Mauna Kea Coin design selected

The 2013 Mauna Kea Coin design was awarded to Kain Kamalani Kawailima, a senior at Ke Ana La‘ahana Public Charter School.

The winning design depicts Mauna Kea and its telescopes with Mauna Loa behind it. In the sky are the Sun, Moon, stars, and sea-faring birds. Together, these elements weave together an image of the interconnectedness of all things between sea and sky. Kain, explaining his symbolism states, “The woven lauhala (pandanus leaves) represent change, the three ti leaves represent stages of life, the konane (Hawaiian checker board game) stands for challenge, arrow-like designs depict birds in flight, and canoe paddles represent the rays of the sun.”

The 2013 coin will be distributed at AstroDay in the Prince Kuhio Plaza on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those who collect all the stamps from the observatory stations on the Mauna Kea coin “passport,” will receive a free aluminum coin. The passport will be available at the Mauna Kea Coin Contest booth close to the center stage. The antique bronze finish coin will be available for sale at Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station and its e-store, and ‘Imiloa Bank of Hawaii Museum Store.

The contest was open to K-12 students on Hawaii Island. Each design was required to include both astronomy and Hawaiian cultural themes related to Mauna Kea. There were 803 entries in total representing 29 schools. Judges Kimo Keli‘i Pihana, Hawaiian cultural practitioner, and Shawn Laatsch, ‘Imiloa planetarium manager, selected the top three designs in grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 categories, respectively. Chief Judge Dr. Jean-Charles Cuillandre from the Canada France Hawaii Telescope selected the final design from the nine category winners.

The contest award ceremony will be held at AstroDay’s center stage at Prince Kuhio Plaza from 10:20 to 10:50 a.m. Winning designs will be displayed at the coin contest booth at AstroDay and on the Mauna Kea Coin Contest website at


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