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.

To get started, see for example the Maunakea Heritage and Natural Resources guide from the Office of Maunakea Management.

K-12 students are 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 deadline to submit an entry is Friday March 2, 2018. Entries should be dropped off at any of the Big Island's KTA Super Stores. The rules and the design sheets are available for download. A flyer can also be printed for distribution. If entries cannot be dropped off at KTA, please email Nadine Manset at


Contestants enter in one of three categories:

  1. Grades K-4
  2. Grades 5-8
  3. Grades 9-12

Three winners will be selected in each of the 3 grades category and will receive prizes from the various MKAOC partners, such as books, hats, pins, stickers, pens, and more! Examples of prizes offered in the past

From those nine designs, the top 3 best ones will receive additional prizes, such as KTA gift certificates, one-year memberships to the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center, passes valid for the Galaxy Garden, and the Hawaiian Starlight DVD.

The best design will be used to make bronze coins (available for sale) and aluminum coins (distributed throughout the year at many outreach events). That design will also be used as the logo for next year's Astro Day in Hilo!

All entries will be judged by an astronomer and Hawaiian cultural practitioners. Dr Heather Kaluna, professor at the UH Hilo department of physics and astronomy, will be the grand judge this year.

All prizes will be awarded at AstroDay, which will be held in Hilo on Saturday May 5, 2018.






Mauna Kea Coin Contest 2017 is sponsored by Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee (MKAOC) a.k.a. Mauna Kea Observatories Outreach Committee (MKOOC), KTA Super Stores, `Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai`i, Onizuka Space Center, & Galaxy Garden/Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary.

Copyright © 2017 Mauna Kea Coin Contest Committee. All rights reserved.