Friday Night Show Out Of This World

Jessica Goolsby
Wednesday - July 14, 2010
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Island Pacific Academy is going celestial by teaming up with Hawaiian Astronomical Society to host Starry Night, a free, out-of-this-world event from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Friday on its Kapolei campus at 909 Haumea St.

The family night will feature stargazing at 7:45, with multiple telescopes erected in the IPA parking lot for optimal views of Saturn and other constellations.

“We’ll have some of the last opportunities to see Saturn this year in the Western sky, so it’s going to be great if the skies are clear,” said Forrest Luke, education coordinator for Hawaiian Astronomical Society.


Other activities include hands-on demonstrations of physics and mathematics, a hydro-rocket launch prior to sunset, computer stations featuring informational materials and Web sites, and a science fair project display by IPA Astronaut Academy students.

“We’re looking to conduct activities that help children better understand astronomy itself,” said Astronaut Academy co-instructor Jen Higa. “We hope to show kids how difficult it was in the early days of astronomy to aim a telescope to find something in the sky and make them more aware of the vastness of space itself.

“Our students also will demonstrate their knowledge of Newtonian physics and geometry with the hydro-rocket launch, and we’ll conduct other hands-on demonstrations of frequency and the like and allow our students to share what they’ve learned through the academy with others.”

Starry Night complements IPA’s Astronaut Academy curriculum, which uses math and science to explore the night skies. In this new class, seventh-grade students are trained as astronauts through data analysis, algebra readiness, probability, number theory, forces and motion, and planetary and stellar science.

“If nothing else we hope to inspire a curiosity and a passion about the sky and the world around us,” Higa added. “Besides, our school’s mascot is the Navigator, and the original navigators to Hawaii got here by studying the night sky, so we’re forging a cultural tie here as well.”

Reservations are required for the viewing party. For more information or to reserve a space, call 533-4165 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Hawaiian Astronomical Society also hosts a Saturday Night Star Party each month (based on moon phases) at Waikele Community Park and a monthly social at Dillingham Air Field, both free and open to the public. For more details, call 623-9830 or visit

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