Maui Business

MECO Supports STEM-Arts Program at Maui Prep

May 18, 2016, 8:59 AM HST
* Updated May 18, 9:03 AM
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Maui Electric_Maui Prep Academy grant

Maui Electric’s Sharon Suzuki (left of check) presented Maui Preparatory Academy with $5,000 for its innovative STEAM (STEM + Arts) program. Front Row: Johnnie Holland, Violetta Thompson, Mikaela Stedman, Margaux Perchard, Tessa Chin, Griffin Sagar, and Noah Hill. Back Row: Ray Chin (board of directors, treasurer), Jenny Worth (grant coordinator), Branden Hazlet (technology director), Jonathan Silver (head of school), Dean Otto (board president), Coleman Kingwell, Wilson Tinkler, Danielle Bergson.

Maui Electric Company presented Maui Preparatory Academy with a $5,000 donation on May 10 to support the school’s innovative STEAM program—science, technology, engineering, mathematics and arts.

The STEAM-inspired curriculum will be offered through an inaugural engineering course for the school’s middle and high school students.

“We are honored to have received this support and recognition from Maui Electric and the Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation,” said Dr. Jonathan Silver, head of Maui Preparatory Academy. “It is our goal, with the help of the Maui Electric grant, to develop our engineering, robotics and digital media and arts programs and laboratory spaces in order to enhance our STEAM curriculum, to support a wide range of educational outcomes and to promote interest in STEAM-related disciplines, which can play such a large part in the local, county, and state economies.”

The donated funds from Maui Electric’s Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation will help the school to purchase software and hardware technologies to equip robotics, engineering and digital arts labs. STEAM materials include desktop computers, a 3D printer and VEX Robotics kits.

Maui Preparatory Academy instructor Branden Hazlet and student Violetta Thompson show Maui Electric President Sharon Suzuki a STEAM—STEM and Art—project.

Maui Preparatory Academy instructor Branden Hazlet and student Violetta Thompson show Maui Electric President Sharon Suzuki a STEAM—STEM and Art—project.

“As longstanding supporters of STEM initiatives in our Maui County schools, we are pleased to help strengthen such pioneering STEAM-inspired curriculum,” said Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric. “We are impressed by Maui Preparatory Academy’s focus on creating well-rounded students and encouraging them to engage in the world’s challenges through a varied approach of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.”

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As the only accredited college-preparatory institution serving the west side community, Maui Preparatory Academy has received several accolades including Maui County Science Olympiad champion, and multiple awards for its robotics program—garnering first place regionally, first place in state competition and ranking 22nd in world competition.

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