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Hands-on engagement for kids and families at Oakland’s Chabot Space + Science Center

NASA space suits at Chabot.jpeg
Tom Wilmer
NASA space suits on display at Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California.

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer at the Chabot Space & Science Center tucked in a redwood forest just minutes from downtown Oakland.

Executive Director, Adam Tobin takes us on a tour where he shares insights about the Center’s partnership with NASA and its ongoing programs specifically tailored for school groups and families.

We’ll also visit with astronomer, Gerald McKeegan at the Chabot observatory complex.

Adam Tobin (left) Gerald McKeegan at Chabot .jpeg
Tom Wilmer
Adam Tobin (left) with astronomer Gerald McKeegan at Chabot Space & Science Center's observatory.

Chabot Space & Science Center’s mission is to inspire and educate learners of all ages about the Universe and Planet Earth.

In 2021, Chabot opened The NASA Experience, a NASA Ames Visitor Center, featuring hands on activities and NASA AMES artifacts that highlight current Ames’ research and space missions.

Adam Tobin with space capsule at Chabot space & Science Center.jpeg
Tom Wilmer
Adam Tobin, Executive Director at Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, California.

The research-level observatory complex features three large-scale telescopes and is the largest observatory complex free for public viewing in the Western United States.

The telescope domes house 8-inch (Leah, 1883) and 20-inch telescope (Rachel, 1916) refracting telescopes, along with a 36-inch reflecting telescope (Nellie, 2003).

The 20-inch telescope was used to relay information to NASA during the Apollo 13 descent. The 36-inch telescope is actively used for Near Earth Object research.

Founded in 1883 as an astronomical observatory, Chabot is located on 13 trail-laced acres in Oakland’s Redwood Regional Park within the largest stand of coastal redwoods in the East Bay.

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Tom Wilmer produces on-air content for Issues & Ideas airing over KCBX and is producer and host of the six-time Lowell Thomas award-winning NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Recorded live on-location across America and around the world, the podcasts feature the arts, culture, music, nature, history, science, wine & spirits, brewpubs, and the culinary arts--everything from baseball to exploring South Pacific atolls to interviewing the real Santa Claus in the Arctic.