Imiloa Astronomy Center at U H Hilo

ʻImiloa honors Maunakea

The ʻImiloa Astronomy Center at UH Hilo opened in 2006 with a mission to honor Maunakea in all its dimensions, exploring science and culture as different facets of the same reality. ʻImiloa is arguably the only science center in the world founded for the explicit purpose of public education on contemporary science within the context of an indigenous culture. Few places are better suited to explore this interplay than Hawaiʻi, where world-class science exists among a rich and remarkable indigenous culture. ʻImiloa has attracted more than one million visitors to the center—85 percent of whom are local, including 120,000 K–12 schoolchildren through guided field trips and other educational programs. The center’s outreach efforts have reached more than 20,000 people throughout the world through programs delivered directly in schools and communities.

Two children watch as an instructor demonstrates a techniques using colored discs and a flash light

Educational outreach and opportunity

Providing the community and students of all ages opportunities to experience the wonders of astronomy is a top priority. OMKM and the Maunakea observatories organize events that reach more than 13,000 students and community members annually. UH Hilo astronomy students now have access to the Maunakea telescopes, an amazing opportunity unavailable to undergraduates elsewhere. And the new Maunakea Scholars program—a collaboration between the Department of Education, UH and Maunakea Observatories that began in 2015—provides Hawaiʻi’s high school students with the remarkable opportunity to engage in world-class science using the best resources in the world with the support of Hawaiʻi’s premiere astronomers and UH graduate students. As of the 2017–2018 school year, the program is already reaching approximately 200 local students in 13 Hawaiʻi high schools.

Last modified: September 24, 2018