SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Roberto Medrano, Dmitriy Stepanov, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Sean Houghton

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Begin the Baktun at Chabot Space & Science Center

The New Maya Cycle Begins with a Sunrise Hike and Community Lego Temple Build

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Celebrate the end of the Maya Calendar cycle and welcome a new "Long Count" Baktun cycle with a full day of festivities at Chabot Space & Science Center on Saturday, December 22.  Explore the relationship of astronomy in Maya culture including a sunrise hike, an opening day Invocation, screenings of Chabot's acclaimed planetarium show, Tales of the Maya Skies in English, Spanish and Mayan, dance performances and dance lessons with Bay Area group Chan Kahal, and chocolate making demonstrations. San Francisco's Poc-Chuc Restaurant will provide Spanish and Mayan fusion cuisine joining Chabot's Skyline Bistro in the Center for the day.

Chabot is set amid beautiful redwood East Bay Regional Parkland in the hills above Oakland and Begin the Baktun launches at first light with a sunrise hike. This moderately strenuous 4-5 mile starts at 6:15 am and takes place rain or shine.

The Center will be open 10am-10pm. All day hands-on activities for kids and adults include plaster mask making - a process of building a mask directly on the person's face, Constellation Tube Creation, Maya Math, and craft making of Maya constellations. A community "Build a Temple" station will collectively produce a Lego structure with 364 steps on each side. A Cacao chocolate station will demonstrate how Mayans made and drank their chocolate and include comparisons to our modern versions.

Tales of the Maya Skies is an immersive digital full-dome Planetarium experience. Audiences are taken on a voyage into the Yucatan jungle to engage in the culture of the Maya people, their art, astronomy, and creation story. Narrated by Latin Grammy Award winner Lila Downs, the show inspires and awes through stunning visuals and a custom score. The show, produced in 2009 by Chabot Space & Science Center has been sold to over 50 planetariums internationally. Showings are throughout the day – the Yucatec Mayan language version will be shown only once at 4:30pm. The 1pm and 3:30pm show in English will be followed up with a panel discussion by the director, Arne Jin An Wong, archaeologist Donald Hart, and community leader Dean Escobar.

Alexander Zwissler, Chabot's Executive Director & CEO remarked that the cultural phenomenon of the "end of the world" that has been fueled by social media this year gives science institutions like Chabot the opportunity to set the record straight on Maya history and culture. "The Tales of the Maya Skies has been our most popular planetarium show by far, and the international interest since its opening in 2009 hasn't waned. On December 22 we are looking forward to introducing the show and the stunning visual story to many more visitors."

All activities and shows included with Chabot admission, adult $15.95, youth (ages 3 - 12) $11.95, members free. For more information go to www.chabotspace.org or contact the box office (510) 336-7373.  

Activities

Sunrise Hike  6:15am
Invocation  10am
Community "Build a Temple"   11am - 5pm
Mask Making, Maya Math, Coloring Crafts, Constellation Tube Creations & Cacao Chocolate Demo   11am - 5pm
Dance Performance: Chan Kahal  12pm - 12:30pm; Dance Lessons 12pm - 12:30pm
Cafe Conversation: Indigenous Life: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow 2pm - 2:45pm
Dance Performance: Chan Kahal 2pm - 2:30pm
Story Time La Noche Que se Cayó la Luna  2:30pm - 3:15pm

Planetarium Shows

Tales of the Maya Skies
Spanish version: 11am, 5:30pm
English version:  12pm, 1pm, 3:30pm
Mayan version:  4:30pm
Q&A  1:35pm, 4:05pm

Secret of the Cardboard Rocket  2:30pm
Cosmos 360 Live Planetarium Show: When Things Collide6:30pm, 8:30pm

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.

Media Contact: Melissa Rosengard Russo
(510) 336-7379 [email protected]

SOURCE Chabot Space & Science Center

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