Subaru Shares the Wonder of the Sky with Schoolchildren

April 20, 2009

Subaru Telescope appreciates the support and hospitality of the people of the Big Island of Hawaii and shows it by giving back to the community. In a ceremony at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on March 19, 2009, Dr. Masahiko Hayashi, Director of the Subaru Telescope, presented UH Hilo Chancellor Rose Chang with a generous gift of $9,500 on behalf of the Japan Foundation for Promotion of Astronomy (JFPA). Also attending were Dr. Hideki Takami, Associate Director of the Subaru Telescope; Donna Vuchinich, President of the University of Hawaii Foundation; and Ka’iu Kimura, Associate Director of ‘Imiloa. Dr. Hayashi commented, “We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to the local community by helping to make it possible for Hawaii’s children to visit the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center at the University of Hawaii, Hilo.”

Subaru strongly supports ‘Imiloa’s overall mission of celebrating both Hawaiian culture and astronomy on the sacred mountain of Mauna Kea. The gift will be used to help ‘Imiloa achieve its goal of having all of Hawaii’s 30,000 K-12 children participate in its programs over a two-year period. Student participation in ‘Imiloa’s educational experiences fosters connections to their Hawaiian heritage as well as to the stars in the night sky.

Thanks to a special offer from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to match private contributions to ‘Imiloa on a 2:1 basis, Subaru’s gift means even more. Subaru’s $9,500 donation will result in an overall contribution of $28,500 to ‘Imiloa’s educational outreach to children on the Big Island.

Since 2001, UH Hilo has received close to $80,000 in contributions from JPFA through Subaru. The gifts have been used for a variety of activities that link astronomical science with Hawaiian culture---from the creation of exhibits and planetarium shows to Hawaiian studies enrichment programs, orchestra concerts, and construction of a traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe.

(From left) Donna Vuchinich, Hideki Takami Masahiko Hayashi, Rose Chang, Ka’iu Kimura

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