Our Islands, Our Future

This week, the 11th AMOS (Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance) technical conference, presented annually by the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB), is being held in Wailea. The conference is the premier event in the field of space situational awareness, and more than 600 leading scientists, engineers, and technical managers from across the country and around the world will be in attendance.

This year, the Space Foundation is co-sponsoring a new educational component to the conference—Space in the Classroom, consisting of two main elements, one for students, the other for teachers. More than 300 Maui middle school students will attend a full-day program with hands-on, space-themed science experiments and demos. The highlight will be a 90-minute “Audience with an Astronaut”, Captain Robert L. Curbeam, Jr., U.S. Navy (retired). Capt. Curbeam is a veteran of two space shuttle flights (Atlantis and Discovery). He has logged over 590 hours in space, including three spacewalks, and will share what it takes to get from middle school to becoming a space explorer.

In a separate conference session, up to 25 teachers from Maui Nui’s middle and high schools will attend a full-day workshop providing classroom activities designed to inspire and enable their students to become the next generation of space explorers and scientists. The training provided will better equip our teachers to engage Maui students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects.

Through MEDB’s partnerships and commitment to unique educational initiatives such as these, Maui Nui’s youth can benefit from opportunities that will prepare them for 21st century workforce opportunities.