Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sesame's Big Bird in Chinese planetarium for astronomy movie's premiere

The Big Bird from the famed TV series Sesame Street walked into Beijing Planetarium for the global premiere of astronomy movie "One wold, One Sky" here on Friday.

The movie is the first astronomy movie for small children on the Chinese mainland, said Meng Xing, deputy director of Science and Technology Innovation Activities Center for Chinese Children and Youth under the China Association for Science and Technology.

"It is a big move for Beijing Planetarium which has always aimed for older youths and adults in the past," Zhu Jin, Planetarium president.

After seven years of continuous efforts, the 24-minute-long full-dome, produced for kids aged between four to six by four non-governmental organizations and institutions from China and America, including Sesame Street, Beijing Planetarium, Chicago's Adler Planetarium and New Jersey's Liberty Science Center, finally showed in the full-dome cinema in Beijing Planetarium.

Children from Beijing Wenxing Primary School were invited to the first show.

"This is the first time I have seen such an interesting movie on astronomy. The Big Bird told me a lot of new stuff I've never heard about," said eight-year-old Yang Yipeng.

"I want to get on the moon," said nine-year-old Cao Hanzhe.

"The more interesting the movie is, the more engaged the kids will be. And the more active they are, the more inspired they will be," said Daniel Victor, executive Vice President of the Sesame Street.

Victor said the non-profit Sesame Street was experienced on working for Chinese children as it started cooperation with Chinese TV stations in 1988. The Big Bird had taught Chinese children science, maths and English language.

"Just as American and Russian children were deeply influenced by the early space exploration of the two countries, the launch of the Shenzhou spacecraft must impact a lot on Chinese children of this generation," Victor said.

He thought the scientific education should reach the kids as early as possible. "One small positive activity may inspire them and influence their whole life," he said.

The movie will be shown for the first time in America at the Adler Planetarium on October 15 in English and later in both English and Spanish across the world, and in mandarin in China.

Source: Xinhua

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