Twelve students from the United State (US) taking part in the Digital Skies Student Partnership project arrived in Hong Kong yesterday (July 2) for a one-week astronomy exchange programme with Hong Kong students.
A welcome reception was held at the Hong Kong Space Museum today (July 3). Attending guests included the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui; the Director of the Chabot Space and Science Center, US, Mr Alex Zwissler; the Cultural Unit Chief of the Consulate General of the United States, Hong Kong and Macau, Ms Naeema Whatley, and the Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Culture), Ms Cynthia Liu.
Speaking at the reception, Ms Florence Hui said that the Digital Skies Student Partnership project encouraged students from Hong Kong and US to learn more about the two places' developments and achievements in astronomy by forming cross-cultural teams to explore differences and commonalities in Western and Chinese astronomy, as well as producing "sky shows" together.
Ms Hui also took this opportunity to thank the US Department of State and the American Alliance of Museums for funding the project. She also thanked the Chabot Space and Science Center for inviting Hong Kong Space Museum to participate in such a meaningful joint venture. She said that the project marked the beginning of international partnerships between Hong Kong and US museums, and she looked forward to further collaboration in future.
The participating students from US and Hong Kong were also present at the reception today to demonstrate the sky shows they produced together and share the valuable experiences they gained from this project.
Launched in October last year, the Digital Skies Student Partnership project is the first joint venture of the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Chabot Space and Science Center, and 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 Alliance of Museums. Students selected from Hong Kong and Oakland were divided into three teams to jointly develop planetarium programmes and sky shows using virtual communications tools, and to undertake visits to each other's place for cultural exchange and astronomy promotion.
The visit of Hong Kong students to Oakland took place from March 28 to April 3 this year. They joined the US students in promoting astronomy by presenting their planetarium programmes in public and in schools, which were well received by audiences. In addition they visited the Chabot Space and Science Center, home to the largest publicly available research-level telescope in US. They were also given a precious opportunity to visit the internationally renowned University of California, Berkeley, and its Space Science Labs.
The US students will stay in Hong Kong until July 7. During their stay they will join with the Hong Kong students to demonstrate their sky shows in local schools and participate in astronomy-related activities. As hosts, the Hong Kong students will take the US students on visits to various local attractions so as to experience differences between Western and Chinese culture.
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/Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The welcome reception of the Digital Skies Student Partnership Project was held today (July 3) at the Hong Kong Space Museum. Photo shows the attending guests and participating students from the US and Hong Kong at the reception: (first row from left) the Cultural Unit Chief of the Consulate General of the United States, Hong Kong and Macau, Ms Naeema Whatley; the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Ms Florence Hui; the Director of the Chabot Space and Science Center, US, Mr Alex Zwissler; and the Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Culture), Ms Cynthia Liu.