Applications being accepted for Inouye grant program

The Maui Economic Development Board is accepting applications for the Daniel K. Inouye Innovation Award, an annual grant program honoring the late U.S. senator.

Established last year, the award will be presented to a student team that demonstrates the most innovative use of science, technology, engineering and math tools and capabilities for community service.

All Maui County students in grades 6 to 12 may submit an application. Recently graduated high school seniors also are eligible. Students need not be in MEDB’s STEMworks lab to be considered.

For more information and to download an application, visit The application deadline is Aug. 5.

Last year’s first honoree was a STEM project by King Kekaulike High School students Lotus Chen and Sierra Harrell. Using GPS technology and practical applications of math and science, the students mapped out roads leading to and from their school campus.

Then, they marked areas that needed crosswalks and sidewalks and took note of troublesome spots where motorists might lose sight of pedestrians. They shared their geospatial map with state and county officials, and their work resulted in state funding for a nearly $1 million Old Haleakala Highway sidewalk project.

Chen and Harrell each received a cash grant award to further their college education, and King Kekaulike’s STEM lab received funds for future programs and equipment.

This year’s award will be presented at the Aug. 23 annual MEDB Ke Alahele Education Fund Dinner & Auction at the Grand Wailea. Event proceeds go toward STEM education in Maui County and statewide. For information or reservations, go to