GeminiFocus April 2018 - Page 23

Janice Harvey and Manuel Paredes Public Outreach Efforts Soar in Hawai‘i and Chile Gemini Observatory’s two key outreach events — one in each Hemisphere — continue to expand the public’s knowledge of astronomy and inspire youngsters into STEM careers. Journey Through the Universe: 14 Years and Counting! While Gemini’s flagship outreach endeavor — the multi-faceted Journey Through the Universe program — has evolved from a week-long event to a year-round program, this year’s “Journey Week” on Hawai‘i’s Big Island was an outstanding success. From March 5-9, 2018, over 80 STEM professionals from Gemini North and beyond visited over 300 island classrooms. Participating in this year’s program were staff from the Maunakea observatories, NASA, and several local universities and research facilities. In total, over 8,000 Big Island students were inspired by Jour- ney’s activities this year. In addition to classroom visits, Journey featured a host of educational events and workshops which went far beyond the Journey Week activities, including observatory staff “career panels” that focused on the diversity of observatory careers, personal stories, and the excitement of exploration! April 2018 GeminiFocus Gemini Interim Director Laura Ferraese (standing, in red pants) talks about her career to students at Hilo High School during Journey Week. Fellow panelists include (left to right): Gemini Safety Manager John Vierra, UCLA Astronomy PhD student (and Hilo High alumnus!) Devin Chu, Astrobiology PhD student Niki Thomas, W. M. Keck Observatory Software Engineer Liz Chock, and W. M. Keck Observatory Chief of Operations Rich Matsuda. Credit: All images, Gemini Observatory 21