Women in Technology Receives Grant from Microsoft

April 24, 2015, 1:08 PM HST · Updated April 24, 1:10 PM
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Microsoft’s grant will enable MEDB’s WIT program to provide computers with the most upgraded software for students such as those pictured from the Hawaii STEM Conference. Courtesy photo.

Microsoft’s grant will enable MEDB’s WIT program to provide computers with the most upgraded software for students such as those pictured from the Hawaiʻi STEM Conference. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

Maui Economic Development Board’s Women in Technology Project received a $232,754 software grant from Microsoft.

The announcement was made April 17 during WIT’s 6th Annual Hawaiʻi STEM Conference at the Wailea Marriott Resort.

The event attracted over 500 students and teachers for two full days of empowering hands-on activities and competitions.

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“We are committed to helping education organizations around the world gain affordable access to the technology and resources they need to create more impact in their communities,” said Celeste Alleyne, director of citizenship and public affairs US education lead at Microsoft. “We are proud to work with education-based organizations including MEDB’s Women in Technology Project in Hawaiʻi as part of our YouthSpark program, which aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth around the world by the end of 2015 through partnerships with governments, nonprofit organizations and businesses.”

The WIT Project has been providing access to state-of-the-art technology tools to teachers and students for more than a decade. The Microsoft software grant will be incorporated into WIT’s selection of lab materials and equipment offerings used in its educational workshops. WIT supports a lending library of more than 100 laptops used to deploy throughout its STEMworks classrooms, augmenting the labs’ existing equipment. This grant will ensure that the computers have the most upgraded software allowing students to innovate project solutions to improve our communities.

“We are delighted that software giant Microsoft sponsored the STEM Conference and chose it as the platform to announce their generous investment in our organization’s education outreach,” said MEDB’s Leslie Wilkins, vice president and director of the Women in Technology Project. “With more than 500 cheering students and teachers in the audience, it was an immediate thank you from the beneficiaries. We have no doubt they will see a return on their investment from the young talent they are helping to build.”

MEDB created the WIT Project to work in partnership with educators and businesses to build and strengthen the state’s science, technology, engineering and math education-to-workforce pipeline. Since its inception, WIT has been at the forefront of inspiring and cutting-edge STEM programs to meet 21st century workforce demands.

WIT has successfully developed and implemented over 30 programs statewide, ranging from hands-on, service-based learning and job shadowing to mentoring and internships, with an annual reach of more than 40,000 participants.

For more information on MEDB’s Women in Technology project, go online.

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