Institute for Astronomy Home
IFA Home Page   |    Search   |    Other Editions    No. 14 - Winter 2005 
  All Articles  


Hilo Journeys through the Universe

Elizabeth Miller, Challenger Center science education specialist, spoke to fifth and sixth graders at Haaheo Elementary School about our solar system. The Challenger Center was founded by the families of the astronauts who died when the Challenger space shuttle exploded. The national program is funded by grants from NASA's Minority University Research and Education Program and Office of Space Science. Photo by Gary Fujihara.

Students and families in East Hawaii went on a "Journey through the Universe" January 21–28. The Challenger Center for Space Science Education selected East Hawaii as one of the 14 national sites for this program, which uses the excitement generated by human space flight, and the Earth and space sciences to encourage sustained science, math, and technology education.

The Challenger Center sent their National Team of six researchers to run the annual Journey Week. They trained local astronomers in outreach techniques, and they gave a curriculum workshop for 120 K–12 public school teachers. The researchers also made over 100 classroom presentations. Three large "family science" events included science presentations and interactive exhibits and booths that encouraged shared learning for families.

The Hawaii State Department of Education, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and the Keck and Gemini observatories collaborated on the proposal that brought the five-year program to Hawaii, and a team of Hawaii educators and astronomers provides local support for the program.

For more information about the program, visit the Journey through the Universe Web site.