Hilo Imiloa Astronomy Center

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has an exciting new benefit for its students—for the very first time, the university’s ʻImiloa Astronomy Center is offering a complimentary individual membership to every student with a valid I.D. who is registered for the 2016–2017 academic year.

“Very few universities can boast an on-campus resource like the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, which showcases Mauna Kea and its cultural and scientific value, especially way-finding and astronomy,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “We greatly appreciate this gesture and encourage all of our students to take advantage of the benefits ʻImiloa has to offer throughout the academic year.”

ʻImiloa is located on the upper campus and housed in a striking titanium-clad conical structure. The center is open to the public six days a week (Tuesday–Sunday). Student members will be able to enjoy four free daily shows in the full-dome planetarium, full access to the interactive exhibit hall, plus discounts on special events and purchases at ʻImiloa’s award-winning Sky Garden Restaurant and onsite store.

ʻImiloa membership shares Hawaiian culture and science

For astronomy majors Shelby Wood and Micah English, an ʻImiloa membership is something they’ll make extensive use of.

“I’m from New Mexico, and have never been to ʻImiloa, so I appreciate the opportunity to check it out,” Wood said. “I think it’s really great that they are doing this, because I have been to the planetarium and it was really cool,” English added.

Hawaiian studies major Kehaulani Esteban sees ʻImiloa as a valuable resource for learning more about the Hawaiian culture. “I’m really looking forward to the Mauna Kea show because we get to learn about how the Hawaiian Islands were created,” Esteban said.

ʻImiloa Executive Director Kaʻiu Kimura sees the memberships as an effective avenue for advancing ʻImiloa’s mission to inspire exploration through the sharing of Hawaiian culture and science.

“One of the goals ʻImiloa has set for our second decade is to take our programming across the island, the state and beyond. At the same time, however, we are committed to amplifying our impact here at home,” Kimura said. “What better way to inspire the next generation than to deepen our ties to UH Hilo and the community of students at our doorstep?”

How students get their free membership

UH Hilo students can activate their free membership by visiting ʻImiloa’s website.

—By Alyson Kakugawa-Leong