“Star Wars” fans are welcome to invade Hilo’s Prince Kuhio Plaza on Saturday for the annual AstroDay — where attendees can learn about scientific discoveries and technology all day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We’re playing off the ‘Star Wars’ theme this year since our event falls on the iconic ‘May the 4th Be With You’ meme,” said Carolyn Kaichi, event coordinator for the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy. “It’s age-appropriate for everyone and a fun outing for the whole family.

“And there’s lots of giveaways, including the grand prizes of two telescopes and spacey skateboards.”

Dozens of volunteers from observatories on the island will be on hand to share activities and information. Local science centers such as the Hawaii Science and Tech Museum, Onizuka Space Flight Program and the Pacific Tsunami Museum will share their passion for science and technology with participants of all ages.

Look for sunspots throughout the day outside the mall with special solar telescopes monitored by scientists and UH students, and share in robotic fun with local high school clubs in Hilo.

Collect AstroDay coins and enter to win one of two skateboards or telescopes by visiting participating activity tables. Enjoy free, hands-on educational activities, games, giveaways and programs throughout the day.

Head to the mid-mall stage for fun science demos, entertainment and awards, with live broadcasts by radio station KWXX.

Participating organizations are: UH Institute for Astronomy; Canada France Hawaii Telescope; Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope; Submillimeter Array; Gemini Observatory; WM Keck Observatory; Las Cumbres Observatory; PISCES; Subaru Observatory; Thirty Meter Telescope; Maunakea Visitor Information Station; Project PANOPTES; Hawaii Science &Technology Museum; UH Hawaii Space Flight Lab; Onizuka Space Science Program; UH Hilo Physics and Astronomy Dept.; Shadow the Scientist Program from UCSC; Thelma Parker Memorial Public and School Library; Hilo Viking Robotics; Waiakea HS “Hot Rocks”; Waiakea HS Key Club; International Lunar Observatory Association; STARBASE Hawaii; Pacific Tsunami Museum; Ho‘ala Program; Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (UH-Hilo).

AstroDay also sponsors the Maunakea Coin Contest, a graphic design competition that’s open to all Hawaii Island students in grades K-12.

Beginning at 10 a.m., immediately following the AstroDay opening ceremony, the 2024 Coin Contest winners will be announced and awarded prizes. The top winning artwork will become the official design of the AstroDay collector coins and T-shirts for the event.

Launched in 2011, this annual contest is designed to raise awareness and celebrate the special relationship between astronomy, native Hawaiian culture, and Maunakea’s natural environment. Learn more about the Maunakea Coin Contest at www.maunakeaobservatories.org/coincontest/.

AstroDay is an annual science and astronomy event sponsored by the Maunakea Astronomy Outreach Committee. MKAOC is a partnership of scientists, administrators and educators in astronomy throughout the state of Hawaii.

Learn more about AstroDay at www.mkaoc.org/programming/astroday.