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November 9, 2010 > An urgent mission

An urgent mission

Bill Nye's Climate Lab at Chabot Space & Science Center opens Saturday, November 20 and Sunday, November 21. A Gala Benefit precedes the public opening on Saturday, November 13

Bill Nye, the "Science Guy" has a worldwide reputation for explaining scientific principles in an understandable and light-hearted manner to everyone, especially school-age audiences. As a mechanical engineer, he is fascinated by how things work and now, in tandem with Chabot Space & Science Center has focused on the biggest engine that directly affects us all... the Earth.

After three years of preparation, a new permanent hands-on exhibit - Bill Nye's Climate Lab - will open soon featuring our home planet and how its human inhabitants can influence climate change and discover clean energy opportunities and solutions. Climate Scout ID cards issued to visitors will track participation in exhibits and how well they accomplish goals to reduce energy consumption and find solutions to global warming. Registration allows visitors to continue their interactive experience at where challenges and solutions to create a healthy planet continue.

Introduction of the Climate Lab is the result of a mission change instituted by the venerable space and science center about five years ago; to educate and inspire students of all ages on the planet earth and the universe. "Today's most critical issue that we face is that of climate change," says Executive Director/CEO Alex Zwissler. The exhibit (and website) is designed to educate children about environmental science - what is known and problems that need solutions. Zwissler notes, "Our children are our future and in the vanguard of solutions that will be needed."

Board Member Dan Miller was instrumental in securing Bill Nye's participation in the Climate Lab effort and with support of funding agencies and scientific advisors including two Nobel Laureates, the idea has become a reality. Zwissler introduced the exhibit in a press preview as one that is exciting, captures the imagination and "tells the story of climate change through the lens of opportunity and innovation."

Nye enthusiastically endorses the Climate Lab explaining that it is designed to "show the evidence of climate change, how scientists have discovered it and get excited about what to do about it." It's also a lot of fun! Thirty stations are included in the Climate Lab with opportunities to modify exhibits as technology advances. Nye continues, "Although this is a 'deadly' serious concern for humanity, the Climate Lab has an optimistic character to it that promotes solutions."

Exhibitions Manager Tamara Schwarz says, "The major content themes were determined with our science advisors and organized in five major areas: air, land, water, transportation and the built environment." As an example of voluntary environmental impacts, Nye adds, "The single biggest transportation decision that you make in the U.S. is what vehicle you drive." He notes that the Climate Lab can help people focus on energy efficiency and change habits as well as find solutions to environmental challenges.

According to Swissler, the Climate Lab is a unique facility. "This is the first exhibit in the world [that we are aware of] that is focused on kids and climate change, seeking energy solutions." Nye adds, "The ability to quickly move information around the world combined with ideas from the Climate Lab [exhibit and internet site], will inspire our kids to - dare I say it - Change the World!"

Bill Nye's Climate Lab

Global Cool: A Gala Benefit for Planet Earth
Saturday, November 13

Climate Lab Opening Weekend
Saturday, Nov 20 & Sunday, Nov 21
Timed Ticketing: call or visit website

Chabot Space & Science Center
10000 Skyline Blvd., Oakland
(510) 336-7373

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