Categorized | Education

THINK Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation


As a member of the growing high-tech economy in Hawaii, the Thirty Meter Telescope has made a commitment to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education on Hawaii Island.

As one of the greatest equalizers, education can also strengthen our workforce and economy so that families and communities thrive.

TMT created The Hawaii Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) in October 2014 to provide grants, scholarships and community leadership to further this purpose.

The purpose of the THINK Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation is to improve educational opportunities for Hawaii Island students that serve to prepare them to become the workforce for the science and technology economy of the 21st century Hawaii.

The THINK Fund at HCF has an advisory committee made up of thoughtful Hawaii Island community leaders who provide their expertise to support the HCF staff and board in fulfilling the goals of the education fund.

The THINK Fund at HCF Advisory Committee assists in developing strategy, reviewing grant and scholarship applications and making award decisions.

There are 4 ways to get involved in the THINK Fund at HCF:

Teachers – Start here to post your classroom STEM project to be considered for funding on 30 classroom projects have been funded since November at 12 Hawaii Island schools and last week, an additional $50,000 was made available. Criteria to qualify for classroom project funding: Hawaii Island public and public charter school teachers for grades 6th – 12th; must be STEM-related projects and can include materials, supplies, field trips and classroom visitors; projects up to $2,500. You can see examples of qualifying projects here and read more here about the types of projects that are our focus.

Students – Applications are being reviewed and selections announced by June 1. Applications for the 2016-2017 school year will open in December 2015 at

Nonprofits and Schools – The online application was open from December 1, 2014 to January 31, 2015 and HCF received 39 proposals that are currently under review. The THINK Fund at HCF will announce the inaugural recipients of STEM Learning Grants in early April.

Donors – Give and support any or all of these great Hawai’i Island STEM education opportunities by contributing to the THINK Fund at HCF. Contact Lydia Clements at or 808-885-2174 if you are interested in getting involved with STEM philanthropy.

Join TMT and the THINK Fund at HCF to achieve these bold STEM goals for Hawaii Island :

* Increase the number of Hawaii Island students who are inspired to pursue postsecondary STEM fields of study.

* Increase the number of Hawaii Island students who complete STEM degree and training programs.

* Increase the number of effective STEM teachers on Hawaii Island.

* Increase the number of effective STEM programs on Hawaii Island that also promote cultural competency or place-based learning.

TMT’s annual $1 million contribution allocates $750,000 to THINK Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation and $250,000 to THINK Fund at the Pauahi Foundation.

The foundations will administer their respective THINK Funds independently and will have autonomy in administering grant funds, determining scholarship recipients, and the selection and governance of Advisory Committees.

— Find out more:

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