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HCF Looking to Fund STEM Programs

December 7, 2016, 11:45 AM HST
* Updated December 7, 12:01 PM
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hawaii community foundation logoHawai‘i Island youth are being trained to be analytical thinkers and equipped to solve critical issues through knowledge and innovation.

Enhancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) opportunities has become a priority as STEM occupations continue to grow by double-digits, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

By 2017, STEM-related jobs across all industries in Hawai‘i are estimated to increase to 63,000.

The Hawai‘i Community Foundation will accept applications for a funding opportunity to improve learning opportunities for Hawai‘i Island students to prepare them for the STEM economy of the 21st century.

The Hawai‘i STEM Learning Partnership was established in 2014 with cornerstone support from the Thirty Meter Telescope through HCF’s THINK Fund.

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Nine additional funding partners pooled resources to support the Hawai‘i STEM Learning Partnership totaling $1.25 million distributed to community nonprofits and schools and engaging more than 300 educators and over 7,000 youth islandwide.

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Proposals up to $25,000 are being accepted from local schools and nonprofits to support the following:

  • Increase the number of effective STEM teachers on Hawai‘i Island;
  • Increase the number of effective STEM programs on Hawai‘i Island that also promote cultural competency of place-based learning;
  • Increase the number of Hawai‘i Island students who are inspired to pursue post-secondary STEM fields of study;
  • Increase the number of Hawai‘i Island students who complete STEM degree and training programs.

“With advances in the fields of technology, energy, health, climate and policy, there is a growing need for qualified individuals in these fields,” said Lydia Clements, NeighborIslands director of HCF. “However, there are fewer young people that are pursuing STEM studies and STEM-related careers. By cultivating our youth to be creative thinkers and pique their interest in STEM-related subjects, we hope to be able to keep young local talent home, while also providing the opportunity for high paying tech careers that apply to relevant, current issues.”

Hawai‘i Island’s geography and environment offer promising career opportunities that require advance education, including astronomy, alternative energy, aquaculture, food security and forestry.

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Online applications will be available on HCF’s website with a deadline of Feb. 1, 2017.

About Hawai‘i Community Foundation

With 100 years of community service, the Hawai‘i Community Foundation is the leading philanthropic institution in the state. HCF is a steward of more than 700 funds, including more than 200 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities. In 2015, HCF distributed more than $46 million in grants and contracts statewide, including $4.5 million in scholarships. HCF also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector.

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