THINK Fund Classroom Grants Available for 2016-17 School Year

THINK Fund at HCF has funding available for STEM classroom grants through DonorsChoose.org for the 2016-17 school year.

The classroom grants support projects that boost Hawai‘i Island public and public charter school 3rd – 12th grade students in STEM learning; can include materials, supplies and on-island field trips; and can be up to but not over $2,500.

The Hawai‘i Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund was created by the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to benefit Hawai‘i Island students pursuing STEM endeavors with an annual contribution of $1 million. TMT selected two Hawai‘i foundations, Hawai‘i Community Foundation and Pauahi Foundation to administer THINK Fund distributions in scholarship and grant making platforms. TMT has so far funded $2.5 million to the THINK initiative on Hawai‘i Island.

The Hawai‘i Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund was created by the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to benefit Hawai‘i Island students pursuing STEM endeavors with an annual contribution of $1 million. TMT selected two Hawai‘i foundations, Hawai‘i Community Foundation and Pauahi Foundation to administer THINK Fund distributions in scholarship and grant making platforms. TMT has so far funded $2.5 million to the THINK initiative on Hawai‘i Island.

“Many types of projects are part of the STEM learning pathway for our local students, so we support engineering projects such as robotics, engineering design, and aerodynamic design,” says Lydia Clements, Director of Neighbor Islands for the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. “We also encourage projects that expose students to STEM career opportunities like computer programming, environmental science and healthcare.”

Projects can be posted at any time at DonorsChoose.org and requests are reviewed weekly by the THINK Fund at HCF. If a project is selected for funding it usually takes less than three weeks for the students to receive materials in their classroom.

Mrs. Richards’ science class at Keaau High School received a STEM classroom grant in the 2015-2016 school year. Instead of having her students read about decomposition, the students got their hands dirty and created interactive presentations that told the story. “These kids didn’t present dry, written lab reports,” Mrs. Richards said. “They created art to tell their scientific stories. We’re empowering young scientists, thanks to the grant.”

With the classroom grant from THINK Fund at Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF), the students used EcoSTEM Earth Kits to create mini biodome environments to study real-time worm culture, decomposition, soil quality, and planting. But they didn’t stop there. With the Epson 3LCD projector, they told their stories of theory and discovery using interactive technology.

THINK Fund at HCF gets classroom materials into the hands of teachers and students quickly, capturing their enthusiasm while it’s still fresh and getting them out in the field with their projects. The fund’s purpose is to support projects that promote science and math disciplines.

To apply, teachers write up their grant need on DonorsChoose.org, applications are reviewed, projects are selected and funded.

In its first eighteen months, THINK Fund at HCF has committed $150,000 and funded 82 classroom projects for over 8,000 students across Hawai‘i Island. These students have nurtured hydroponics gardens, studied water quality through new lab equipment, and built their own Mars Rover with the help of 3D printers.

The following 29 schools on Hawai‘i Island have received STEM Classroom Project Grants from the THINK Fund at HCF: Connections New Century Public Charter, Hilo Intermediate, Hilo Union Elementary, Ho‘okena Elementary, Innovations Public Charter, Ka ‘Umeke Ka‘eo Public Charter, Kano o ka‘aina New Century Public Charter, K‘au High and Pahala Elementary, Kea‘au High, Kea‘au Middle, Kealekehe Elementary, Kealakehe High, Kealakehe Intermediate, Keonepoko Elementary, Kohala Elementary, Kona Pacific Public Charter, Konawaena Elementary, Konawaena High, Konawaena Middle, Kua o ka La Public Charter, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter, Paauilo Elementary & Intermediate, Prince Kalaniana‘ole Elementary and Intermediate, Volcano School of Arts & Science Public Charter, Waiakea High, Waiakea Intermediate, Waikoloa Elementary & Middle, Waimea Elementary and Waters of Life Public Charter School.

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