Image: Kealakehe High School teacher Justin Brown, accompanied by his students, briefing visitors at the `Imiloa Astronomy Center on the PISCES ‘Moon RIDERS’ lunar flight experiment during a Journey through the Universe event.

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems participated in Hawaii’s annual ‘Journey through the Universe’ program with a presentation at the `Imiloa Astronomy Center on Mar. 1, 2015.  PISCES Executive Director Rob Kelso, Kealakehe High School teacher Justin Brown, and participating students shared their working progress on the Moon RIDERS student lunar flight experiment with visitors.

PISCES’ Moon RIDERS (Research Investigating Dust Expulsion Removal Systems) is a STEM initiative partnering PISCES with NASA, a Google Lunar XPRIZE team, and two Hawaii high schools to develop, build, test, and fly a real-life space experiment to the surface of the Moon by late 2016.

Kealakehe High School and `Iolani School were selected for the unprecedented project and have been hard at work building hardware and housing for the experiment since Fall 2014.

The Journey through the Universe program is now in its 11th year of success on Hawaii Island.  The week-long national science education initiative engages communities of teachers, students, families, and the general public in Earth and space science activities and demonstrations. Since its inception, the program has engaged some 50,000 students with 3,000 classroom visits.