2009 Annual Science Report

University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting  |  JUL 2008 – AUG 2009

EPO Activity: Molokai Workshop & School Visitations: Nov 2008

Project Progress

The existing partnership between UH NAI team and Na Pua No’eau Program on Molokai facilitates the logistics planning for this workshop. We use the classrooms and computer laboratory at Maui Community College Molokai Center that is administered by Na Pua No’eau. Since their computer teacher is our HI STAR program teacher, Weldon Wichman, this facilitates our accessibility to all available resources so we do not bring laptops anymore. Also, the Na Pua No’eau Molokai director, Makanani Cobb-Adams, helped us to recruit students for the workshop. Since the Molokai schools end at noon on Fridays, the workshop lasted for two full days. It began at 1 pm with a lecture on “Killer Asteroids” by UH Institute for Astronomy (IfA) astronomer Robert Jedicke. James D. Armstrong, Maui IfA astronomer, led the session on the Faulkes Telescope remote observing at this workshop. Observing the night sky with a star party is always part of our workshops. The students worked on an extremophile activity and got spectroscopy basics for astronomy. They investigated NASA missions by perusing the mission websites and gave reports on what they learned. We use these workshop to recruit students for our HI STAR summer program. School visitations are done in conjunction with the workshop for no additional cost since the staff is already on the island of Molokai. Dr. Jedicke gave a lecture to students at Molokai High School on Friday, Nov. 7, which was arranged by Weldon Wichman. UH NAI team EPO lead Mary Ann Kadooka gave an astrobiology lecture-demonstration to grades 7-8 students at Aka’ula School on Monday, Nov. 10, 2008. Both Jedicke and Armstrong used their own funds to pay for their expenses. Also, meals came from registration fees paid by students and teachers and donations. We try to leverage our NAI funds as much as possible for all of our NAI EPO events. This was our second Molokai astronomy/astrobiology workshop.