Edwin Mendija

Foundations and entities who contributed recently to Maui County community nonprofits and others are as follows:

The Molokai High School Robotics Club received a $7,500 grant from the Monsanto Fund to support the educational program’s mission to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the community.

Founded in 2010, MHS Robotics has earned more than 10 awards at various robotics competitions from 2010 through 2018.

The program is designed to encourage collaborative learning among students and the community, instill leadership and life skills such as teamwork and responsibility, and provide students with opportunities to experience real-world engineering and technical processes with the help of industry professionals.

“Competitive Robotics is a fantastic program that inspires and motivates students to gain new skills — either they win or they learn, there’s no losing,” said Edwin Mendija, MHS Robotics’ instructor and coach. “Our team also fundraises continually to pay for equipment, supplies and travel expenses. Travel consumes a large part of our budget; it’s something unique to Molokai. There are no other teams here, so for us to compete at any level we must travel. This generous grant from the Monsanto Fund goes a long way toward supporting our Molokai students and community.”

MHS Robotics is the only high school level robotics and engineering club on Molokai. Team members design, build, program and test robots, and in the process, learn about engineering design, software programming, teamwork, problem-solving and project management.

This past season, the team won the 2017 Maui VEX Robotics Tournament and the 2017 Pan Pacific Championship and earned the Amaze Award and Teamwork Award at the 2018 Hawaii State VEX Championship. For more information, visit:

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Kualapu’u Elementary-Public Charter School has received a $15,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund to support professional development for its teachers in the area of science education.

“Kualapu’u School is proud to be accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and as part of our mission to build a strong foundation for our students’ lifelong learning, we have identified science as a priority area for instructional improvement,” said Principal Lydia Trinidad.

In addition to supporting professional development, the grant will be used to purchase science instructional material.