Students participating in digital skies partnership project to depart for US on astronomy exchange
Eleven Hong Kong students taking part in the Digital Skies Student Partnership project will set off for Oakland, the US, on Thursday (March 28) for a seven-day astronomy exchange programme through which they will learn with American students about Western and Chinese developments in astronomy.
Launched last year, the Digital Skies Student Partnership project is the first joint venture of the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Chabot Space & Science Center. Students selected from Hong Kong and Oakland were divided into three teams and the project was divided into three phases. In the first phase, students from the two continents used virtual communications tools to jointly develop simple planetarium programmes and full-dome sky shows. In the second phase, the Hong Kong students will spend a week in Oakland to explore the local developments of astronomy education. The final phase constitutes a visit to Hong Kong by students from Oakland this July. The Hong Kong students will be the hosts and will join the US students for a series of astronomy education activities.
Recruitment for the project took place in September last year and received an enthusiastic response from schools. A total of 50 students applied for the project. After interviews, 12 outstanding students, comprising eight boys and four girls, were selected to join the project.
The Curator of the Hong Kong Space Museum, Mr Chan Ki-hung, said, "We are happy to provide Hong Kong students with an opportunity to take part in this innovative programme. Through the cultural exchange with US students as well as collaboration in producing three about 20-minute-long sky shows, the participating students can gain a deeper understanding of Western and Chinese developments in astronomy and space technology. We are also impressed by their high-quality programmes. We hope the students would assume the role of cultural ambassadors and perform well in the educational activities in the US."
The visit of Hong Kong students to Oakland will run from March 28 to April 3. They will join the US students to promote astronomy through presenting their planetarium programmes in different schools and community centres. Their itinerary includes a visit to the Chabot Space & Science Center, where they may be given an opportunity to use the largest publicly available research-level telescope. They will also visit the internationally renowned University of California, Berkeley, and its Space Science Labs.
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.
For details of the Digital Skies Student Partnership project, please visit the Hong Kong Space Museum's website www.hk.space.museum , or call 2734 2711 for enquiries.
Ends/Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Issued at HKT 15:55
The Director of the Chabot Space & Science Center, Mr Alexander Zwissler (second left), the Curator of the Hong Kong Space Museum, Mr Chan Ki-hung (third left), and the students taking part in the Digital Skies Student Partnership project.
Before departing for the US, local students taking part in the Digital Skies Student Partnership project have given demonstrations in local secondary schools to present their sky shows.
The students install a floating screening room in preparation for their presentation.
The Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, the US, which is one of the visiting points for local students who will be taking part in an exchange programme in the US. The centre houses the largest publicly available research-level telescope in the US, and puts huge resources into promoting astronomy and space science to schools.