Chabot Space & Science Center is a non-profit organization and community resource located on 13 acres in Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, in the middle of the largest coastal redwood stand in the East Bay. Chabot features a 241-seat full dome planetary, interactive and hands-on exhibits, space artifacts, a giant screen theater, a Challenger Learning Center, and the only regularly available research-level telescopes for weekly live viewing in the Western United States. Chabot's mission is to inspire and educate learners of all ages about the Universe and the Earth.
The institution began as the Oakland Observatory in 1883 with a donation from Anthony Chabot to the City of Oakland. The original Oakland Observatory was located near downtown Oakland and provided a public viewing telescope for the community. It has also served as an official timekeeping station for the entire Bay Area for decades, measuring time with its transit telescope.
The observatory moved to its location on the Mountain Boulevard in 1915 due to increasing light pollution and urban congestion. The facility was significantly expanded in the mid-1960s. Throughout this time, the Chabot Science Center, as it was renamed, was staffed mainly by Oakland Unified School District staff and volunteers. In 1977, seismic safety concerns put an end to the access of public school students to the original observatory. The observatory building remained open to the general public, but school activities were limited to the outlying classroom and planetary buildings.
Recognizing the need to restore full access to the facility, either by repair or relocation, Chabot Observatory & Science Center was established in 1989 as a Joint Powers Agency with the City of Oakland, the Unified School District of Oakland, and the East Bay Regional Park District, in collaboration with the Eastbay Astronomical Society, and was recognized as a non-profit organization in 1992. The project was led by Dr. Michael D. Reynolds, Executive Director and CEO of Chabot, in October 1996 with the construction of the new 88,000-square-foot (8,200 m2) Science Center starting in May 1998.
In January 2000, anticipating the opening of the new facility, the organization changed its name from the Chabot Observatory & Science Center to the Chabot Space & Science Centre. The new name was chosen to better convey the organization's focus on astronomy and space science, while communicating both the broad range and the technologically advanced nature of the programs available at the new Science Center.
Opened on August 19, 2000, the Chabot Space & Science Center is an 80,000-square-foot (8,000 m2) state-of-the-art science and technology education facility on a 13-acre (53,000 m2) site on the hills of Oakland , California. Formerly a member of the Smithsonian Affiliations Program, the museum is no longer an affiliate.
The Galaxy Explorers program for high school students at Chabot Space & Science Center offers hands-on, fun, community service work. Explorers are performing live public science demonstrations and explaining interactive exhibits. The assignments take place on weekends , holidays and holidays. Galaxy Explorers also delivers exciting outreach programs at schools , community centers and festivals. The Champions of Science after-school program for middle school students serves underserved OUSD youth. Students study different science topics both inside and outside the classroom.
Chabot has a completely new way to go with an overnight experience. We offer two overnight programs: the Odyssey Overnight for Scouts and Youth Groups and the Sleeping Stars for Family and Adult audiences. You'll enjoy fun hands-on educational programs, interactive exhibits, planetary shows and stargazing through our historic telescopes. Your overnight stay includes dinner, breakfast and indoor and outdoor sleeping options. We have programs for scouts, youth groups , schools, private / corporate and public family and adult audiences.
Apart from its telescopes, it contains two planetaries: a "full dome digital projection system" with various shows running every day, and a Zeiss Universarium fiber optic projector with weekly shows. The Tien MegaDome Theater, a 70-foot (21 m) dome screen auditorium featuring various IMAX-like shows.
The Challenger Learning Center, a hands-on simulated space mission environment in which 8 teams work together to complete a mission.
Many changing exhibitions, full of hands-on displays that highlight space and science themes. As of August 18, 2006, there are nine exhibitions open.
This amazing landmark is located near the following amazing must-see sites in Oakland, California:
- Angel Island
- Tilden Regional Park
- Oakland Zoo
- Lake Merritt
- Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park
- Children’s Fairyland
- The University of California Botanical Garden
- USS Hornet - Sea, Air and Space Museum
All of these wonderful points of interest are located just a short distance from our location, conveniently located just down the freeway at 1261 Locust St, Walnut Creek! Stop by for a visit anytime!