Maui Students Honored in STEM Education
US Senator Mazie Hirono honored Maui County students who were finalists for the Daniel K. Inouye Innovation Award at Maui Economic Development Board’s 10th Annual Ke Alahele Education Fund Dinner held over the weekend.
Held at The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui in Wailea, this year’s event spotlighted Maui County’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM stars while raising needed funds for STEM educations programs in the community.
Among those honored were Kekaulike HS student Maya Ooki and Maui High School student Jett Bulosan, who along with two other teams of finalists, received awards during the event.
“For Hawaiʻi and our nation to succeed in building a high tech, 21st century economy, we must create millions more STEM jobs nationwide, including thousands here at home,” said Senator Hirono.
“Programs supported by the Ke Alahele Education Fund have kept Hawaiʻi teachers on the front lines of STEM education, successfully encouraging students to pursue STEM pathways through community-based projects,” she said.
Since the MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund was established in 2006, over $1.2 million in grants have been awarded to Maui County’s schools and organizations.
This past school year alone, more than $137,000 in grants were allocated which enabled ten robotics teams to compete on Maui, Oʻahu and even the mainland; equipped digital media labs with the latest equipment and software; supported a monthly televised newscast and bilingual website to archive STEM activities; empowered students working on community-service projects using STEM tools; and assisted MEDB’s STEMworks™ educational programs.
Earlier this month, Senator Hirono chaired a Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing at Maui High School on growing Hawaiʻi’s STEM pipeline. Senator Hirono has introduced several pieces of legislation to encourage traditionally underrepresented groups to pursue STEM careers.