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Journey Through the Universe 2022 - 28 February to 4 March 2022 - Screenshots of TMT scientists and staff giving science presentations to classes from kindergarten to grade 12. Image credit: TMT International Observatory

TMT Participates in Journey Through the Universe 2022 on Hawaiʻi Island

Journey Through the Universe (Journey), one of the leading astronomy education and outreach programs on Hawaiʻi Island, recently brought together students and teachers with astronomers, engineers and STEM professionals.

Celebrating its 18th anniversary, the annual outreach program, led by Gemini and NSF’s NOIRLab, featured a full week (February 28 to March 4) of virtual live classroom presentations and career panel discussions. A large group of “astronomy educators” joined this year's event to offer different ways for students throughout the State of Hawaiʻi to learn about astronomy, exciting discoveries about the universe and STEM professions. TMT was delighted to participate again this year, together with about 80 volunteer educators and dedicated staff from the Maunakea Observatories. Among the TMT team were:

  • Saeko Hayashi, who showed the many similarities we can find between the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, the Moon and Mars, in a presentation titled “You are Martians”.
  • Tomonori Usuda, who shared his passion and knowledge on robotics devices that allow an efficient and safe exchange of heavy instruments and optics on large telescopes.
  • Ravinder Bhatia, who brought children on an interactive journey flying to the Earth Space Station, then deploying landers to Mars and Europa, a satellite of Jupiter. Children could look for alien’s life on Mars' surface and under Europa’s ocean and appreciate how amazing our planet Earth is, while learning about other places in our solar system that could harbor life.
  • Fengchuan Liu, who also shared the amazements of universe exploration and explained how TMT and other future world-class facilities will open new frontiers in nearly all areas of astrophysics to make stunning discoveries.

TMT is looking forward to increasing partnership opportunities with Journey for future years.

Below are movies of Yuko Kakazu and Leinani Lozi talking about their involvement in Journey over the years:

Meet Leinani Lozi, Hawaiʻi Community Outreach Specialist at TMT - Mars 2022 - Hilo, HI - Leinani who recently joined TMT-Hilo team speaks about Journey Through The Universe. She discusses what the Journey program is, why it's important and what her involvement has been over the years. Video courtesy: TMT International Observatory


Meet Yuko Kakazu, Japanese Astronomer and Outreach Specialist at Subaru telescope and TMT-Hilo team, Mars 2022 - Hilo, HI - Yuko Kakazu presents her work in public outreach and education activities on Hawaiʻi Island - Video Courtesy: TMT International Observatory

Journey 2022 was a powerful and inspiring event. For the first time, and thanks to a collaboration between the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education, the NSF’s NOIRLab and local community partners, a new cultural and educational exchange was facilitated between classrooms in Hilo (Hawaiʻi), La Serena (Chile) and Tucson (Arizona), which are NOIRLab center host cities. The classrooms engaged in this live project could share traditional songs, dances and customs, and children could ask questions, with translation support, about the differences between schools, daily-life and environments over three continents.

The 2022 event also highlighted the strong partnership across the entire Hawaiʻi community, including the Department of Education, the astronomy community, and the local business community, as stakeholders of the program. To honor all presenters, a virtual “Journey Welcome Reception” was co-hosted on the first evening by the Hawaiʻi Island Chamber of Commerce and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaiʻi. “Journey brings a twinkle to the minds of our keiki. It inspires students to explore the world and see a future on the islands,” are some of the inspiring words said during the Welcome Reception. “It gives kids an opportunity to understand the complexity of a constantly changing world and how astronomy can help in the process.”

Links for more information on the program:


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