Maui Preparatory Academy and Lanai High and Elementary School are two of 12 Hawaii schools that will be able to expand science, math, engineering and technology education for their students as the first recipients in a multi-year, $2.2 million grant program to increase students’ readiness for college and careers.
Gov. David Ige announced the STEM Education Programs initiative in January in partnership with Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and USA Funds as part of an effort to build the state’s innovation economy and workforce; PLTW is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S.; USA Funds is a nonprofit corporation that supports Completion With a Purpose, building a more purposeful path for America’s students to and through college and on to rewarding careers and successful lives.
The multi-million dollar funding enables each school to implement PLTW high school programs in PLTW’s computer science, engineering and biomedical science pathways. Grant funds cover expenses such as program fees, teacher training at the University of Hawaii–West Oahu, and classroom equipment and supplies.
“We are extremely grateful to USA Funds for making it possible for schools in Hawaii to implement PLTW’s programs,” said Rex Bolinger, senior vice president and chief development officer. “PLTW programs empower students to develop the knowledge and transportable skills they need to thrive in our advancing, high-tech economy.”
By 2017, Hawaii is projected to need 16,000 more workers with STEM skills each year, but the state currently ranks 47th in the number of STEM-related degrees awarded per 100,000 residents.
Dozens of additional Hawaii high schools will have the opportunity to implement PLTW programs after the organization opens a second round of grant requests from Hawaii schools this fall.
“We look forward to thousands of additional students being prepared for high-paying jobs in high-demand STEM fields in Hawaii’s growing innovation economy,” said Carol D’Amico, USA Funds executive vice president, National Engagement and Philanthropy. “USA Funds is delighted to partner with Project Lead The Way, the nation’s leader in preparing students for STEM careers, to expand STEM education and employment while advancing economic development in Hawaii.”
Here are the other 10 that received funding under this program:
Aiea High School, Oahu
Honokaa High School, Hawaii
Island Pacific Academy, Oahu
James Campbell High School, Oahu
Kalaheo High School, Oahu
Kalani High School, Oahu
Kapolei High School, Oahu
Keaau High School, Hawaii
Mililani High School, Oahu
Photo courtesy Maui Prep’s Facebook page