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Oct 10 16

Wayfinding Talk at ‘Imiloa with ‘Uncle Ray’ Bumatay

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa Wayfinding Talk
Presenter: Ray Bumatay
Date: Fri. Oct. 14
Time: 7:00pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply)

Canoe carving is a family tradition that has been passed down for many generations in Hilo’s own Bumatay family. Ray Bumatay, a multi-generational canoe carver, will share his lifetime of experience centered around the building and racing of Hawaiian canoes. His lifelong passion has been instilled in his children, who today, continue to teach and engage local students in the canoe culture of Hawai‘i, preparing these youth for success in life by instilling confidence and positive reinforcement. Ray Bumatay has been a significant leader in Hawai‘i, acclaimed for his knowledge and efforts to keep Hawai‘i’s canoe carving culture vibrant and strong –- and to ensure that future generations continue to practice this art. Come and learn from his experiences as “Uncle Ray” presents ‘Imiloa’s Wayfinding Talk this Friday, October 14, at 7pm.

General admission tickets are $10; $8 for UHH/HawCC Student, Kupuna, Individual, Dual, and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members. Pre-purchase tickets at the ‘Imiloa front desk or by phone at (808) 932-8901.

Sep 30 16

Scientific and Engineering Challenges of the Thirty Meter Telescope: A Perspective from Japan

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa Presents Dr. Masanori Iye, TMT-Japan Representative
Date: Fri. Oct. 21
Time: 7pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members

While initially planned by institutions in North America, the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has grown into an ambitious multinational partnership involving institutes from Japan, China, India, in addition to the U.S. and Canada. The public is invited to learn more about the Japanese perspective on TMT and the progress and challenges of building this next-generation instrument at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Maunakea Skies talk on October 21 at 7:00 p.m., presented by Dr. Masanori Iye, TMT-Japan Representative.

An artist’s rendering of the telescope at sunset — Courtesy of TMT International

Japan’s interest in the next generation telescope dates back to the completion of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan’s Subaru Telescope atop Maunakea in 1999, and Subaru’s subsequent campaign to look deep into the history of the Universe, using a unique wide field camera able to spot galaxies at 13 billion light years away. The success of this campaign—highlighted by the 2006 discovery of the most distant galaxy, IOK-1, which held the world record for five years — led to the enthusiastic support of Japan’s participation to TMT.


Building on the legacy of Subaru Telescope, Japan has assumed responsibility for designing and building the TMT structure, and providing 576 special glass blanks for the 30 meter primary mirror, with much of the work well underway in Japan. In his presentation, Dr. Iye will discuss in detail the engineering and innovation involved in the building of the TMT, along with the challenges involved. He will also touch on some discoveries the TMT is projected to identify by the late 2020’s. These future discoveries are expected to include the history of the early Universe, when the first stars and galaxies were formed, detailed studies of extrasolar planets and their formation process, and the nature of dark matter and dark energy.


Dr. Iye received his Doctorate of Science (Astronomy) at the University of Tokyo. He is now a Professor Emeritus of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, and currently serves as the Japan Representative of the TMT project. Among many awards, he is the winner of the Japan Academy Prize and the Imperial Medal with Purple Ribbon for Contributions to Astronomy. Professor Iye has been very active in supporting and expanding astronomy education in Japan, and was the director of 3 award-winning science video films.


Hosted by Planetarium Technician Emily Peavy, ‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies program includes observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, with the audience able to view prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year. Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. General admission tickets are $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply). Pre-purchase tickets at ‘Imiloa’s front desk or by phone at 808-932-8901.


Member Level Discounts: $8 for UHH/HawCC Student, Kupuna, Individual, Dual, and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members.

Sep 22 16

October is Wayfinding Month: A Celebration of an Ancient Art

by Brea Aamoth

For generations the starry heavens guided deep-sea voyagers from island to island across Oceania, pointing the direction to new landfalls and marking pathways to lead them home. This history of human exploration across Earth’s largest ocean is truly one of the world’s epic tales of human migration. Early voyagers constructed sophisticated seagoing canoes from available natural resources, then sailed across open ocean using the light of the stars and cues from nature as their guides. To celebrate centuries of non-instrument navigation, Mayor Billy Kenoi has officially proclaimed October as Wayfinding Month, to be dedicated to community activities centered around the theme of the wa‘a (canoe).

Preparation for the festivities began in mid September with the ceremonial cutting of an albizia tree for transfer to the shores of Hilo’s Bayfront. There, nā kālai wa‘a (canoe carvers) will begin the carving and creation of a wa‘a kaukahi (single-hulled canoe). The public is invited to watch the initial construction and transformation of the tree from a log to a canoe hull on Tuesday, October 4 – Thursday, October 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m at Hilo Bayfront. The community can continue to watch the construction of the wa‘a during ‘Wa’a Wednesdays’ taking place October 12, 19 and 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with an opportunity to talk story with some of the men and women who have been involved in the modern Hawaiian movement to perpetuate canoe carving. Following its completion and a community blessing, the wa‘a will launch into Hilo Bay waters on Friday, October 28 at 10:00 a.m.

Schools are urged to sign up their classes for field trip excursions to Hilo’s Bayfront throughout the month of October to observe the canoe building in action and learn about the art of wayfinding and canoe carving. To take advantage of this educational opportunity, schedule a field trip by calling Kalani Kahalioumi at the County of Hawai‘i Offices at 808-961-8688.

Culminating Wayfinding Month will be the 9th Annual ‘Imiloa Wayfinding Festival at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on Saturday, October 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This free community event will feature Hilo’s newest canoe built during Wayfinding Month, special planetarium programming and canoe activities for the entire ‘ohana.

Other Wayfinding activities throughout the month of October include Wa‘a Talks with members of ‘Ohana Wa‘a at Richardson’s Ocean Center on October 13 at 4:00 p.m. and a Wayfinding Talk at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on October 14 at 7:00 p.m. A Temple of Children Mele Mural activity will take place on October 22 from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Palekai, Radio Bay. After ‘Imiloa’s Wayfinding Festival, enjoy music at the Wayfinding Wahine Concert at Kohala Village HUB  Barn on Saturday, October 29 at 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. featuring the Holo Queens (Wahine Voyagers:) Kainani Kahaunaele, Mahina Paishon Duarte, Lee Ann Punua and Pelika Bertelmann.

Special thanks to the County of Hawai‘i and the Kohala Village Hub for making Wayfinding Month possible.


Sep 7 16

Deadline Extended for MANU ‘Imiloa: KŌLEA Teacher Training

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa is seeking educators to teach students about the rhythms and patterns of the earth, sea and sky through a unique wayfinding and navigation experience, MANU ‘Imiloa: KŌLEA.

Middle school math & science teachers interested in sharing real-life applications with their students still have time to apply to be part of the second cohort of MANU ‘Imiloa: KŌLEA, the newest outreach program of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. With local school schedules disrupted by recent hurricane activity, ‘Imiloa has extended the teacher application deadline to September 15.

KŌLEA (Keeping Our Legacy of Exploration Alive) offers participating schools a unique 2-3 week curriculum package designed specifically for 7th and 8th grade science or math classes.  Titled “He Manu He Waʻa, The Geometry of Wayfinding,” the curriculum is inspired by the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s epic Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, and brings to life the geometry, astronomy and other sciences that undergird traditional Polynesian non-instrumental navigation.

Ten lucky Hawai‘i Island teachers participated in the inaugural  KŌLEA cohort in 2015-2016.   Reflecting on the experience, one participant commented, “Many of my students feel disconnected from math and science, because it is so abstract and seems disconnected from their lives. For my students to succeed, what I teach needs to be meaningful to them, and needs to relate to their lives. MANU helps to give them the tools to make it far!”

The 2016-2017 KŌLEA program will be limited to 15 enthusiastic and passionate middle school teachers across Hawai‘i Island. To be eligible you must be a 7th or 8th grade science, astronomy, math or STEM Resource teacher, and attend a 4-day MANU ‘Imiloa Teacher Training Workshop to be held at ‘Imiloa from Monday, October 10 – Thursday, October 13, 2016. If you’re ready to embark with your students on a remarkable voyage without ever having to leave home, call 808-932-8910 or email

Sep 1 16

UKIRT: Recent Discoveries and Future Promise

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa Presents Dr. Richard Green, Director of UKIRT Observatory
Date: Fri. Sept. 16
Time: 7pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members

Photo Courtesy of UKIRT

Photo Courtesy of UKIRT

Among the observatories atop Maunakea, UKIRT Telescope utilizes a unique panoramic camera sensitive to infrared radiation which allows for an outpouring of scientific discoveries both close to Earth and far into the Universe. This will be the subject of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s next Maunakea Skies talk on September 16 at 7:00 p.m. presented by Dr. Richard Green, Director of UKIRT Observatory. Green will discuss the telescope’s use of infrared radiation and UKIRT’s promising plans for the future.

“I will talk about the latest results on the most distant galaxies, how the supermassive black holes that power quasars grow with time and how UKIRT helps find Earth-like planets in the habitable zones around nearby stars,” stated Green. “Not only will UKIRT continue to observe the most distant galaxies and quasars along with stars in our Galaxy, it will also be used to characterize objects right next door – orbital space debris and asteroids coming very near the Earth.”

In addition to directing the UKIRT Observatory, Green is also the Assistant Director for Government Relations of Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona. He graduated from Harvard College in 1971 before receiving his Ph.D. from CalTech. His major research interests are quasars, the early Universe and the nuclei of galaxies.


‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies program includes observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, hosted by Planetarium Technician ʻĀhia Dye. The audience can view prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year. Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. General admission tickets are $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply). Pre-purchase tickets at ‘Imiloa’s front desk or by phone at 808-932-8901.

Member Level Discounts: $8 for UHH/HawCC Student, Kupuna, Individual, Dual, and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members.

Aug 17 16

Free ‘Imiloa Membership for all UH Hilo and HCC Students

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa is excited to announce that we are offering FREE memberships to all registered UH Hilo students and all HCC students! This free membership includes unlimited regular daily shows in our full-dome planetarium, full access to our interactive exhibit hall and discounts to events. Members can also take advantage of discounts at Sky Garden Restaurant and in our Museum Store.

Whether you are majoring in a natural or social science, in one of the liberal arts, or in a professional program, you’re sure to find an exhibit, a 3-D planetarium show, or a program or event at ‘Imiloa to spark your interest!

Registered students can obtain their membership by visiting ‘Imiloa’s front desk (must show Student ID card).


Aug 16 16

September 2016 Museums Month

by Brea Aamoth

September marks the 10th annual Museums Month on Hawai’i Island. This month-long celebration provides members of museums across the island the opportunity to explore other institutions and experience history, science, culture, zoos, adventure and more. Museums Month benefits apply to members of participating institutions, who present a current membership card and proper ID.

Museums Month Participants:

Anna Ranch Heritage Center – Free admission. Hours: Tues. – Fri. 10am – 3pm with tours of the Historic Home at 10am and 1pm. Reservations are required for Historic Home Tour. To make a reservation please email: or call (808) 885-4426. Visit for further information.

Hawai’i Museum of Contemporary Art – Free admission. Hours: Wed. – Fri. 10am-6pm and Sat. 10am-4pm. Closed Sun. and Mon. Check website for current shows, classes and events. For more info call (808) 961-5711.

Hawai`i Plantation Museum – Free admission. Hours: Tues. – Sat. 10am – 3pm. Located at 27-246 Old Mamalahoa Hwy (in the former Yoshiyama Store). Visit Books and other retail items available. (808) 964-5151.

Hulihe`e Palace – Free admission to members – must show membership card; no discount in store. Museum Hours: Mon. – Sat. 9am – 4pm, Sun. 10am – 3pm; Gift Shop Hours Mon. – Sat. 9:30am – 4pm, Sun. 10am – 3pm. Closed on Holidays. For more info visit or call (808) 329-1877. September exhibit will feature selected Kona maps of Henry E.P. Kekahuna.

`Imiloa Astronomy Center – Free admission. Hours: Tues. – Sun. 9am – 5pm. We will be featuring our newest planetarium show, National Geographic’s Asteroid: Mission Extreme in 3D. Visit or call (808) 932-8901 for more info.

Kona Historical Society – Free admission. Kona Coffee Living History Farm: Hours: Mon. – Fri. 10am – 2pm. H.N. Greenwell Store Museum: Mon. & Thurs. 10 am -2pm. For more info call (808) 323-3222, or visit

Laupehoehoe Train Museum –  Free admission. Hours: Mon. – Fri. 10am – 2 pm and Sat. – Sun 10am – 2pm. Book tours in advanced by visiting Call 808-962-6300.

Lyman Museum and Mission House – Free admission. Hours: Mon. -Sat. 10am – 4:30pm. 10% discount in Museum Shop. Special Exhibit: John Howard Pierce Photography is included in admission. Mission House Tours 11am and 2pm (space is limited, please call in advance to reserve space) For more information call (808) 935-5021 or visit

NOAA’s Mokupāpapa Discovery Center – No admission charge, but museum members from participating museums can receive posters, map and coloring sheets available while supplies last; free group education/outreach activities available with reservation, link Hours: Tues. – Sat. 9am – 4pm. Phone: (808) 933-8180. For booking call 808-933-8195 or visit

Pacific Tsunami Museum – Free admission; no discount in store. Hours: Tues. – Sat. 10am -4pm. For more info call (808) 935-0926 or visit

Pana`ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens – No admission charge, but members of participating museums will receive a special gift at the Zoo Gift Shop! Hours: Daily, 9am – 4pm (808) 959-9233. or

Volcano Art Center – Located in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park near the Kīlaua Visitor Center, the gallery features both traditional and contemporary work that is inspired by Hawai’i’s unique environment and rich cultural heritage. Free admission. Members of participating museums receive a free poster at VAC’s gallery. Park entrance fees apply. Hours: Daily, 9am – 5pm (808) 967-7565 visit

Click here for Museums Month PDF


Aug 4 16

Astronomy at UH Hilo Today and Tomorrow – Maunakea Skies Talk with Dr. Marianne Takamiya

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa Presents Dr. Marianne Takamiya, Associate Professor of Astronomy and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UH Hilo. 
Date: Friday, August 19
Time: 7pm
Cost: $10, $8 for members

UH Hilo Astronomy majors will receive more hands-on telescope time than ever before, thanks to a recent agreement between the Institute for Astronomy at UH Manoa and the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy at UH Hilo. These fortunate students have a unique opportunity afforded to few other programs in the country, namely the opportunity to study the universe in the world’s largest observatories for optical, infrared and submillimeter astronomy, located on the 13,000-foot high summit of Maunakea. Join us to for an update on these and other developments in UH Hilo’s Astronomy Program, at ‘Imiloa’s Maunakea Skies talk on August 19 at 7:00 p.m. presented by Dr. Marianne Takamiya, Associate Professor of Astronomy and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UH Hilo. 

“I will present the latest results of the research of faculty and students in astronomy, how our academic program has developed in the last five years and what we envision for the future,” stated Takamiya. “UH Hilo has unique elements that can make ours a novel astronomy program that produces not only astronomers, but also skilled professionals who are able to work in complex systems.” 

Takamiya, who is an expert in physical properties of material between stars in distant galaxies, has presented throughout the United States, Chile, Japan, South Africa and Europe on research she has accomplished using the Maunakea telescopes while heavily involving undergraduate students. Takamiya is a graduate of Universidad de Chile and the University of Chicago, where she received her doctoral degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics. She was one of the first Gemini Science Fellows at Gemini North during its commissioning phase and held a postdoctoral position at UH Hilo before joining its faculty.  She currently serves as the chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Hilo campus.


‘Imiloa’s monthly Maunakea Skies program includes observational highlights of the current night sky over Hawai‘i, hosted by Planetarium Technician Emily Peavy. The audience can view prominent constellations and stars visible during this time of year. Maunakea Skies planetarium presentations are held on the third Friday of each month. General admission tickets are $10, $8 for members (member level discounts apply). Pre-purchase tickets at ‘Imiloa’s front desk or by phone at 808-932-8901.

Member Level Discounts: $8 for Kupuna, Individual, Dual, Kupuna and Family Members; $6 for Patron Members; Free for Silver, Gold, and Corporate Members.

Jul 21 16

National Geographic’s Asteroid: Mission Extreme Coming to ‘Imiloa in September

by Brea Aamoth

‘Imiloa Introduces Thrilling New Planetarium Show in September

‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is excited to announce the introduction of a thrilling new planetarium show, Asteroid: Mission Extreme in September. Presented by National Geographic, Asteroid: Mission Extreme immerses audiences in 3D, full-dome surround sound and takes them on an epic journey to discover how asteroids are both a danger and an opportunity. The danger lies in the possibility of a cataclysmic collision with Earth; the opportunity is the fascinating possibility that asteroids could be stepping-stones to other worlds – veritable way stations in space that could enable us to cross the Solar System.


As with any venture into outer space, the challenges involved with making this idea a reality are enormous; however, a mission this extreme could ultimately teach us how to protect our planet and successfully inhabit other worlds.


Asteroid: Mission Extreme will be presented at 2:00 p.m. daily in the ‘Imiloa Planetarium on Tuesday – Sunday throughout the month of September. Tickets will be available for purchase at ‘Imiloa’s front desk, or over the phone at 808-932-8901.


‘Imiloa members are invited to view this show early during a special Member Preview and appreciation night on August 25. Become a member today to participate in this special preview event. For more information on membership, email or call 808-932-8901.


Asteroid: Mission Extreme is produced by National Geographic and Sky-Skan, and narrated by Sigourney Weaver. This 25-minute show is suitable for general audiences and school groups.

Jun 30 16

‘Imiloa’s Debut on the East Coast: A Wrap Up

by Margaret Shiba

As we’ve been reporting, ‘Imiloa made its debut on a national stage in late May and early June! Following the itinerary on the East Coast of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s iconic sailing canoe, Hōkūle‘a, we sent an outreach team to Washington, D.C. and New York City for 18 days (May 26-June 12) to share ‘Imiloa’s unique brand of culture-based science programming with new audiences far from home.

Here are some statistics that show what we accomplished:

•   1,600 participants directly engaged in programming about Polynesian wayfinding, including training on the Hawaiian Star Compass and navigational starlines

•   Perspectives exchanged with 200 colleagues at various roundtables and invited gatherings, including the Indigenous Worldviews in Informal Science Education (IWISE) workshop hosted by ‘Imiloa in Washington, D.C.

•   Hundreds of others reached indirectly through distribution of our educational handout on The Art and Science of Oceanic Wayfinding” 

•   Collaborations launched with seven leading science centers and educational institutions, from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (in both Washington, DC and New York City) and the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum, to the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, the Hayden Planetarium, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Lower Eastside Girls Club.

‘Imiloa’s team was made up of Celeste Manuia Ha’o, Education Outreach Coordinator; Mino’aka Macanas, Fiscal Associate/Bookkeeper; and Margaret Shiba, Director of Institutional Advancement. The charge we received from ‘Imiloa Executive Director Ka’iu Kimura was (1) to offer programmatic support to the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s historic Worldwide Voyage, (2) to explore future collaboration between ‘Imiloa and peer science centers on the mainland, and (3) to facilitate professional development opportunities for ‘Imiloa staff with local counterparts.


Our East Coast trip gave us our first ever opportunity to test out some of the same curriculum and tools we use with our Hawai‘i-based MANU ‘Imiloa program with participants far from our shores! MANU ‘Imiloa is our new outreach program which uses the story of the Hōkūle‘a and the theme of Polynesian voyaging to teach science and math, while inspiring K-12 students to consider majors and careers in STEM disciplines.

What did we learn?

•   Just as ‘Imiloa uses wayfinding as a point of access for teaching science and math, other programs address similar goals through different frameworks.

Case in point: the impressive Billion Oyster Project at the Harbor School on NYC’s Governors Island challenges high school students to figure out how to restore a sustainable oyster population in New York Harbor and reconnect New Yorkers to the ocean!



•   ‘Imiloa may only be ten years old, but educators at much older and better established museums look to us for expertise when asking for advice on how to introduce authentic indigenous voices into their exhibits and programs!



•   Young people like the inner city students at NYC’s Lower Eastside Girls Club may not have many opportunities to see the live night sky up close and personal (though they do have an amazing in-house planetarium!), but the theme of navigation resonates deeply when they are invited to share stories of personal influences and career aspirations!




•   Seasoned museum educators can turn into kids when playing with creative exhibits like those at NYC’s amazing Museum of Mathematics!



•   At 425 seats, the imposing Hayden Planetarium is nearly four times larger than the ‘Imiloa dome, but inspired presenters like ‘Imiloa’s Celeste Ha’o and Kālepa Baybayan were not only able to ‘sell out’ the planetarium, they turned the space into an intimate living room with a live, interactive presentation on the Hawaiian night sky and wayfinding skills!




•   The zodiac constellations decorating the massive cathedral-like ceiling in Grand Central Terminal are laid out in a reverse image of the real night sky…perhaps intended to be viewed from a divine, rather than a human, perspective!






•   And of course we also learned that downtime in New York City was the perfect opportunity to taste a pastrami sandwich at Katz’s Deli, enjoy brunch at Sarabeth’s, or take in views from the top of the Empire State Building!

Empire State

Many thanks to everyone who helped make this success possible, including the Ama OluKai Foundation which provided financial support to partially underwrite our trip,  the science centers which opened their space, shared their equipment, and collaborated with us, and our partners at the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Hālāwai. Thanks also to the farflung ‘Imiloa members and Hawaii folks who sought us out, attended our programs, and even provided greatly appreciated home hospitality.

Our trip generated lots of ideas for future programming, and we hope to be back someday soon.

For more information on our programming or to share ideas and support our future outreach, please contact: Margaret Shiba, Director of Institutional Advancement or call 808.932.8921.