The purpose of the Maunakea Coin Contest is to enhance the awareness of the convergence between astronomy (such as night sky, constellations, and telescopes) and the Hawaiian culture of Maunakea (such as plants, animals, insects, the environments, and natural history) among K-12 students on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.
K-12 students were invited to create the design for a coin that includes both astronomy and Hawaiian themes related to Maunakea, and to express their aloha and respect for the impressive mountain.
The winner of the 2016 Maunakea Coin Contest is Taya Lampman, who is in the 4th grade at the E.B. de Silva school in Hilo. Her teacher is Ms. Kihara. Congratulations Taya!
Grand Judge Celeste Ha'o noted that "this student's artistic rendition of Maunakea captures ke kuana'ike Hawai'i, the Hawai'i perspective that Maunkea is the connector of all realms - from the deepest depths of our ocean to the deepest depths of space - and is as well, the connector of all those who reside in each one."
Nine category winners and one special mention were selected by Koa Rice and Kimo Pihana, Hawaiian cultural practicioners, and Nadine Manset, astronomer at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and chair of the Maunakea Astronomy Outreach Committee. The Grand Judge, Celeste Ha'o of the Imiloa Astronomy Center, selected the three overall winners.
The prizes were awarded at AstroDay in Hilo, on Saturday April 30, 2016.
The winning designs are the following:
All winners received prizes from Maunakea observatories, KTA, the Visitor Information Station, the Imiloa Astronomy Center, the Galaxy Garden, and HI-SEAS.
Free aluminum coins were distributed at AstroDay when stamped passports were returned to the coin contest booth.