Students Have First-Time Experience on MaunakeaApril 17, 2018, 8:45 AM HST (Updated April 17, 2018, 8:54 AM)
Astronomy students from the Kohala High School and Maunakea Scholars from Kapolei High School experienced an unexpected treat on their trip to the summit of Maunakea on Friday, April 13, 2018.
When the group arrived at the summit the weather was overcast.
“As we left the summit, snow began to fall,” said Mary Beth Laychak, outreach manager at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. “For many of the students, it was the first time they had ever seen snow, let alone falling snow. We pulled over so the students could stand in the snow. There is a special magic in seeing students experience snow for the first time.”
“My students agreed that visiting the summit and seeing snow qualifies as one of the greatest days of their lives,” said Naidah Gamrot, Kapolei High School teacher. “The experience was amazing and I’m so appreciative for the opportunity for our kids.”
In addition to the snow, the students visited the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and the East Asian Observatory. Three of the Kapolei students will be using another Maunakea Observatory, the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, to conduct their own observations later this school year.
About the Maunakea Observatories
The Maunakea Observatories are a collaboration of independent institutions with telescopes located on Maunakea on the island of Hawai‘i. Together, the observatories make Maunakea the most scientifically productive site for astronomy worldwide. The Maunakea Observatories include Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, Gemini International Observatory, James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (EAO), NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, Subaru Telescope, Submillimeter Array, United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, University of Hawaii Hilo Educational Telescope, University of Hawaii 2.2 Meter Telescope, Very Long Baseline Array, W. M. Keck Observatory (Keck I and Keck II).