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Fifth Annual AstroDay

AstroDay 2006

The NASA IRTF booth at AstroDay, with astronomer Bobby Bus in the foreground and electronics engineer Ed Sousa (right). Photo by Gary Fujihara.

Despite a very heavy rain and several competing events, the Fifth Annual AstroDay Festival attracted 10,000 people to Prince Kuhio Mall in Hilo. There were 43 exhibitors and vendors, including several scholastic robotics teams that displayed and demonstrated their work, and over $6,500 in donated prizes and sponsorships from individuals and local and national organizations.

The event opened with an oli (chant) and pule (blessing) by Kimo Pihana, Leilehua Yuen, Koa Ell, and Paul Coleman, and the singing of "Hawaii Aloha" and an a cappella rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner" by teen singing sensation Divina Maria Medeiros. There were various activities throughout the day. Astronomers based on the Big Island talked about their work on Mauna Kea, and representatives from the new `Imiloa Astronomy Center explained what the museum has to offer to the local and global communities. Science teacher Dale "Science is Fun" Olive of Waiakea High School received the AstroDay Excellence in Teaching award. Grammy award winning musicians George and Keoki Kahumoku entertained the crowd with their mellow brand of Hawaiian slack key guitar. There were Starlab planetarium shows, liquid nitrogen demonstrations, an infrared portrait studio, a Mauna Kea Exploration Rover, and a Kids Corner.

Three amateur astronomy clubs, the Hilo Astronomy Club, West Hawaii Astronomy Club, and the Haleakala Amateur Astronomers from Maui, participated, but the planned evening stargazing at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station was rained out.

More AstroDay highlights
Hilo outreach page