Celeste Ha‘o teaching the Hawaiian Star Compass, photo by: Kaipo Kīʻaha

Outreach Coordinator Celeste Ha‘o and Navigator-in-Residence Kālepa Chad Baybayan as Featured Presenters

Hilo, Hawai‘i –The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is excited to announce its first-ever outreach programs in Washington, D.C. and New York City, scheduled throughout the end of May and early June. ‘Imiloa is taking advantage of the East Coast stops of the historic Hawaiian voyaging canoe, Hōkūleʻa, on its Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, to share the unique brand of culture-based science programming with new audiences far from home.

“‘Imiloa is honored to have the opportunity to share our Hawaiian values and knowledge with communities on the East Coast, and at the same time we are excited to see what values and knowledge we can learn from them,” said Celeste Ha‘o, ‘Imiloa’s Outreach Coordinator, who is leading the delivery of content in Washington and New York.

Light pollution and the dense population of large cities can make it difficult for people to view the stars at night. ‘Imiloa is especially thrilled to be able to share what the night sky looks like over Hawai‘i through planetarium presentations in both Washington, D.C. and New York City. “I will be introducing a beautiful night time sky that many people may never have seen. I will encourage them to see these stars as if for the first time and to build a relationship with their environment, feeling part of something bigger than themselves,” Ha‘o said.

Hōkūle‘a, the Polynesian voyaging canoe, is sailing across Earth’s oceans without the use of modern navigation tools, to join and grow the global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Hōkūle‘a is sharing their stories with East Coast communities through July of 2016.

In Washington, D.C., ‘Imiloa staff will participate in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian for the Hawaiian Cultural Festival 2016 on May 28 and 29. Outreach Coordinator Celeste Haʻo and Navigator-in-Residence Chad Kālepa Baybayan will be featured presenters, sharing their stories on navigation and knowledge of the Polynesian voyaging starlines that guide the Hōkūleʻa on her journey.

In New York City ‘Imiloa will be presenting an evening navigation program in the world-renowned Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History on Tuesday, June 7.  Additional outreach sessions will take place around New York City while the Hōkūleʻa is in port.  To follow ‘Imiloa’s journey on the East Coast, visit ImiloaHawaii.org, and follow ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on Facebook.  ‘Imiloa would like to thank the Ama OluKai Foundation for providing partial support of this first-ever East Coast outreach programming.