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Students to Travel ‘Through the Universe’ During March Program

Posted February 26, 2016, 10:40 AM HST
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Gemini Observatory photo.

Gemini Observatory photo.

Gemini Observatory’s Journey through the Universe will bring together 83 astronomers, engineers, and astronomy educators, who will make hundreds of classroom visits between March 7-11.

“STEM initiatives like the Journey program are crucial to developing students’ knowledge and interest about the universe,” said Brad Bennett, the Hawai’i Department of Education Hilo-Waiakea complex area superintendent. “We are proud of the partnership that has been established with our scientific community and look forward to working together in the future to see how we can leverage the current program into one that engages our students throughout the school year.”

The program is in its 12th year within local schools and will feature a new addition this year, a “stellar tour” of Gemini’s StarLab portable planetarium, which will be taken to kindergarten and first grade classrooms. The planetarium will help student learn about the solar system, constellations, and Hawaiian navigational star lines and legends.

In addition to the classroom visits, Journey through the Universe events include an opening ceremony at the Hilo Yacht Club, organized by the Hawai’i Island Chamber of Commerce and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, observation of the partial solar eclipse on March 8 in Waikoloa, a talk with NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute’s Brian Day, and building Galileoscopes with NOAO’s Robert Sparks and Peter Michaud of Gemini Observatory.

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“My vision for this program is to inspire local students to aim for the stars,” said Janice Harvey from Gemini’s PIO department, who is also Journey’s program’s coordinator. “This is a grassroots program that I’m very passionate about, because it gives Hawai’i students the chance to explore STEM careers as a viable choice for their future.”

To learn more about the Journey through the Universe program, visit the Gemini website.

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