students looking at computer sitting a a table

Hawaiʻi Island Maunakea Scholars from Waiākea and Honokaʻa High Schools have the opportunity to earn dual credit at the University of Hawaiʻi this semester.

A first-of-its-kind partnership between the Maunakea Scholars program and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Mānoa Academy is providing high school students with real-life STEM learning experiences beyond the classroom with the most scientifically productive telescopes in the world.

Pairing collegiate-level learning with research opportunities for high school students, this partnership creates dual-credit pathways from high school to college for students.

The partnership will provide students at two Hawaiʻi Island public high schools with an opportunity to earn college credit in an entry-level astronomy class.

“We are thrilled to partner with Maunakea Scholars and have enjoyed the process of developing an online pilot to serve students at Waiākea and Honokaʻa High Schools,” said Wendi Vincent, Mānoa Academy director. “We look forward to expanding this pilot in future semesters and advancing academy offerings statewide.”

The pilot program launched in the spring 2019 semester.

“Our mission is to prepare Hawaiʻi’s youth for their future beyond graduation by offering authentic learning opportunities,” said Mary Beth Laychak, Canada-France-Hawaiʻi Telescope outreach program manager. “We’re cultivating student scientists who will become the next generation of local engineers, technicians and astronomers who will operate and perform research with the Maunakea Observatories in the years to come.”

The Maunakea Scholars program is a partnership with the University of Hawaiʻi, Maunakea Observatories and the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education. The program allows chosen high school students observation work time with the telescopes that astronomers from around the world covet.

Mānoa Academy, which is administered through the College of Social Sciences at UH Mānoa, allows eligible high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take college-level courses and earn both college and high school credits simultaneously. Accepted Mānoa Academy students receive provisional admission to UH Mānoa.

Download the news release more about the new program.