Opae Mahina Team Bio
Space exploration at its roots is the belief that there is something greater to explore.... something greater than us. Ancient Hawaiians lived by a moon calendar, and even today because our island is free of skyscrapers and major highways it seems we have a closer relationship with the stars, moon and ocean. Anyone who has crossed saddle road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Lani on a clear night will likely have dreams of learning more and exploring space. We are youth from the Big Island of Hawaii, and we enjoy a marriage of beautiful raw environment and cutting edge scientific research on the Kona Coast. Our volcanoes are a draw for astronomers, and our pristine coast for biologists. We are lucky, curious, and observant. The STEM academy at Kealakehe High school brings us together. The people on our team, Luka Wohl, Joyce Rosabia, Brock Taylor, and Nathan Weir come from varied backgrounds, but we all share a love for our island, and a passion about space exploration and STEM.
The Big Island is exploding with STEM technologies, some examples are: NELHA (Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii Authority), OTEC (Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion), and many more. Our team also wants to incorporate a little bit of the land, sea, and culture into our item that we would leave on the moon. Our item that we would bring to the moon would be a bio ball, with red shrimp and algae that grows in the island’s water. The Hawaiian word for shrimp is Opae, and the Hawaiian word for moon is Mahina, therefore, our team name, Opae Mahina, Moon Shrimp, is a way of showing the possibilities of expanding technology on the Hawaiian Islands and what we would leave behind given the ability to. The bio ball would be a way for us to track and monitor the possibility of cultivating life on the moon, not too different from the ways of the polynesians who came to this island long ago.