MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund awards $122,000-plus in STEM grants

Among the various STEM education programs that the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund supports is VEX and FIRST Robotics – dynamic programs that are helping to inspire future leaders, innovators and problem solvers. Photo from Maui High School

Among the various STEM education programs that the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund supports is VEX and FIRST Robotics – dynamic programs that are helping to inspire future leaders, innovators and problem solvers. Photo from Maui High School

Recently, Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) announced the recipients who received grant awards totaling more than $122,000 from the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund, a grant making vehicle to further support the growing need for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in Maui County and statewide.

Awards, ranging from approximately $1,000 to $5,000, were distributed this 2016-2017 school year for the following diverse initiatives:

  • Establishment of a STEAM Lab to support St. Anthony Junior-Senior High School’s 21st century goals
  • Educational materials for King Kekaulike High School’s Clinical Health Students
  • Registration and travel expenses for Molokai Middle School’s Ohi ka manu o ke ao (the bird of the day reaps its reward) to participate in competitions
  • Equipment and cameras for King Kekaulike High School students to develop their cinematography skills
  • Funding to help run the Maui County Regional Science and Engineering Fair
  • Funds to offset expenses Maui High School students and teachers to attend the Television Network Convention in Anaheim, CA in March
  • 3D printer to enable Kihei Charter High School students to produce a 3D modeled design solution to a real-life problem using Autodesk Inventor
  • Support Kihei Charter High School’s participation in Hawaii STEM Conference on Oahu
  • Support Maui Waena Intermediate School’s teachers participation at the Summer Media Institute
  • Funding for 2016 Daniel K. Inouye Innovation Award winners:
    • Lanai High School and students Jasmine and Keona Conroy-Humphrey from Lanai High School for their GIS software project which helps geolocate fire hydrants in emergency situations
    • Molokai High School and student Evelyn Haase for her invention, a pH sensor that can measure accurate data detecting the tiniest changes to the Ocean pH due to environmental fluctuations
    • King Kekaulike High School and students Maya Ooki and Jett Bolusan for their project, a comprehensive list of pests on Maui lands into a “Wikipedia-like” website entitled “Bugpedia.”
  • Robotics programs at 17 schools including:
    • Baldwin High School
    • Kalama Intermediate School
    • Lahaina Intermediate School
    • Lahainaluna High School
    • Lihikai Elementary School
    • Lokelani Intermediate School
    • Maui High School
    • Maui Preparatory Academy
    • Maui Waena Intermediate School
    • Molokai Island Robotics (Aka‘ula, Kaunakakai Elementary, and Kilohana Elementary School)
    • Montessori School of Maui
    • Pomaikai Elementary School
    • Pu‘u Kukui Elementary School
    • Pukalani Elementary School
    • St. Anthony Junior-Senior High School

“The Fund was originally created by MEDB’s Board of Directors to stimulate community investment in broadening career pathways for Maui County residents,” said Curtis Tom, Sr. VP/Island Manager for Bank of Hawaii in Maui County. “Today, we’re thrilled to see the impact STEM education has had and continues to have on our youth from boosting their self-confidence to opening doors to exciting careers. This grant would not have been possible without the generous support of the many businesses and individuals who contribute to the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund’s annual fundraiser dinner.”

The 2017 MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund Benefit Dinner & Auction will be held on Saturday, August 26 at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui. Reception/Silent Auction will begin at 4:30 pm, followed by Dinner/Live Auction at 6 pm. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information about the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund and the benefit dinner and auction, call 875-2300 or visit www.medb.org.