.........YEAR 2006.........

January 28, 2006:   Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day
CSO participated in this annual event with the vacuum system demonstration described above as well as the spark-gap radio noise interference demonstration, also described above. The vacuum system is employed to evacuate a bell jar containing an electric door bell, which becomes inaudible after the air is removed. At the same time, the bell and its vibrating clapper remain visible. Many people are surprised to learn that "space" is a vacuum but still allows light to be transmitted. CSO staff participating in the all-day exhibit were: Steve Baca, Diana Bisel, Ed Bufil, Riley Ceria, Melanie Leong, Hiroko Shinnaga, assisted by volunteer Walter Steiger.

Walter Steiger explains the vacuum demo to a fascinated youngster.

May 6, 2006:   AstroDay 2006
AstroDay was again held at the Prince Kuhio Mall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. CSO's exhibit was organized by Hiroko Shinnaga with the assistance of Diana Bisel. They tried a new approach this time that was aimed at getting children actively involved. First of all, Hiroko arranged for the donation of a microwave dish (a parabolic reflector about 4 feet in diameter) from Oceanic Time-Warner Cable of Hilo. With the dish set on the floor facing upwards, the visitors were able to drop ping-pong balls on it and observe their reflection to the focal point. Diana arranged a work table for the youngsters to make pictures with stars, astronomical rubber stamps, and colored pens on a sheet of black constructin paper on which was stamped a drawing of CSO. Both these exhibits were very popular with the kids, and the table was constantly crowded. The children went away happy with their art work and hopefully learned something about telescope mirrors. CSO staff participating in the event were Steve Baca, Diana Bisel, Ed Bufil, Riley Ceria, Ruisheng Peng, Hiroko Shinnaga, and volunteer Walter Steiger. Go here for additional discussion and photos

August 18-19, 2006: CSO participated in a teacher training workshop entitled Hands-On Optics. This is a program developed by staff of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the Optical Society of America, and the International Society of Optical Engineering, and funded by the National Science Foundation. Middle-school teachers from Big Island Schools were enrolled along with a group of optics resource volunteers who will continue to work with these teachers in developing programs at their schools. The workshop was sponored by and held at the `Imiloa Astronomy Center. A second phase of the program will be held in 2007. Walter Steiger was the resource volunteer representing CSO.

Connie Walker and Rob Sparks led the workshop (left) while one team used a laser to trace a ray through a series of mirrors. (phtos courtesy of 'Imiloa)

Here is a brief Summary of Outreach and Educational Activity at CSO from June 2005 to August 2006.

October 26, 2006: Nine-year old Make-A-Wish Child Paige Gonzalez visited Mauna Kea with her family to fulfill her wish. Along with other observatories and institutes, CSO contributed a little gift including our T-shirts to Paige and her family. The CSO T-shirts were donated by the Creative Arts Hawaii in Hilo. Please find more details on the story on the Make-A-Wish Mauna Kea Experience web site on Astroday.net.