TMT Funds Career Program for Hawai‘i STEM Students

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Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) has continued its commitment and support of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s (HCF) Career Connected Learning program with its fourth consecutive annual gift for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education on Hawai‘i Island to prepare students for the workforce of the future.

Since 2014, TMT has committed $4 million for STEM education on Hawai‘i Island.

“STEM education is a way of helping to grow Hawai‘i Island’s high-tech economy and ensure that there is a future workforce to support all of the opportunities available,” said Sandra Dawson, TMT Hawai‘i Community Affairs manager. “We have seen first-hand how STEM programs are inspiring Hawai‘i’s youth and enabling them to pursue a career path that helps families and communities thrive.”

In 2014, TMT launched The Hawai‘i Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund at HCF, and committed $750,000 in annual funding to support programs with strong STEM components that benefit Hawai‘i Island students pursuing STEM related careers. Since that time, additional funding partners have contributed to the effort and provided more than 12,000 students and 900 educators on Hawai‘i Island with STEM-related programming.


“Thanks to the generosity of donors, like TMT, programs like THINK Fund and Career Connected Learning allow us to support Hawai‘i students by providing fruitful learning opportunities that drive career exploration,” said Micah Kane, CEO and president of HCF. “As the need for STEM literacy continues to grow, so will the need for programs and activities that will ensure our keiki are prepared to thrive in the 21st century.”

The Career Connected Learning program aims to increase the number of students completing STEM degrees and strengthen the alignment between various STEM learning programs that are currently available with the specific needs of Hawai‘i’s evolving workforce. In addition, the program aims to increase the number of teachers, career counselors and volunteers prepared to guide students through college and career pathways as well as cultivate partnerships between educators and employers to provide relevant work-based learning experiences for students in Hawai‘i STEM fields. The THINK Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation has contributed $1.3 million towards this grant program.

The THINK Fund is open to all Hawai‘i Island teachers with STEM classroom projects and organizations providing STEM programs that directly benefit Hawai‘i Island.


To learn more about TMT’s THINK Fund, visit

Career Connected Learning 2018 Grantees

Organization Island             Program
Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests Hawai‘i Island Teaching Change: Increasing youth participation in conservation related STEM fields in Hawai‘i
Akamai Workforce Initiative Hawai‘i Island Akamai Internship Program
Canada-France- Hawai‘i Telescope Corporation Hawai‘i Island Maunakea Scholars Expansion with Mānoa Academy
Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i Hawai‘i Island Hawai‘i Island and Kaua‘i STEM Fests and The Girl Scout Leadership Experience
Hawai‘i Academy of Arts & Science Public Charter School Hawai‘i Island STEAM Learning
Hawai‘i Institute of Pacific Agriculture Hawai‘i Island Farm Mentorship & Apprenticeship
Hawai‘i Pacific University Hawai‘i Island Citizen Science Program Using eDNA
Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy Hawai‘i Island HPA’s Career-Connected STEM
Hilo Medical Center Foundation Hawai‘i Island Pre-Health Career Corps Program
H?k?pa‘a Hawai‘i Island H?k?pa‘a Purpose-Driven Career Pathways
Holualoa Elementary School Hawai‘i Island Holualoa C2C Food Sustainability Project
Honoka‘a Complex Hawai‘i Island Honoka‘a Complex STEM Partnership:  STEM Career Connected Learning Program
Kahua Pa‘a Mua Inc. Hawai‘i Island KPM Ag STEM Connection
Ke Kula ‘o Nawahiokalani opu‘u Hawai‘i Island Ko Kula Kai
Kealakehe High School Hawai‘i Island Expanding Excellent STEM Access in West Hawai’i
Keaukaha One Youth Development Hawai‘i Island RISE 21st Century After School Program
Keonepoko Elementary School Hawai‘i Island KeOBots Grant Proposal
Mala‘ai – The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School Hawai‘i Island STEM Learning in the Garden
Mālama Kai Foundation Hawai‘i Island STEM to Careers via Boatbuilding and Watershed Science in North Kohala
Marine Mammal Center Hawai‘i Island Na Kokua o ke Kai: Advancing Middle-School Marine Science and Ocean Conservation
Parker School Hawai‘i Island Expansion of Parker School’s Technology Education Plan
Prince Dance Company Hawai‘i Island Rhythm of the Universe
Kea‘au Elementary School Hawai‘i Island Kea‘au Robotics Inspire

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