Enos Winner Floro Provides Western/Polynesian Astronomy Perspective

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Enos Winner Floro Provides Western/Polynesian Astronomy Perspective Lucy Enos Memorial Scholarship recipient Rod Floro received a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from the University of Hawai’i, Hilo, and a B.S. degree in environmental sciences, minor in chemistry, from DePaul University, Chicago. He is a sixth grade physical science teacher at Kamehameha Schools Middle School, Hawaii Campus, Keaau.

“Over the past eight years, I have had the opportunity to sail on the voyaging canoes Makali ‘i, Alingano Maisu, and Hokule ‘a,” wrote Floro in his application. “We are taught how to navigate using only the natural elements…but I feel that I need to integrate this traditional knowledge with a Western perspective of astronomy.

“My main objective for participating in the Space Discovery Institute program is to increase my knowledge base of the Western perspective of astronomy. I feel that by interfacing the Western/Polynesian perspective of astronomy, I can present science lessons with a more holistic approach.

“I think there is a strong correlation between the astronauts of today and the first Pacific navigators, who left their islands in voyaging canoes. It would be interesting to hear about how astronauts prepare for missions and the challenges they will face while in space. We could relate those issues to how the Polynesians prepared for long-distance voyages.

“As a teacher of Hawaiian children, I feel that the Space Discovery Institute programs could greatly benefit my physical science curriculum, and in turn, help inspire our students to pursue science-related endeavors.”

This article is part of Space Watch: June 2009 (Volume: 8, Issue: 6).

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