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Journey through the Universe

Hawaii has just completed its fifth year of Journey through the Universe, a national science education initiative that engages entire communities-students, teachers, families, and the public-using education programs in the Earth and space sciences and space exploration to inspire and educate. The initiative engages communities in sustained science, math, and technology education, and is a celebration of exploration and the joys of learning.

What the human race knows about our world and the greater Universe is used to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers through interactions with the current generation; give teachers the tools and training to conduct powerful lessons in the classroom that are deeply relevant to the science curriculum; and provide venues for family learning where parents and their children learn together. More ...

February 5-13, 2009

Journey Week: February 5-13, 2009

  • Thursday February 5, 2009: Master Teacher Training: 8am - 12pm at 'Imiloa Astronomy Education Center
  • Friday February 6, 2009: Astronomer Workshop: 10am - 12pm at 'Imiloa Astronomy Education Center
  • Saturday February 7, 2009: Teacher Orientation: 8am - 1:30pm at 'Imiloa Astronomy Education Center
  • Sunday February 8, 2009: Family Science Day: 9am - 4pm at `Imiloa Astronomy Education Center
  • Monday February 9, 2009: Borders Journey Astro Night: 5-7pm at Borders Hilo
  • Tuesday Feburary 10, 2009: Hawaii Chambers of Commerce Appreciation Event: 5-8pm at Hilo Yacht Club
  • Wednesday February 11, 2009: Family Science Night: 4pm - 8pm at `Imiloa Astronomy Education Center

The National Science Team

  • Dr. Tim Slater, University of Wyoming
  • Dr. Kevin Grazier, NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Kevin M. Caruso, Stankraft
  • Dr. Stephanie Slater, University of Wyoming

The Local Science Team

  • Andy Adamson, Joint Astronomy Centre
  • Colin Aspin, Institute for Astronomy
  • Kenyan Beals, Institute for Astronomy, Hilo
  • Kevin Caruso, Stankraft
  • Richard Chamberlin, Caltech Submillimeter Observatory
  • Antonio Chrysostomou, Joint Astronomy Centre
  • Paul Coleman, Institute for Astronomy, UH Manoa
  • Richard Crowe, University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • Chris Davis, Joint Astronomy Centre
  • Anil Dosaj, Caltech Submillimeter Observatory
  • Scott Fisher, Gemini Observatory
  • Brian Force, Caltech Submillimeter Observatory
  • Gary Fujihara, Institute for Astronomy, Hilo
  • Tom Geballe, Gemini Observatory
  • Taras Golota, Subaru Telescope
  • Kevin Grazier, NASA JPL
  • Oliver Guyon, Subaru Telescope
  • John Hamilton, University of Hawaii-Hilo
  • Janice Harvey, Gemini Observatory
  • Saeko Hayashi, Subaru Telescope
  • Inge Heyer, Joint Astronomy Centre
  • Michael Hoenig, Gemini Observatory
  • Ryoko Ishioka, Subaru Telescope
  • David James, University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • Shawn Laatsch, `Imiloa Astronomy Center
  • Joe Masiero, Institute for Astronomy, UH Manoa
  • Tony Matulonis, Gemini Observatory
  • Richard McDermid, Gemini Observatory
  • Pablo McLoud, Subaru Telescope
  • Callie McNew, Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station
  • Peter Michaud, Gemini Observatory
  • Ramprasad Rao, Submillimeter Array
  • Ruisheng Peng, Caltech Submillimeter Observatory
  • Robert Potter, Subaru Telescope
  • Julie Renaud-Kim, W.M. Keck Observatory
  • Kathy Roth, Gemini Observatory
  • Hiroko Shinnaga, Caltech Submillimeter Observatory
  • Doug Simons, Gemini Observatory
  • Stephanie Slater, University of Wyoming
  • Tim Slater, University of Wyoming
  • Walter Steiger, Caltech Submillimeter Observatory
  • Marianne Takamiya, University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • Holly Thomas, Joint Astronomy Centre
  • Kumiko Usuda, Subaru Telescope
  • Watson Varricatt, Joint Astronomy Centre
  • Kevin Volk, Gemini Observatory
  • Virginia Volk, Astronomer

Lead Local Team

  • Richard Crowe, University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • Janice Harvey, Gemini Observatory
  • Andolie Marten, Gemini Observatory
  • Inge Heyer, Joint Astronomy Centre
  • Bess Jennings, Department of Education
  • Gail Loeffler, `Imiloa Astronomy Center
  • Peter Michaud, Gemini Observatory
  • Valerie Takata, Department of Education
  • Darrell Nekoba, Department of Education

Bios of Astronomy Educators:


The Program

Developed by the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), Journey through the Universe provides a window on the true nature of science and the lives of modern-day explorers, with special emphasis on not just what is known about our world and the universe but how it has come to be known. It is an approach that reveals the very personal means by which researchers ask questions of the world and empower themselves to create a pathway to an answer.

The initiative includes local programming for thousands of students and families, grade K-12 lessons and curriculum support materials, grade K-12 educator training, and ongoing support from scientists and educators nationally in both science content and pedagogy for the classroom. The communities integrate these resources into their existing science, mathematics, and technology education programming in both formal and informal science education venues. The result of this partnership is programming that reflects the strengths and capabilities of the community, and provides access to resources that would otherwise be unavailable.

Hilo, Hawaii is currently one of 10 communities around the nation that are designated Journey through the Universe sites.

The North Hilo/Laupahoehoe/Waiakea Complex area located on the island of Hawaii joined the Journey through the Universe program in June 2004. There is a genuine desire among the scientists and professionals associated with astronomy to participate with Hilo schools. Local educators and students desire to share in the excitement of astronomy. Journey through the Universe Week can bring the two together. The joint partnership will:

  • Heighten awareness of science in classrooms.
  • Help students meet the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards and national standards.
  • Provide rigor, relevance and relationships in curriculum, instruction and assessment.
  • Tap into the rich resources that are the Hilo community.
  • Improve teaching staff in content fields. Professional development, in-service training sessions, networking and articulation amongst educators, scientists, and community people will help improve teaching.
  • Educate parents and the community in the space science enterprise.

Programming provided to each community includes a weeklong celebration of learning "Journey through the Universe Week" conducted by a National Team of researchers and engineers reflecting organizations from across the NASA communities. During Journey Week:

Pictures of Journey 2009

The following are links to pictures taken during Journey Week 2009.

Family Science Events

A family science night will be held at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center, including planetarium shows, four guest lecturers, and free access to the exhibit area.

Classroom Visits

A National Team of researchers and engineers working on the frontier conduct Classroom Visits for 8,000 K-12 students. The researchers are gifted at communicating their passion for research and science to audience of all ages, providing students a personal interaction with explorers working on the space frontier, and providing a window on the lives of researchers and the process of science.

Educator Workshops

Training is provided for K-12 educators on Education Modules that are mapped to the National Science Education Standards. Each Module includes an Educational Unit at three (K-4, 5-8, 9-12) or four (K-2, 3-4, 5-8, 9-12) grade levels, and includes content overviews; inquiry-based, hands-on activities; assessment rubrics; and resource listings.

Contact Us

  • E-Mail Journey through the Universe Program
  • Phone Janice Harvey (808) 974-2603
  • Mail Journey through the Universe, Janice Harvey, Gemini Observatory, 670 N. A'ohoku Place, Hilo, Hawaii
  • Press Inquiries Janice Harvey, Gemini Observatory, (808) 974-2603, jharvey@gemini.edu

Press Releases

Journey 2008

Journey 2007

Journey 2006

Gemini Observatory Participants