Big Bird and His Friends From Sesame Street Take Kids on an Incredible Journey Through...

Tue May 13, 2008 9:02am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Big Bird and His Friends From Sesame Street Take Kids on an Incredible Journey
Through the Sky in: One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure
First-ever U.S. - Chinese Planetarium Collaboration

NEW YORK, May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit
educational organization behind Sesame Street, Beijing Planetarium, Adler
Planetarium in Chicago, and Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ are
collaborating on a bi-national, China-U.S. cooperative project to produce and
distribute a planetarium show and educational outreach materials for children
ages 4-6 and their families, teachers, and caregivers. The planetarium show,
One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure, will follow Big Bird, Elmo and Hu Hu
Zhu, on an exploration of the sky and will make its world premiere at the
Beijing Planetarium on September 26, 2008 and the U.S. premiere will be at
Chicago's Adler Planetarium on October 15, 2008. This project received major
funding from the National Science Foundation with additional support from the
W.L.S. Spencer Foundation, China Association for Science and Technology, and
the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure begins on Sesame Street when
Elmo's friend, Hu Hu Zhu, visits from China. In the Chinese version, Elmo
visits Hu Hu Zhu in China. Big Bird, Elmo and Hu Hu Zhu take viewers on an
exciting discovery of the Sun, Moon, and stars.  They learn about the Big
Dipper and the North Star and take an imaginary trip to the Moon where they
learn that the Moon is a very different place from the Earth.  When Elmo and
Hu Hu Zhu imagine themselves back on Earth, they celebrate the idea that even
though they live in two different countries, they still share the same sky.
    The planetarium show will appear in English and Spanish in the U.S. and in
Mandarin in China.   The project's main goals are:    -- To provide young
children in China and the U.S. with an age-appropriate
       introduction to astronomy
    -- To promote positive attitudes toward science among children in each
       country
    -- To foster cross-cultural appreciation between children in both
       countries
    -- To establish a successful and lasting bi-national collaboration among
       informal science educators and institutions in China and the U.S.


    "Sesame Street brings children images of the world beyond their own and
now One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure will take that one step further,
bridging kids across nations through a common bond in learning about the sky
together," said Gary E. Knell, President and CEO, Sesame Workshop.  "This
groundbreaking project will bring a unique opportunity for children and
families to experience the fun of astronomy with the help of their friends
from our Sesame family in the U.S. and China."
    "For over 75 years the Adler has engaged its visitors in exploring our
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy and the vast reaches of the Universe," said Dr.
Paul H. Knappenberger, Jr., President of the Adler Planetarium.   "Now, we
turn our attention to young visitors and their families through a wonderful
partnership with Sesame Workshop.   Fascination with the Sun, Moon and stars
provides a natural bridge between young children in China and the USA. This
bridge is crossed in a delightful way with our friends at the Beijing
Planetarium and Liberty Science Center."
    "Beijing Planetarium is very happy to work together with Sesame Workshop,
Adler Planetarium and Liberty Science Center on this astronomy show for kids.
Through the "Big Bird" show, children from China and the US can watch their
favorite sky and understand the differences and similarities of the two
countries and their cultures. We hope there will be more such cooperation in
the future," said ZHU Jin, Director, Beijing Planetarium.
    "We know that young children are natural scientists, learning about the
world around them through observation and experimentation," says Jeff Osowski,
vice president of Learning and Teaching at Liberty Science Center. "In
addition to our new young learner exhibition gallery and young learner lab, we
are pleased to offer this engaging planetarium show to our youngest guests."
    Sesame Workshop in collaboration with Beijing Planetarium, Adler
Planetarium and Liberty Science Center will be creating outreach materials to
build upon the key messages of One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure and
encourages children, parents, caregivers, and educators to look up and explore
the wonders of the sky. The outreach resources will include:    -- A
Parent/Child Brochure filled with parent tips, activities and an
       interactive poster, to give families ideas for turning everyday moments
       into fun opportunities to explore the Sun, Moon, and stars.
    -- Planetarium Educator Materials to provide planetarium staff with age-
       appropriate activity suggestions to create exciting planetarium
       experiences in classrooms, museums, or science centers.
    -- Teacher Materials to help teachers extend the learning in One World One
       Sky; Big Birds Adventure, and offer activity suggestions that integrate
       astronomy into pre-existing classroom routines and curriculum.


    The following are the advisory board members for One World, One Sky: Big
Bird's Adventure: Jeanne E. Bishop, Planetarium Director, Westlake Public
Schools, Westlake, OH, Susan Button, President, International Planetarium
Society, Kathy Conezio, Director of Curriculum, ScienceStart!; Adjunct
Faculty, Warner Graduate School of Education, University of Rochester, Xiaoxia
Feng, Professor/ Educator, Beijing Normal University Education College, Yeh
Hsueh, Associate Professor, Educational Psychology & Research, College of
Education, University of Memphis, Jing Li, Professor/ Educator, Lie Li,
Principal, Beijing No.2 Experimental Primary School and Jin Zhu, Director,
Beijing Planetarium.
    About the Adler Planetarium
    The Adler Planetarium - America's First Planetarium - was founded in 1930
by Chicago business leader Max Adler.   The museum has announced a new vision
to be the world's leading space science center, and will inspire the next
generation of explorers by sharing the stories of human space exploration and
America's space heroes.  The Adler is a recognized leader in science
education, with a focus on inspiring young people to pursue careers in
science.  Learn more at www.adlerplanetarium.org.
    About Beijing Planetarium
    Beijing Planetarium, China's largest planetarium, was founded in 1957. It
plays a national role in Chinese astronomical education resulting in many
shows, exhibitions and scientific activities. Beijing Planetarium is an
exciting destination spots for visitors to experience the fun of astronomy.
Learn more at www.bjp.org.cn.
    About Liberty Science Center
    Dedicated to providing transformative experiences that connect schools and
society with science and technology, Liberty Science Center is the New Jersey-
New York City region's largest education resource. Motivated by an innovative
philosophy and enabled by a $109 million expansion and renewal, Liberty
Science Center is bringing the excitement of science to students, educators,
families and adults in engaging new ways and establishing a progressive
benchmark for the science center field. Visit http://www.lsc.org to learn more
about Liberty Science Center, located in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ.
    About Sesame Workshop
    Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that changed
television forever with the legendary Sesame Street.  As the single largest
informal educator of young children, local Sesame Street programs produced in
countries as diverse as South Africa, Bangladesh and India are making a
difference in over 120 nations.  Using proprietary research to create engaging
and enriching content, Sesame Workshop produces programs such as Dragon Tales
and Pinky Dinky Doo.  In addition, multimedia needs-driven initiatives provide
families tools for addressing such issues as children's health, military
deployment and emergency preparedness.   As a nonprofit, product proceeds and
philanthropic donations support Sesame Workshop's educational research and
creative content for children around the world.  Learn more at
www.sesameworkshop.org.
     Press Contacts:
     Pam Hacker                     Molly O'Connell
     Sesame Workshop                Adler Planetarium
     Pam.hacker@sesameworkshop.org  moconnell@adlerplanetarium.org
     212.875.6225                   312.322.0524

     Bing LI                        Dina Schipper
     Beijing Planetarium            Liberty Science Center
     libing@bjp.org.cn              dschipper@lsc.org ; 201.253.1278

SOURCE  Adler Planetarium; Beijing Planetarium; Liberty Science Center; Sesame
Workshop

Pam Hacker, Sesame Workshop, +1-212-875-6225, Pam.hacker@sesameworkshop.org;
Molly O'Connell, Adler Planetarium, +1-312-322-0524,
moconnell@adlerplanetarium.org; Bing LI, Beijing Planetarium,
libing@bjp.org.cn; or Dina Schipper, Liberty Science Center, +1-201-253-1278,
dschipper@lsc.org
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