AstroDay in Hilo to Feature Mauna Kea Coin

May 3, 2012

AstroDay is Saturday at Prince Kuhio Plaza shopping mall.  The annual event is designed to share the joy of astronomy with events and activities to explain and celebrate the field.  Astroday runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m..

This year, the 2012 Mauna Kea Coin will be distributed at the Prince Kuhio Mall as part of the event.

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.


The coin was designed by Serena Usuda, a seventh grader at Waiakea Intermediate School.   The winning design connects Hawaiian culture and nature, with modern telescopes in her petroglyph-style artwork

The contest was open to K-12 students on Hawai‘i Island from January 28 to March 9, 2012. Each design was required to include both astronomy and Hawaiian cultural themes related to Maunakea. There were 1,006 entries in total from Hawai‘i island, 300 more entries from the previous year. Some teachers sent entries consisting of the entire class. Judges James Kealai‘i Pihana and Koa Rice, Hawaiian cultural practitioners, and Shawn Laatsch, ‘Imiloa planetarium manager, selected the top three designs in grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12 categories, respectively.


Chief Judge Jon Lomberg, the world famous space artist who designed the Galaxy Garden in Honaunau, 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 11:00am to 11:40am.   All the winning designs will be displayed at the coin contest booth at AstroDay, May 5th, and on the Mauna Kea Coin Contest 2012 official site:


The Mauna Kea Coin Contest is initiated by Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee (MKAOC) and co-sponsored by KTA Super Stores, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i, Onizuka Space Center, and Galaxy Garden/Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary. The purpose of the contest is to enhance awareness of Maunakea.

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