We envision a future for Hawaii in which educational excellence supports innovation, investment and opportunity in a diversity of fields, from traditional ones such as organic farming and sustainable fishing to energy, information technology, and scientific research, development and discovery.
TMT supports a number of educational initiatives to help prepare Hawaii Island students forfor current science and technology jobs and the high tech jobs of the future.
In 2014, we launched The Hawaii Island New Knowledge (THINK) Fund to help better prepare Hawaii Island students to master Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and to become the workforce for higher-paying science and technology jobs in Hawaii’s 21st century economy. Two Hawaii foundations – Hawaii Community Foundation (HCF) and Pauahi Foundation – were selected to administer THINK Fund distribution in scholarship and grant-making platforms. To date, TMT has distributed $3.5 million: $2.5 million to THINK at HCF and $1 million to the Pauahi Foundation.
In conjunction with the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH), Hawaiʻi Community College (HCC) and the Department of Education, TMT will form and sustain a Workforce Pipeline Program that will lead to a highly qualified pool of local workers. Currently, the project funds, supports and participates in programs that are committed to helping Hawaii Island students achieve success at becoming self-directed, lifelong learners who think critically and creatively and function as caring, responsible, productive members of society.
TMT is a cornerstone supporter of the Akamai Workforce Initiative, which provides college students with summer internships at observatories and other high-tech companies in Hawaii. The goal of the program is to advance Hawaii college students in STEM and to increase STEM participation among underrepresented groups. Since launching in 2003, more than 350 college students have participated in the Akamai program and at least 150 alumni are now working in science and technology jobs, with nearly two-thirds of them working in Hawaii and contributing to the local STEM workforce.
The TMT International Observatory sponsors the TMT Early-Career Initiative: a program to provide professional development for early-career scientists and engineers across the TMT partnership and foster international collaborations among the future TMT instrument builders and scientific users. Run by the Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators (ISEE) at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC), the program leverages the expertise of current TMT project leaders to help early-career participants define science and instrumentation requirements, practice project management, and plan ahead for specific operations and data analysis modes that TIO may support.