The ʻImiloa Astronomy Center has launched a free online program to help keep ʻohana engaged during the statewide stay-at-home order. ʻImiloa@Home is a new educational resource that features hands-on activities and videos about native plants/species, Hawaiian navigation and astronomy.

“It’s important for us to continue to put out these kinds of resources to keep our minds stimulated and to keep our minds focused on things outside of the current situation,” said Kaʻiu Kimura, executive director at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center. “I think it is really important for us even more so now than ever to perhaps connect with our natural and native environment that’s so unique here in Hawaiʻi.”

space show playing in theatre
After ʻImiloa temporarily closed its doors the center created a free online education program focused on Hawaiian culture and science.

The program includes keiki friendly craft projects like creating a Nā Pō Mahina or Hawaiian moon calendar and building a Pulelehua Kamehameha Butterfly life cycle carousel. ʻImiloa staff have also posted mini-presentations about Hawaiʻi’s constellations. The center’s mission is to educate the public on parallels between Hawaiian culture and western science.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, ʻImiloa closed its doors through April. Each year about 100,000 people visit the 40,000-square-foot exhibition and planetarium complex above the UH Hilo campus.

—By Moanikeʻala Nabarro

father and son working on a science project
A Hawaiʻi Island ʻohana works on putting together a Hawaiian moon phase dial.