Lacy Veach Day honors hometown hero while sharing joy of exploration
What do a master navigator, NASA astronaut and sixth grade student have in common?
They celebrated a day of science and discovery at Kamehameha Schools' 18th annual Astronaut Lacy Veach Day with workshops and modern-day explorers.
The event honors the legacy of astronaut Charles Lacy Veach, who grew up in Honolulu, attended Punahou, was a US Air Force fighter pilot, and flew two NASA Space Shuttle missions.
He reportedly compared the Columbia Space Shuttle to the Hokule'a canoe, saying both are voyages of exploration.
"He shifted voyaging from just finding islands to making us understand that we have one island that all humanity lives on it's called the Earth and it needs to be protected," said Nainoa Thompson, master navigator. "He was the one that planted the seeds for the world wide voyage. It took us 19 years to get ready to do something that extensive."
"To share what I've seen from 250 miles above the Earth and share that with the students and maybe provide them with a little bit of spark like I had as a child and that's what Lacy would want us to do today," said Joseph Acaba, NASA astronaut.
Dozens of aspiring scientists and engineers took part in interactive workshops led by volunteers, from learning about robotics to testing the fundamentals of flight to experimenting with electricity.
"The world needs navigators, the world needs explorers now more than ever, and they're in the room today," Thompson said.
Explorers like Liana Kahikina-Lou.
"It's fun to problem solve and improve like if we didn't finish or we didn't think about it better the first time, we could improve it more," she said.
Improvements --- the community says --- that can help protect the Earth for future generations.