Presentation #315.04 in the session College Education and Outreach Programs.
In 2022, Journey Through the Universe, the flagship outreach program at the international Gemini Observatory (of NSF’s NOIRLab) on Hawaiʻi Island celebrated 18 years of engaging students of all ages in classroom presentations and career panels. The Journey program is unique in its longevity and extensive collaboration involving the local astronomy, education and business communities of Hawaiʻi island, home to the Maunakea Observatories. Like many other outreach programs, Journey shifted from an entirely in-person program to entirely virtual in 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Following the Hawaiʻi state guidelines in March 2022, Journey Through the Universe remained entirely virtual for its 2022 rendition as well.
After two years of running a virtual engagement program that reaches thousands of students across multiple islands, we have many lessons to share with our astronomy community at large. Lessons learned will be applied in the future as we assess the balance of in-person and virtual implementation of the program.