TMT funds Career Connected Learning program for Hawaii STEM programs

Thirty Meter Telescope recently announced its continued commitment and support of the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Career Connected Learning program, with its fourth consecutive annual gift for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education on Hawaii Island to prepare students for the workforce of the future.

Since 2014, TMT has committed $4 million for STEM education on Hawaii Island.


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

In 2014, TMT launched The Hawaii Island New Knowledge, or THINK, Fund at HCF, and committed $750,000 in annual funding to support programs with strong STEM components that benefit 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 the 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 Hawaii 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 available STEM learning programs with the specific needs of Hawaii’s evolving workforce. The program also 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 Hawaii STEM fields.

The THINK Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation has contributed $1.3 million toward this grant program.

The THINK Fund is open to all Hawaii Island teachers with STEM classroom projects and organizations providing STEM programs that directly benefit Hawaii Island. To learn more, visit


Career Connected Learning 2018 grantees:

Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests: Teaching Change: Increasing youth participation in conservation-related STEM fields in Hawaii

Akamai Workforce Initiative: Akamai Internship Program

Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corp.: Maunakea Scholars Expansion with Manoa Academy

Girl Scouts of Hawaii: Hawaii Island and Kauai STEM Fests and The Girl Scout Leadership Experience

Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science Public Charter School: STEAM Learning

Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture: Farm mentorship and apprenticeship

Hawaii Pacific University: Citizen Science program using eDNA

Hawaii Preparatory Academy: HPA’s Career-Connected STEM

Hilo Medical Center Foundation: Pre-Health Career Corps program

Hokupa‘a: Hokupa‘a Purpose-Driven Career Pathways

Holualoa Elementary School: Holualoa C2C Food Sustainability Project

Honokaa Complex: Honokaa Complex STEM partnership — STEM Career Connected Learning program

Kahua Pa‘a Mua Inc.: KPM Ag STEM Connection

Ke Kula ‘o Nawahiokalani opu‘u: Ko Kula Kai

Kealakehe High School: Expanding excellent STEM access in West Hawaii

Keaukaha One Youth Development: RISE 21st Century after-school program

Keonepoko Elementary School: KeOBots grant proposal

Mala‘ai — The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School: STEM learning in the garden

Malama Kai Foundation: STEM to careers via boatbuilding and watershed science in North Kohala

Marine Mammal Center: Na Kokua o ke Kai — Advancing Middle-School Marine Science and Ocean Conservation

Parker School: Expansion of Parker School’s Technology Education Plan


Prince Dance Company: Rhythm of the Universe

Keaau Elementary School: Keaau Robotics Inspire

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