The State of Hawai‘i Board of Education presented Art and Rene Kimura of UH Mānoa's Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium with a special certificate of recognition for their leadership in, and enduring commitment to, space, robotics, and science education.
Twenty years ago, Art and Rene Kimura created Future Flight Hawai‘i, a space-themed educational program, while Art (former teacher and school administrator) was assigned to the Office of Space Industries, part of the Hawai‘i Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. When that office was closed in 2002, the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium adopted Future Flight Hawaiʻi as the centerpiece of its K-12 educational programs where it continues to grow and touch the lives of so many. With their ongoing affiliation with Hawai‘i Space Grant, the Kimuras have created a whole host of educational and public outreach activities that have reached an estimated 150,000 students, their parents, and teachers.
The Kimuras' work includes K-12 educational programs, science nights, courses for teachers, grants, and participation in local, national, and international engineering educational programs. (For a sampling of programs visit Future Flight Hawai‘i, Astronaut Ellison Onizuka Day, Astronaut Lacy Veach Day, Robotics in Hawai‘i.) Governor Linda Lingle, in her 2008 State of the State Address, called Art Kimura the father of Hawai‘i robotics.
Chartered under the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium develops and runs interdisciplinary education, research, and public service programs related to space science, earth science, remote sensing, human exploration and development of space, small satellites, and aerospace technology. See the Hawaiʻi Space Grant site for information http://www.spacegrant.hawaii.edu/