Journey Through the Universe 2023

The 19th annual Journey Through the Universe (JTTU) program was held February 27th – March 3rd, 2023 on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. Throughout the week, astronomy educators visited K-12 classrooms in the Hilo-Waiakea complex area to promote science education and inspire students to explore STEM fields. Coordinated by the staff of the international Gemini Observatory, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, in partnership with the Department of Education, JTTU reaches thousands of students each year. East Asian Observatory staff were thrilled to participate again this year and had a great time connecting with the kids in our local community. Looking forward to what next year’s 20th Anniversary program has in store!

Haʻaheo Family STEAM Night

On February 22nd, 2023 – Telescope System and Outreach Program Specialist, Callie Matulonis, got to share her enthusiasm and knowledge with over 75 students, teachers, and their family members at the Ha’aheo Elementary School’s Family STEAM night. Accompanied by former JCMT Extended Operator, Cameron Wipper, who is now an Astronomy Technical Specialist at the Canada France Hawaii Telescope – the dynamic duo presented a night filled with activities and a talk story session that ended with a cooler full of fresh snow delivered from the summit of Maunakea.

The crowded cafeteria was thrilled to hear that an alumni of Ha’aheo Elementary School, Ed Sison, has been working at JCMT as a Mechanical Technician for more than 20 years.

Ha’aheo is a small school that was established in 1888 in north Hilo.

Maunakea Wonders Teacher Workshop 2022 – A Success!

The Maunakea Wonders Teacher Workshop classroom visit on October 28th included students in the UH Hilo Master’s in Teaching program with presenters Yuko Kakazu, Leinani Lozi, and Callie Matulonis.

The 2022 Maunakea Wonders Teacher Workshop took place on October 28th and November 4th adding success to a collaboration with the University of Hawaiʻi that has reached more than 100 participants since it began in 2017.

On October 28th, guest speakers Callie Matulonis (EAO/JCMT), Leinani Lozi (TMT), and Yuko Kakazu (NAOJ) provided enthusiastic and engaging presentations to 14 soon-to-be teachers at UH Hilo in the Master’s in Teaching Program. Presentations included “An Introduction to Maunakea Wonders, MKAOC Opportunities, and Hawaii Discovers Science Highlights”, “Hawaiian Navigational Starlines and Moon Phases”, and “Hands-On Engaging Astronomy Activities.”

On November 4th, participants were treated to a private planetarium show at the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center before visiting the East Asian Observatory headquarters. At EAO, participants split into two groups and visited stations set up to learn about our JCMT Remote Operations Control Room with Telescope System Specialist Jasmin Silva (EAO/JCMT), and also shown the Fast Radio Burst Dish with Derek Kubo (SMA). Afterwards, we had an informal career-panel talk story session with EAO staff from all departments over pizza!

We look forward to our future collaborations with UH Hilo and hope that these soon-to-be teachers reach out to us as a resource throughout their teaching careers.

2022 Maunakea Wonders participants at the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center.

Touring the JCMT Remote Operations Control Room with TSS Jasmin Silva.

Learning about the FRB Dish with Derek Kubo.