction, she has taken part in many Chabot programs, including traveling to Hong Kong with other members of the afterschool teen Galaxy Explorers as part of Museums Connect (a State Department-funded international program administered by AAM). At the Hong Kong Science Center her love of science was fueled by interactions with young people her age from around the world who shared her scientific interests. Simone’s stated goal is to become a doctor.

The 2014 Great American Museum Advocates were chosen from dozens of nominations, all moving testaments to the power of museums and the difference they are making for individuals and communities everywhere. "We all know that science is critical to the future prosperity and the long-term sustainability of the planet," said American Alliance of Museums president Ford W. Bell. "Museums such as the Chabot Space & Science Center are integral to science education, which in turn is crucial to our future economic competitiveness. The Chabot Center has had a profound impact on students in the Bay Area, and Simone Batiste is a shining example of the museum's influence. Simone's life has been changed by the Chabot Center; as a result, Simone someday will change the lives of many others. We are proud she will be joining us in Washington as one of first Great American Museum Advocates."

"She is one of our shining stars," said Chabot's Youth Development Manager Lisa Hoover. "She's ambitious, thoughtful, and sincere. She has an infectious enthusiasm that even inspires her peers to achieve excellence." These and other compelling stories will be shared with legislators, policy makers, the media and the public to emphasize the profound ways museums are serving Americans.

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Media Contact: Autumn King, (510) 336-7306 or AKing@ChabotSpace.org

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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 115,000 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, 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 American Association of Museums "Museums Advocacy Day"

Museums Advocacy Day is a collaboration joining the entire museum field in making the case for federal support of museums. More than 300 museum professionals from nearly all 50 states will come to Washington for a day of issue briefings on Feb. 24, followed by a day of visits to Congressional offices on Capitol Hill. For more information about AAM and Museums Advocacy Day, please visit www.aam-us.org.

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Chabot Space & Science Center, a Smithsonian affiliate, and Bay Area Certified Green Business, 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. Founded in 1883, the Center is located at 10000 Skyline Blvd. just off Highway 13 in the Oakland hills. For more information, visit www.chabotspace.org.