U H West Oahu seal

A $245,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research will establish a Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) Center of Excellence at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu.

The grant funding will initially be used to:

  • Transform West Oʻahu’s existing physical science laboratory into an interactive STEM Center of Excellence.
  • Explore the development of the university’s first STEM-related academic program in facilities management, a new interdisciplinary bachelor of science concentration involving science, facility operations, energy efficiency and business coursework.
  • Furnish West Oʻahu science laboratories with essential hands-on equipment to support student learning and K-12 teacher education.
  • Create an interactive STEM-Center Portal at the entrance to the STEM Center of Excellence that displays science and technology related real-time activities such as current seismic activity, weather conditions, campus building energy usage, atmospheric pressure and more.
  • Create the first STEM Center of Excellence community outdoor activity: The Solar System Stroll, a two-mile round-trip, heart-healthy walk through a sidewalk solar system display on the West Oʻahu campus.
  • Create an EZ-H2O Water Filling Station as a tool to support STEM education.
UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas

STEM Center of Excellence projects will be developed as an interdisciplinary partnership between the UH West Oʻahu science and business administration faculty.

STEM is extremely important in today’s economy,” said UH West Oʻahu Chancellor Rockne Freitas. “This generous grant allows the university to enhance the student learning experience by equipping our labs with the latest STEM tools, which spur the development of new, career-related academic programs whose interdisciplinary nature should appeal to both students and prospective employers.”

“The potential for participation with private industry partners in the development of facilities management and other new academic programs housed under the STEM Center of Excellence at UH West Oʻahu makes this a very exciting endeavor,” said Director of Strategic Initiatives and Principal Investigator Sherry Proper.

The Office of Naval Research coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Science and technology investments enable the technical superiority of US naval forces by producing knowledge and transitions, and growing a healthy science and engineering workforce.