Outstanding Students from King Kekaulike High School Awarded Coveted Telescope Time
February 14, 2018: Awards season continues as Maunakea Observatories staff convene educators, community leaders, students and families at King Kekaulike High School in Maui to announce the newest winners of the Maunakea Scholars program. The student recipients are the first to come from Maui as the 2017-2018 program represents the inaugural participation of a school from the Valley Isle.
“We are delighted to see the Maunakea Scholars program continue to grow with our first student participants from Maui,” said Mary Beth Laychak, outreach manager for Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope (CFHT). “The imaginative and passionate student proposals from the 2017-2018 program participants piqued our interest and demonstrated what we already know to be true – astronomy has a special place in Hawai‘i.”
King Kekaulike students spent months analyzing data and preparing professional-style research proposals under the guidance of University of Hawai‘i’s Institute for Astronomy mentor, Dr. JD Armstrong. Greatly admired as both a scientist and educator in the Maui community with an amazing body of research and a summer science program that produces award-winning young astronomers, Dr. Armstrong helped King Kekaulike students transform their personal curiosities and interests into innovative and promising projects, with seven individuals earning invaluable observatory time.
The King Kekaulike Maunakea Scholars Award winners include:
- Janine Harris – “Cepheid Magnitude Periods”
- Ryan Siarot and Thorn Refugio – “Observing Asteroid Colors to Determine Composition”
- Quinton Uradomo – “Dark Matter”
- Kayla Wohlers and Caroline Stevenson – “Deep Into The Storm”
- Quentin Beamer – “White Dwarf Formation Temperatures”
These students, along with each and every Maunakea Scholars winner, will receive coveted telescope time atop Maunakea. Every student will be paired with a mentor and telescope staff who will navigate them through their research. We have seen past students use their telescope time to explore black holes, exoplanets, comets, search for signs of life and much more, and we foresee our 2017-2018 Maunakea Scholars winners testing the boundaries of science as they delve into the big and magical world of astronomy.