KAMUELA, HAWAI‘I – From home offices and kitchen tables, Kealakehe High School’s Maunakea Scholars participants gathered virtually for a new kind of award ceremony today. Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope executive director Doug Simons and director of strategic communications Mary Beth Laychak recognized extraordinary research proposals prepared by the students and awarded teams with coveted telescope time from the Maunakea Observatories – the most scientifically-productive collection of telescopes in the world.
Though the telescopes are currently not operating due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, the students’ observing time will be scheduled as soon as normal operations resume. The telescope time awarded will facilitate advanced research by the students whose projects were deemed most creative, scientifically promising and technically viable. The students have been at work for months alongside professional astronomy mentors, analyzing data and preparing professional-style research proposals.
Kealakehe students awarded time today:
- "Comparing a Supernova Remnant Nebula to the Initial Progenitor Star" by Nicholas White, Evan Curry and Josiah Garan
- "Comparing the Composition of a White Dwarf to its Neighboring Orbital Bodies" by Zachary Van Horn
“The students who won telescope time today are inspiring – the imagination and sophistication they applied to these project proposals are great examples of our local students’ creativity,” said Laychak. “We look forward to welcoming the students to our summit facilities when they open again, and in the meantime, we will do everything we can to support their education during this transition to distance learning.”
Launched in 2016 in partnership with the Maunakea Observatories, the University of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i State Department of Education, Maunakea Scholars brings Hawai‘i’s science classrooms into the observatory community with real hands-on experience. This is the first and only program of its kind internationally, leveraging the most powerful collection of telescopes in the world for the direct educational advancement of Hawai‘i’s high school students.
For more information about the Maunakea Scholars program and astronomy opportunities for students, visit www.maunakeascholars.com.
About the Maunakea Observatories
The Maunakea Observatories are a collaboration of independent institutions with telescopes located on Maunakea on the island of Hawai‘i. Together, the Observatories make Maunakea the most scientifically productive site for astronomy world-wide. The Maunakea Observatories include: Caltech Submillimeter Observatory, Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope, Gemini International Observatory, James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (EAO), NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, Subaru Telescope, Submillimeter Array, United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, University of Hawai'i Hilo Educational Telescope, University of Hawai‘i 2.2 Meter Telescope, Very Long Baseline Array and W. M. Keck Observatory (Keck I and Keck II).