The Universe is expanding… and so is the Journey Through the Universe! SSERVI was proud to support the Journey Through the Universe program, now in its 13th year, which includes:

*Classroom visits for students in Hilo-Waiākea, Honokaʻa, Paʻauilo, and Waimea in grades 2-12
*StarLab Portable Planetarium shows for Hilo-Waiākea students in Pre-K-1
*Career Panels for Waiākea High School students with observatory professionals showcasing diverse career opportunities
*NASA Lunar and Meteorite Sample Certification Workshop led by NASA SSERVI’s Brian Day and Joseph Minafra
*Public colloquia titled, “Discovery, New Frontiers, and Solar System Exploration,” by NASA’s Brian Mitchell

From March 13-17, observatory professionals and informal educators extended their reach to districts across the Big Island. Yvonne Pendleton and Jennifer Baer of NASA SSERVI visited Kapiolani Elementary School. Pendleton obtained her PhD in astrophysics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and is currently the Director of NASA SSERVI. Baer is a graphic designer at NASA SSERVI and regularly works with scientists and engineers to take complex data and turn it into easily digestible media.

Students at Kapiolani Elementary were surprised and excited that NASA had graphic designers like Jennifer Baer! Credit: Joy Pollard/Gemini

Baer shows students that they can edit pictures with available software. Credit: Joy Pollard/Gemini

Teague Soderman educated students at Kaumana Elementary School. Soderman, who currently works at NASAʻs SSERVI, is a science writer with a background in creative writing and graphic design. He received his Masterʻs in English and Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and has been writing for the scientific community for over 13 years.

Teague Soderman from NASA SSERVI showed Kaumana students some of the technology that NASA plans to send to space. Credit: Joy Pollard/Gemini

Soderman showed some of the mapping software available online through NASA SSERVI. Credit: Joy Pollard/Gemini


On Saturday, March 11th, Brian Day and Joseph Minafra, both from NASA SSERVI, held a workshop that certifies teachers to borrow lunar and meteorite samples from the historic Apollo missions. Teachers attending this workshop will also learn how to use NASA online tools to explore and visualize the surfaces of the Moon, asteroids, and Mars as seen through the eyes of many different instruments aboard a great range of spacecrafts.

NASA SSERVI’s Brian Day (six from the left) and Joseph Minafra (four from the left) led 10 teachers through a workshop that certifies them to borrow lunar and meteorite samples as teaching tools. The samples provided contained lunar rocks harvested from the historic Apollo missions, with advice on how best to use these samples in the classroom. Credit: Joy Pollard/Gemini

The Journey program would not exist without the time, energy, and resources from our community partners. Their ongoing support is a testament to their commitment to the children of Hawaii’s futures. Journey thanks their sponsors for their support, and their educators for dedicating their time to inspiring our local Big Island students! For more information about the Journey Through the Universe program, visit

Posted by: Soderman/SSERVI Staff
Source: Journey Through the Universe

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