Thank you letter from Janice Harvey, Gemini Observatory
Aloha to all of our Journey partners!
As Journey through the Universe 2012 came to a close, we all realized the impact that this science education outreach program has had on our community. This year our 72 astronomers/astronomy educators engaged over 8,000 students in 380+ classrooms at 20 schools in the Hilo/Laupahoehoe/Waiakea District. For the past eight years our astronomers were able to express their passion and excitement for science, engineering, and education and share this enthusiasm with their students.
The Journey through the Universe program not only nurtures our students’ innate curiosity, but also provides workshops for our teachers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and an opportunity for our community members to visit the classrooms alongside our astronomers. Family Science Events, held at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center as well as the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo are attended and enjoyed by thousands.
Our community partners, the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry have hosted a celebratory event at the Yacht Club for the past several years. The chambers’ thank you celebration provides a unique opportunity for astronomers, educators, and the business community to discuss and share what is our common goal – to enrich science education in our schools and inspire our children to aim high.
District Superintendent Valerie Takata elaborates, “Our Hilo /Laupahoehoe/Waiakea complex area schools’ stellar partnership with the business organizations and community is Journey to the Universe: STEM initiative. As a part of the educational system our complex area is overwhelmed with appreciation for the enthusiasm and energy this initiative has generated for our schools[…], students, teachers and administrators and families. This concerted effort has made this grassroots program a sustaining reality[…] for the past eight years. As we work toward our vision for students to be career and college ready when they graduate, this reality becomes more powerful and impactful when support and involvement is in sync. We thank our community partners for caring so deeply for our students.”
In addition to the numerous distinguished guests and lecturers at Journey 2012, Jeff Goldstein, Journeys’ visionary who started the national program over a decade ago participated in the activities by lecturing, leading a conference for local teachers in STEM education and providing inspiration for moving the program in new directions in coming years.
Everyone involved in the Journey through the Universe program would sincerely like to thank each and every one of you. An education program of this magnitude could not happen without our community support.
You are all – truly – our shining stars!
We humbly thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Journey Team Leader