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 winner of the 2018 Maunakea Coin Contest is Bailey Mattos. Bailey is in 4th grade at the E.B. de Silva school, in Ms Kihara's class.

This design was chosen by our Grand Judge, Physics and Astronomy Professor Heather Kaluna of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, because “it portrays Maunakea in a fun (you gotta love the shave ice!) yet truly insightful manner.  To me, the portrayal of Maunakea sitting in the middle of the ocean surrounded by spaceships and satellites beautifully reflects the vision that our keiki have in seeing this special island mountain as a leader in technology and space exploration. This vision, along with the swaying trees and shave ice, also reflects the integration of our beautiful island culture with the technology that will carry us into the future.“


Nine category winners and five special mentions 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, Heather Kaluna,  selected the three overall winners.

The prizes were awarded at AstroDay in Hilo, on Saturday May 5, 2018. 
The bronze coin is for sale at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station (VIS) and its First Light E-Store.
The winning designs are the following:







All 9 category winners received KTA gift certificates, pens and stickers from CFHT and the SMA, a wool hat from the Visitor Information Station, a coffee mug from the UH Institute for Astronomy, clips and magnets from the East Asian Observatory, a rice paddle from the W. M. Keck observatory, a fidget spinner from PISCES, a DVD of images from the Subaru Telescope, and more, all delivered in a bag provided by the Gemini Observatory!


In addition to their other prizes, the top 3 overall winners also received the book "A Sky Wonderful with Stars" by Michael J. West, a book of astronomy pictures taken with the Subaru telescope, an Imiloa membership, a Galaxy Garden Peace Sanctuary membership, a Hawaiian Starlight DVD produced by the CFHT, and another KTA gift certificate. The top winner also received a Galileoscope offered by TMT.

Special mentions were awarded for designs with striking messages or artistic talent:



The special mention winners received prizes such as pens and stickers, bookmarks and postcards, and a keychain.



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.