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Community Presentation – Raising Awareness of Rapid ‘Ōhi’a Death

The Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM), ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, and University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Department of Physics & Astronomy, continue their community presentations this Thursday, March 23 starting at 7 pm. The free Maunakea Speaker Series will be held in the UH Hilo Wentworth Hall: Room 1. On-campus parking after 4 pm is open and available without charge.

Raising Awareness of Rapid ‘Ōhi’a Death

Dr. Friday will speak on Rapid ‘Ōhi’a Death, a fungal disease that is causing extensive mortality across tens of thousands of acres of ‘ōhi’a (Metrosideros polymorpha) forests on Hawai’i Island. Loss of these native forests threatens native species, watershed protection, landscape and cultural resources. Dr. Friday will provide updates on what is currently known about the pathogens, how the disease moves, how it is being monitored, ongoing research, and measures being taken to limit the spread of the disease.

The Maunakea Speaker Series is a monthly scholar-focused presentation in partnership with the Office of Maunakea Management, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Department of Physics & Astronomy. For more information visit malamamaunakea.org or call 808-933-0734.

ʻImiloa Astronomy Center Announces First-Ever Endowment Gift

The legacy of the late educator and government planner Ilima Piʻianaiʻa is being celebrated through the establishment of a new endowment at the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo.

Gordon Piʻianaiʻa of Honolulu and Norman Piʻianaiʻa of Kamuela have made a gift through the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation to create a new permanently endowed fund to honor their sister and expand access to educational programming at ʻImiloa by K-12 students.

“Just as we are marking the 11th anniversary of our opening, ʻImiloa is thrilled to have our very first permanent endowment, a fund that will benefit the center in perpetuity and enable us to share our unique brand of programming with both current and future generations of young people,” said ʻImiloa Executive Director Kaʻiu Kimura. “We are humbled by the Piʻianaiʻa family’s vote of confidence in ʻImiloa and excited about what this will mean in our second decade and beyond!”

UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney added, “This wonderful gift will benefit the children of Hawaiʻi for years to come.”

About Ilima Piʻianaiʻa

Born and raised on Oʻahu, Ilima Piʻianaiʻa (1947–2006) pursued a noteworthy career in the public sector, starting with her service as a Hawaiʻi County planner helping to develop a general plan for the island. She later served with the Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority and worked on the Kakaʻako Improvement District, among other projects.

Ilima Piʻianaiʻa

She lectured in geography and planning at UH Mānoa from 1980 to 1984, administered the Task Force on the Hawaiian Homes Commission from 1982 to 1983, then held appointments as Hawaiʻi County deputy planning director, director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, director of the Office of International Relations and Affairs, and deputy director of the state Department of Agriculture.

Norman Piʻianaiʻa commented about his sister, “Even though Ilima was from Honolulu, she loved the Big Island and its people. She moved here around 1970 and mentored in the planning department under Director Raymond Suefuji during the days of Mayor Shunichi Kimura, a time when things were in a process of great change in Hawaiʻi. With ancestral roots firmly planted here, we are confident that Ilima would be pleased to know she has in this way returned and will continue to help nurture and contribute to the future education and development of Hawaiʻi Island youngsters.”

A longtime friend of Ilima, Deanne Lemle Bosnak, remembers her as “a perfect embodiment of ‘aloha.’ She personally represented Hawaiʻi’s beautiful blend of cultures, its warm hospitality and its welcoming aloha spirit. She was also a diplomat who worked hard to build bridges between disparate communities and cultures, demonstrating in everything she did a deep respect for the land and the values of its people.”

Annual distributions from the Ilima Piʻianaiʻa Endowment will support access to ʻImiloa by local elementary, middle and high school students, and may include subsidized admission and or transportation to the center, subsidized fees for ʻImiloa programs, and/or program outreach to rural parts of Hawaiʻi Island and the state.

To make a gift to the Ilima Piʻianaiʻa Endowment please visit the UH Foundations website.

Demo Day – New Business Showcase at Imiloa Astronomy Center

Support Hawaii Island’s Startup Community

Join us on Saturday, May 10th at 1:00pm in the Moanahoku Hall of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center for the first ever Hawaii Island Demo Day event.

Register Today

About the Event

The 2014 Demo Day New Business Showcase highlights some of Hawaii Island’s newest and most innovative companies. Meet the founders and learn about Hawaii Island’s growing community of Entrepreneurs. The event will begin at 1:00pm with a brief meet and greet followed by opening remarks. Hear from community thought leaders on our island’s economic development and the role new business development plays. Afterwards, our entrepreneurs will take the stage and present their businesses. We’ll wrap up the afternoon with snacks and socialization.

The Hawaii Tech Exchange, HITX, promotes the economic development of Hawaii Island through educational workshops and events to foster entrepreneurship. It brings together talented individuals and innovative businesses in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) community. HITX operates a membership directory for area businesses, students, entrepreneurs and individuals. It also hosts related special interest group meetings on topics such as software, design, writing, robotics, game development, app development and astronomy.

Hawaii TechWorks assists in the development of Hawaii-based high growth and high impact businesses. It helps entrepreneurs convert great ideas into successful businesses. Hawaii TechWorks operates a co-working space and hosts a monthly tech meeting that supports entrepreneurs in Hilo and the surrounding community. It helps companies succeed by providing technical assistance, business infrastructure and networking opportunities. Hawaii TechWorks is focused on fostering the emergence of a next generation of leaders, in facilitating the development of strong community ties through informal networking and relationship-building, in new job opportunities for local residents, and in community-based economic development.

Our Sponsors

HTDC High Technology Development Corporation
HI Growth InitiativeHigh Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) is a state agency established by the Hawaii State Legislature in 1983 to facilitate the development and growth of Hawaii’s commercial high technology industry. The State views high technology as an important driver in the diversification of Hawaii’s economy and one that provides quality, high-paying jobs for Hawaii residents.


The HI Growth Initiative is a State investment program focused on building an innovation ecosystem that supports entrepreneurial high growth businesses and creates high wage jobs for our people. The HI Growth Initiative provides $20 million of investment capital that will focus on the critical building blocks of an innovation ecosystem: entrepreneur development, research commercialization and the mobilization of startup investment capital.

Our Host

Nalukai Foundation

Nalukai Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 to support entrepreneurs and innovation in Hawaii. It provides mentoring services to entrepreneurs, helps connect founders and investors, and organizes community events. Nalukai’s mentors have years of experience advising startup founders and have mentored in some of the top accelerators in the country.

Get Involved!

Attend Be part of a growing community and learn about new businesses on Hawaii Island and the rest of the state. Register for Demo Day today.

Participate Gain recognition for your new business. Meet potential partners, supporters and investors. Demo Day is open to qualified Hawaii businesses. If you would like to present your business, please contact us at: demo@hitx.co

Sponsor Help our local economy grow by supporting events like this. We have a variety of sponsorship opportunities. If you are interested in sponsoring this or other events, please contact us at: sponsors@hitx.co

A Celebration of Life for Helene Hilyer Hale

Tonight was the “Celebration of Life” for the late Helene Hilyer Hale.

Helene Hale 1

Helene Hale 2

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Here are some pictures I took earlier this evening at Imiloa Astronomy Center:

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Sciencenter’s Sagan Planet Walk – New Star Station to be Located on the Big Island

The Sciencenter’s Sagan Planet Walk will soon be the largest exhibition in the world! On Sept. 28, the exhibition will expand from Ithaca to Hawaii to include the star nearest to the Sun, Alpha Centauri.

In keeping with the 1-to-5 billion scale of the exhibition, this new star station will be located on the Big Island of Hawaii at the Imiloa Astronomy Center of the University of Hawaii. The newly expanded Sagan Planet Walk will measure 5,000 miles from end to end.The Alpha Centauri station has been two years in the making, a partnership of the Sciencenter, Imiloa Astronomy Center, Cornell University, the University of Hawaii and NASA…

More Here:  Sciencenter’s Sagan Planet Walk expands to Hawaii

3D Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe – Limited Run Through September at Imiloa

3D Guide to the Universe

Family Free Day at Imiloa’s 5th Anniversary Celebration

1ST Hawaii International Micro Robot Conference and Tournament to be Held on the Big Island

From the House Majority Communication Office:

The 1st Hawaii International Micro Robot Conference and Tournament will be held at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo from July 16-19, 2010.

The effort is being led by the Waiakea High School Robotics Club and the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, two groups that have provided many opportunities for science students and teachers in the field of robotics and technology.

Art Kimura, Education Specialist at the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, said this event is being held to jumpstart the conversation on how the Big Island can benefit from micro mechanisms. The event will allow community leaders to talk to industry experts and learn about the advantages and possibilities of a micro mechanisms and robotics industry rooting from the islands.

“The exciting thing about this endeavor is the idea that the Big Island could become a center for the development of micro mechanisms research and development and a micro-robotics industry in the pacific,” Kimura said.

Because of this tournament, Hawaii students will now have the opportunity to compete without paying high costs to fly elsewhere for the same experience.

The goal of the conference is to stimulate high technology education and assist in the creation of a technically capable workforce by developing the infrastructure and skill sets necessary to support high technology robotics based activities.

“Once this is in place,” said Rep. Nakashima, a supporter of the effort, “the next step will be identifying the real world potential and application for this growing technology as we invite new industries to the Big Island to take advantage of our newly skilled work force.”

A public event featuring an origami presentation and bipedal robot demonstration will be held on Saturday, July 17, 2010, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center.

·         Origami presentation by Hidenori Ishihara, a robotics professor from Kagawa University.

·         Bipedal robot demonstration by Risa Saito, a Japanese high school student who won the bipedal competition in the 2009 Micro Robot Contest at Nagoya University, and Hideaki Matsutani, a Japanese technical education teacher who conducts bipedal workshops in Nagoya for middle school students.

Seating for this event is first come, first served.

Japan’s Subaru Telescope Donates $9,500 to UH Hilo’s Imiloa Astronomy Center

UH Release:

“Since the establishment of our local telescope facility in 1999, Subaru has been indebted to the people of the Big Island for their support of our mission, and we want to say thank you to the local community by helping to make it possible for local children to visit the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center at UH Hilo.” –Dr. Masahiko Hayashi, Director, Subaru Telescope


HILO – UH Hilo’s ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i has received a generous donation of $9,500 from Subaru Telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. The donation will support visits to the ‘Imiloa Center by K-12 schoolchildren and their teachers, as part of an ambitious two-year program through which ‘Imiloa is arranging programs for all public and private schools on the Big Island. The source of the gift was the Japan Foundation for the Promotion of Astronomy.

Subaru’s donation will be matched with another $19,000–effectively tripling the value of the gift–under the terms of a 2008 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The Moore Foundation grant is assisting the center with its goal of reaching 100 percent of the island’s school-aged children, by bringing them to ‘Imiloa to experience its exhibits, planetarium and educational programs. Transportation to the Center, admission, and lunch are all provided thanks to the grant, making the field trip possible for students throughout the island. For every $1 of additional support which ‘Imiloa secures for the program, the Moore Foundation grant is providing $2.

The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center has a special mission to engage youth in Hawai‘i, involving them in hands-on exploration of astronomy, together with Hawaiian language, navigational skills and indigenous culture. The resulting sense of pride and the interest in science and engineering that ‘Imiloa is instilling are critical tools for preparing local young people to participate in Hawai‘i’s 21st century economy. In pursuit of this mission, ‘Imiloa has set an aggressive goal of reaching all of Hawai‘i Island’s 30,000 K-12 schoolchildren through its educational programs over the next two years.

Subaru Telescope and its parent body, the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, have made previous gifts to the ‘Imiloa Center, including the donation of a unique “4D2U” theatre exhibit on the origins of the universe and another exhibit on the history of the telescope. Subaru also sponsored a special planetarium show geared to children, “The Secret of the Cardboard Rocket,” and assisted with the creation and script for “Hawaii’s Observatories,” a 3D show in the planetarium.

‘Imiloa’s Associate Director Ka‘iu Kimura commented, “Support from Subaru Telescope is helping ‘Imiloa ensure that local children grow up understanding that successful participation in science and technology does not mean a rejection of their Hawaiian heritage but, indeed, underscores the unique values of that heritage.”

UH Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng added, “The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is very grateful for the leadership support of the Japan Foundation for the Promotion of Astronomy, which has been provided to our campus annually for the past nine years through Subaru Telescope and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.”