Girl Scouts involved
in cosmic collision

Girl Scouts will be involved in activities across the state during the next week to prepare for the collision between a detachable probe from NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft and Comet Tempel 1 on Sunday evening.

"Hawaii offers the world a unique perspective on humankind's strong desire to preserve and perpetuate itself, and its driven quest to pursue knowledge and understanding of itself and its surroundings," said Gail Mukaihata Hannemann, chief executive officer of the Girl Scout Council of Hawaii.

As a result, she said NASA and the Polynesian Voyaging Society have joined to give Hawaii's Girl Scouts learning activities ranging from ancient Polynesian voyagers to modern scientists traversing space.

During the next week, 11 Girl Scouts and 11 Girl Scout volunteers from Hawaii, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island will gather on the Big Island for a training program blending ancient Hawaiian cultural practices and modern science.

Known as Deep Impact Hawaii Getaway, the program is designed to engage young girls in space and Earth science curriculum, telescope training and historic navigation and cultural practices.

Experts from NASA, the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy and the U.S. National Park Service will lead the girls in classroom and field work.

They will learn about space exploration, Earth formation and Hawaii's contributions to those efforts from the sea floor to the top of Mauna Kea.

Nainoa Thompson, master navigator of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, will share with the girls practices of way-finding, exploration, observation and discovery.

The Scouts also will spend time with girls from Halau Hula Ka No'eau, led by Kumu Michael Pili Pang. They will learn about the role of hula in documenting and perpetuating Hawaiians' cultural heritage.

The getaway will end with the Scouts observing the Deep Impact mission Sunday from the Mauna Kea Visitor Center.

"Through the Girl Scouts Deep Impact Hawaii Getaway, we are providing wonderful female ambassadors of science, technology and culture to reinforce the importance of maintaining a balance between the pursuit of knowledge as truth and the recognition and respect for the culture of Hawaii," said Gary Fujihara, UH Institute for Astronomy science education and public outreach officer.

On Kauai, Thompson will share his way-finding knowledge and experiences with a star-gazing lecture and talk-story session open to Girl Scouts and other children and families from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Kekaha Beach.

Eighty boys and girls, ages 12 to 17, will have a chance to sail on the Polynesian canoes Hokule'a and Hokualakai on Friday at Hanalei Bay.

On Oahu, Girl Scouts will participate in Deep Impact Waikiki Sunset on the Beach activities from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday. The science thriller movie "The Dish" will be featured.

Robert Joseph, Institute for Astronomy professor and faculty chairman, will show an informative PowerPoint presentation about "Deep Impact," and at 7:52 p.m. the space encounter will be shown on the 30-foot screen via live satellite.

Girl Scouts on Kauai are invited to participate in Deep Impact activities sponsored by Kauai Community College at Kamalani Park from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Deep Impact mission
Polynesian Voyaging Society
Girl Scout Council of Hawaii

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