Our Scholars Experience the Biggest Annual Astronomy Conference
Happy New Year from the Maunakea Scholars team! We kicked this year off by inviting a group of our scholars to Oahu!
Every year the American Astronomical Society (or AAS for short) holds an enormous winter conference. Astronomers from all over the world come to network, share their research, learn about new technologies and celebrate astronomy! This year the AAS Winter meeting was held at the convention center in Honolulu, between the 4th – 8th January.
The Maunakea Scholars team are always looking for new opportunities for our students to experience astronomy and STEM outside of the classroom, so we invited them to Honolulu to visit us at the conference! Our group of scholars represented many of our islands and joined with hundreds of high school students for an open day.
The day started with an inspiring speech on what it means to be brave, by JCMT deputy director Jessica Dempsey. Jess has achieved many amazing feats during her astronomy career, including spending winter at the South Pole!
The students were then invited to the exhibit hall where they were given a number of demonstrations by exhibitors. These included agencies like the National Science Foundations (NSF), telescopes on Maunakea and even space telescopes like Chandra.
Unfortunately, the AAS meeting occurs in a different city every year so we cannot provide this same opportunity to our students next year; however, mentors and teachers alike have come away with inspiring ideas for communicating astronomy in the classroom to our next cohort of Maunakea Scholars!