mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii

Outreach Programs at the IfA

Maintained by LG

The faculty, staff, and graduate students at the Institute for Astronomy are committed to communicating the fruits of their research to the wider community, both through organized education programs and through informal means.

Friends of the Institute for Astronomy

We invite you to join "Friends of the Institute for Astronomy," a group of Hawai‘i citizens and astronomy enthusiasts who support the work at the Institute for Astronomy. Contact the Friends of Institute for Astronomy Coordinator for more information. The Friends of the IfA are on Facebook and Twitter:   Facebook   Twitter

"Frontiers of Astronomy" Community Lectures in Mānoa

About four times a year, we invite one of our faculty or a distinguished visiting astronomer to give a public lecture on the Mānoa campus. Recent lecturers have included Dr.  David Sanders on "Galactic Cannibalism," Dr. Shadia Habbal on "The Magic of a DIsappearing Sun" and a group presentation on "When and How Did Our Planet Become Conducive to Life?"

Maui Maikalani Community Lectures

These talks by our faculty or visitors take place monthly at Mailkalani, our building on Maui. Recent topics have included "Exoplanets: Discovering New Worlds" and "Solar Tsunamis: Observations and Models of Large-Scale Coronal Waves." Can't get to Maui? These talks are streamed live online and archived here.

Institute Colloquia

We invite astronomers from around the world to present talks to our faculty and students in Mānoa and, via the Internet, our Big Island and Maui locations. These colloquia occur 1-2 times per week at either at 12.30 pm or 3.30 pm. They are open to the public, though they are aimed at professional astronomers, so they are usually highly technical. If you would like to be regularly notified by email of our colloquia, please send a request to George Miyashiro.

Island of Hawai‘i Activities

We have an extensive outreach program led by Gary Fujihara that focuses on teaching children about science. We participate in the annual AstroDay festivities in Hilo and work with the Mauna Kea Observatories Outreach Committee, which coordinates astronomy outreach activities on the Big Island. Our scientists regularly participate in "Maunakea Skies" talks given at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i and "The Universe Tonight" talks at the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station.

Open House

We invite the public—adults and children—to visit our facilities in Mānoa and Maui during our annual open houses. The Mānoa Open House is usually held on a Sunday in April. The Maui Open House is usually on a Friday evening in September.

Nā Kilo Hōkū, the IfA Newsletter

Our quarterly newsletter, "Nā Kilo Hōkū," provides the latest news about people, projects, and discoveries at the Institute for Astronomy. If you would like us to send you a paper copy, contact the Director's Office.


Our website offers a number of streaming videos of presentations and activities at the IfA.

Speakers Bureau

We would be happy to provide speakers on astronomy for schools, civic groups, etc., throughout the state of Hawai‘i. Please contact us if you are interested in having an astronomer make a presentation to your organization.

StarLab Portable Planetarium, Classroom Visits, and Star Parties

The graduate students at IfA Mānoa run the Institute's StarLab portable planetarium,visit K-12 classrooms, and host "star parties" with the Institute's portable telescopes. For more information about graduate student outreach at the IfA, or to request these activities for your school or organization, contact Mike Lum.

Faulkes Telescope

The Faulkes Telescope on Haleakalā, Maui, is the world's largest telescope devoted to education. Constructed under the auspices of the United Kingdom-based Faulkes Telescope Corporation and the IfA, it is now owned and operated by the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, and is available for use by students in Hawai‘i and the United Kingdom. Contact Dr. J. D. Armstrong for more details.

Precollege Student/Teacher Workshops

These are designed to promote lifelong learning about astronomy topics and astrobiology (search for life in the Universe). Students are learning image processing skills to enable them to do astronomy research projects using Faulkes Telescope and others. Workshops are being held on O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i, and Kaua‘i. For more information, go to the UHNAI workshops page.

Heliophysics Outreach

The Center for Computational Heliophysics in Hawai‘i founded the Hawai‘i Center for Advancing $ystemic Heliophysics Education (HI CA$HEd), an educational center dedicated to engaging students and teachers in heliophysics education.

Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Each year undergraduate students from across the United States spend 10-12 weeks as interns in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.

Akamai Workforce Initiative

The Akamai Workforce Initiative (AWI) prepares Hawai‘i college students for the high-tech workforce. Students from across the state, as well as students who are from Hawai‘i and studying on the mainland, participate in internships, courses, and other training activities. AWI also prepares early career scientists and engineers, with a focus on graduate students, for teaching through a program that includes workshops and practical teaching experiences.