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Hawaii Chosen as Building Location of the World’s Biggest Telescope

8 MAY 2015
Career Path : Education News

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Scientists have recently chosen to build the world’s biggest telescope on the island of Hawaii. Far away from any major industrial sites or cities, Hawaii offers clearer air and a better view of the stars than anywhere else in the United States. On top of this, the University of Hawaii has been pushing STEM courses, and is about to graduate their first class of astronomy doctorate students.

But not all Hawaiians agree with the telescope’s construction. The building of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea (a mountain in Hawaii) would be imposing on traditionally sacred grounds, where native Hawaiian celebrate gods such as Poliahu, the snow goddess of Mauna Kea. The building of the telescope has therefore brought forth a reoccurring battle with native Hawaiians over territorial grounds.

However, the building of the telescope also brings with it more funding for STEM education in Hawaii, and the 19-year lease on Mauna Kea will provide Hawaiian students with $1 million annually. While these funds could surely be beneficial, many Hawaiians are angry that the U.S. government is trying to buy them off at the cost of their traditions.

Do you agree that the building of a telescope is morally wrong? How could the telescope and $1 million STEM funding change the landscape of science education in Hawaii?

Source: CTV News