East Hawaii News

‘Imiloa Branches out with Planned Outreach

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A new educational endeavor is being launched by the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. Modern and Ancient way of Navigating our Universe, MANU ‘Imiloa, is a new mobile outreach program that will aim to share ‘Imiloa’s unique brand of culture-based science education across the island.

In fall 2015, MANU ‘Imiloa will be modeled after the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Worldwide Voyage and travel with staff members and implement an interactive curriculum. The program will explore the skills involved in non-instrument ocean navigation.

“As we prepare to celebrate ‘Imiloa’s second decade in 2016, we expect this new initiative to dramatically expand the programs offered at our Hilo center, making science accessible and culturally relevant to new audiences across our island and our state,” says ‘Imiloa Executive Director Kaʻiu Kimura.

Two types of outreach will be conducted through the MANU ‘Imiloa program: Non-instrument Orientation, an Introduction to Oceanic Wayfinding, NOIO; and Keeping Our Legacy of Exploration Alive, KOLEA.


NOIO can be explored by K-12 schools, community centers, or even as part of local events in 30-60 minute packages. A model of the Hawaiian Star Compass and ‘Imiloa’s digital portable planetarium are just two features of the NOIO offering.

KOLEA is a two week, or more, package that is tailored toward middle school teachers for adaptation into seventh and eighth grade science or math classes. “The Geometry of Wayfinding” explores the geometry and science that undergrid traditional Polynesian non-instrumental navigation. Participants in this offering would use Moenaha, which is a culture-based curriculum design and instruction model that aligns with Common Core State Math Standards, Na Honua Mauli Ola Cultural Guidelines for Learners, and Next Generation Science Standards.

“‘The Geometry of Wayfinding’ explores real-life math applications, showing students how wayfinders utilize their knowledge of angel degrees and angle pair relationships in the Hawaiian Star Compass to organize the horizon, calibrate and properly orient themselves to their surrounding environment and to determine position,” said Celeste Ha’o, ‘Imiloa’s outreach coordinator and a recent apprentice navigator aboard Hokule’a.


A grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has made the development of curriculum, materials, and a pilot program of the new mobile outreach program possible. In addition, the Moore Foundation grant funded ‘Imiloa’s purchase of a digital portable planetarium and will enable ‘Imiloa to acquire a customized vehicle to use in outreach.

To learn more about the ‘Imiloa outreach programs and their costs, visit the outreach page on ‘Imiloa’s website, e-mail [email protected], or call 969-9721.

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