STEM gets a $6.8M boost from USA Funds

IMG_7264
UH President David Lassner, Sen. Michelle Kidani, USA Funds Executive VP Carol D'Amico, Hawaii Gov. David Ige, and Project Lead The Way Senior VP David Dimmett
Back on October 28, 2015, USA Funds announced a $4.6M grant to the University of Hawaii, to help build Hawaii's innovation economy, boost the STEM workforce pipeline and reverse the "brain drain" of talent leaving the state. Today's announcement included the $4.6M to UH and an additional $2.2M to the non-profit Project Lead the Way which provides project-based learning experiences for K–12 students and teachers across all 50 states. The grant to PLTW will help at least 48 Hawaii high schools implement programs in computer science, engineering or biomedical science. Also as a part of the initiative, Project Lead The Way will provide professional development support to teachers and work with local partners to ensure the materials and programs are culturally relevant. USA Funds’ grant of $4.6 million to the University of Hawaii Foundation will support several initiatives, including the following:
  • Develop models of statewide industry, government and higher education collaboration to determine current and future workforce needs.
  • Create a continuous academic pathway in STEM education.
  • Support economic development and high-quality job creation in innovation and STEM areas of the state’s economy through just-in-time workforce development.
  • Enhance Hawaii’s student information system to inform students and advisers of the most efficient education pathways, especially for STEM degrees.
  • Create best practices in statewide workforce and education data collection and integration to help drive decisions by policymakers, education leaders and other stakeholders.
  • Create a STEM Center for Excellence that will serve as a resource to sustain STEM-related activities across the state.
With a workforce development pipeline, STEM curriculum development and the data to assess our progress, the hope is that Hawaii will be able to be competitive in the high-wage and high-demand science, technology, math and engineering fields.