All Hawaii Island students K-12 are invited to enter the 2013 Mauna Kea Coin Contest through March 15 at the island’s KTA Super Stores locations.
Students are asked to include both astronomy and Hawaiian cultural themes in their design for the coin.
The Mauna Kea Coin Contest is initiated by Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee and co-sponsored by KTA Super Stores, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, Onizuka Space Center, and Galaxy Garden/Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary.
Entries will be divided into three categories: 1. Grades K-4; 2. Grades 5-8; and 3. Grades 9-12. The top three entries in each category will compete for the grand prize which will be struck on a 1.5-inch coin.
Entries must be submitted at the KTA Super Stores courtesy desks at Keawe Street, Puainako, Waimea, Kailua Kona or Keauhou by March 15.
The purpose of the contest is to enhance awareness of Mauna Kea. Based on an idea by Tiffany Rippa, former intern at Gemini Observatory and Anil Dosaj (Submillimeter Array), the project has become an annual event for MKAOC. The first coin contest was held in 2011 and had 721 entries, and in 2012 saw an increase of 1006 entries from students from around Hawaii Island.
In 2012, E.B. de Silva Elementary School, Hilo Intermediate School, Keaau, High School and Waimea Middle School sent more than 80 entries, and students in Hilo, Keaau, Waimea and Kona were awarded.
“The Mauna Kea Coin Contest is a good opportunity for our future generation to express their idea of science and Hawaiian culture atop Mauna Kea,” said Ali‘i Kimo Pihana.
“Mauna Kea and all the elements from the heavens to the ocean are very important. We could see it from the designs and what they see and feel touched me,” said Koa Rice.
Pihana and Rice are Hawaiian cultural practitioners, and coin contest judges.
“It is wonderful to see how students incorporated different views of Mauna Kea from Hilo, Keaau Waimea, and elsewhere. It shows the diversity in ways of experiencing the mountain. I also appreciate the messages of reaching for the stars, continuing one’s education, caring for the land, and exploring the universe,” said Shawn Laatsch, ‘Imiloa’s planetarium manager, and chair of MKAOC.
The 2013 chief judge Dr. Jean-Charles Cuillandre, an astronomer from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, has pioneered a variety of astrophotography and time-lapse photography techniques. These were used to create the film “Hawaiian Starlight” that chronicles the natural and scientific beauty of Mauna Kea.
Visit the official site http://www.mkaoc.org for more information.