Maui News

NASA Astronaut Visits Students for Onizuka Science Day

April 26, 2019, 11:52 AM HST
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Students at Kīpapa Elementary School on Oʻahu were treated to a special visit from real life JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. Hoshide has served on numerous space missions and visited with about 300 of the school’s 3rd, 4th and 5th graders on Thursday to share his life lessons.

JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide visits Kipapa Elementary School on Oʻahu. Photo courtesy American Savings Bank.

Hoshide’s visit was postponed from the Onizuka Science Day, sponsored by American Savings Bank due to the government shutdown earlier this year. Kīpapa Elementary School is a previous award-winner in ASB’s Bank for Education KeikiCo Business Plan Competition. The astronaut visit is one of many perks the school receives as a Bank for Education ʻOhana School.

Onizuka Science Day honors Hawai‘i-born Astronaut Ellison Onizuka, whose life was cut short 30 years ago on the Space Shuttle Challenger mission. ASB has been the title sponsor of the Ellison Onizuka Science Day for the past 17 years.

Claude Onizuka, Ellison’s younger brother and a former ASB branch manager, led the event that honors his brother’s memory. The Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Science Day has welcomed thousands of Hawai‘i youth to explore topics in science ranging from satellites to space travel.

“My brother once said, ‘vision is not limited by what your eye can see, but by what your mind can imagine.’ It is my hope that his science day will continue to inspire Hawai‘i youth to imagine great opportunities for Hawai‘i and the world,” said Onizuka. This year marks the 33rd anniversary of the Challenger mission.

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