Maui News

First Molokaʻi Students Awarded Telescope Time on Mauna Kea

March 16, 2018, 3:28 PM HST
* Updated March 16, 3:30 PM
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Project awards were announced this morning to students at Moloka’i High School, whose proposals were judged competitively by a professional time allocation committee. Photo Courtesy

For the very first time, the Mauna Kea Scholars program has expanded to Molokaʻi.

Project awards were announced on March 16, 2018 to students at Molokaʻi High School, whose proposals were judged competitively by a professional time allocation committee. With the expansion of this program, students of Molokaʻi High School can conduct scientific research using one of the world’s most powerful telescopes.

The Molokaʻi High School winners include:

“In the Life of an Open Cluster” by Taye Mowat and Sunni Chow
“The Life Cycle of Sirius” by Skylar Kuahuia

Once telescope time has been awarded, the students will have the opportunity to visit the telescopes at the science reserve atop Mauna Kea for an in-depth look at the science and technology taking place. The students will also visit Canada-France-Hawaiʻi’s Waimea headquarters for a night of remote observing in the telescope control room, watching data stream live from the summit to computer systems in Waimea.


These Molokaʻi students will have access to this advanced technology, astronomy outreach and professional development opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.


Since the inception of the Mauna Kea Scholars program, the program has seen growth and engagement across the state, doubling each year in size. This year, with the inclusion of more public schools like Molokaʻi High School, more students are benefiting from the educational empowerment of the program and these world-class telescopes.

“It’s such a privilege to honor these students’ hard work with awards at the midpoint of their research trajectory with this year’s Mauna Kea Scholars cohort,” Mary Beth Laychak, outreach manager for Canada-France-Hawaiʻi Telescope explained. “As we expand statewide, it’s critical that we include communities like this one—full of brilliant minds that deserve a shot at the world’s most powerful telescopes.”

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