The children explored the water cycle, Poli‘ahu and snow on Maunakea, tracing weather patterns and hurricanes on “Science on a Sphere,” and learned about the challenges of packing water for a long-distance sail on Hōkūle‘a.
‘Imiloa Astronomy Center recently hosted several dozen Hilo-area keiki for a day of “mauka immersion.” The visit to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo outreach center was part of a six-week summer program sponsored by the County of Hawai‘i called ‘Ike Kai that focuses on ocean related STEM activities.
Fifty-two children, ranging in age from five to 13, took part in guided activities throughout the center’s exhibit hall. Participants explored the water cycle, Poli‘ahu and snow on Maunakea, tracing weather patterns and hurricanes on “Science on a Sphere,” and learned about the challenges of packing water for a long-distance sail on Hōkūle‘a.
In ‘Imiloa’s CYBER-Canoe (the acronym stands for Cyber Enabled Collaboration Analysis Navigation and Observation Environment, a multi-screen display technology) the children identified constellations used in oceanic navigation and viewed projections of geological changes in island land mass. They also watched a presentation on black holes in ‘Imiloa’s planetarium.
The visit to ‘Imiloa was designed to complement the county’s ‘Ike Kai program, which focuses on exposing local youngsters to ocean science. The children participate in daily sessions of morning work (e.g., restoring tidepools, monitoring turtle cleaning stations, learning ocean safety and marine science) and afternoon play at the ocean. At the heart of this ocean awareness program is time spent learning to sail and maintain Keaukaha’s traditional sailing canoe, Kiakahi, under the direction of its captain and ‘Ike Kai Director Kalani Kahalioumi.
“The majority of our kids live and go to school next to the ocean in Keaukaha, so it was great to be able to expose them to ‘Imiloa’s impressive exhibits on the Big Island’s contrasting climate zones, the sky above and universe beyond,” says Kahalioumi.
The visit was funded through the Ilima Pi‘ianai‘a Endowment.
Read full story at UH System News.