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Hong Kong Space Museum and US Chabot Space & Science Centre launch Digital Skies Student Partnership

     The Hong Kong Space Museum and Chabot Space & Science Centre in the United States (US) have achieved their first collaboration in launching the Digital Skies Student Partnership project, enabling students from the two places to learn about Western and Chinese culture as well as their respective developments in astronomy. The project is now open for enrolment.

     The Digital Skies Student Partnership project is funded by a grant from the Museums Connect Cultural Exchange programme, which is underwritten by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the American Association of Museums.

     Formerly built as an observatory in 1883, the Chabot Space & Science Centre is an interactive science centre located in Oakland, US. The centre houses the largest publicly available research-level telescope in US, and puts huge resources into promoting astronomy and space science to schools through exhibits, school field trips, science camps, teacher training, and youth development programmes.

     This year, the Chabot Space and Science Centre has collaborated with Hong Kong Space Museum to launch this innovative digital planetarium project by connecting 18 students, of whom nine will be from Hong Kong and nine from Oakland. Divided into three teams, the students will develop some simple planetarium programmes and full-dome sky shows using virtual communications tools under the instruction of local experts over the course of nine months. The students will be expected to explore differences and commonalities in Western and Chinese astronomy and space exploration, as well as pursue studies in this field.

     At the end of the project, the Hong Kong students will spend  a week in Oakland over the coming Easter holiday to experience the local culture and the development of astronomy education there. The students from Oakland will visit Hong Kong for a week in July next year, and will be hosted by the Hong Kong students to help promote astronomy through a series of activities.

     Running from October this year to July 2013, the Digital Skies Student Partnership project is free of charge, including round-trip airfare and local accommodation in the US. (Students may, however, be required to bear part of the cost of living in the US during the trip.) The participants should be full-time local secondary school or tertiary institutions students aged 15 to 19 (calculated to the date of September 1, 2012) and proficient in both Chinese and English. Participants should also be independent, outgoing and confident, and have a keen interest in astronomy and space technology.

     Those interested in the project should submit their application form on or before October 7. Application forms can be downloaded from the Hong Kong Space Museum's website ( Completed application forms can be submitted online or by mail to the Hong Kong Space Museum not later than October 7 (Address:  10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. The envelope should be marked "Digital Skies Student Partnership".) The postmark date on the envelope will be regarded as the application date. The selection criteria will be announced later and may include interviews, quizzes and other items.

     For details of the Digital Skies Student Partnership project, please visit the Hong Kong Space Museum's website, or call 2734 2711 for enquiries.

Ends/Monday, September 24, 2012

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