By Maui Now | Posted March 28, 2016, 12:28 PM HST

Maui Preparatory Academy was awarded a $6,500 grant through NobleCause, a national grant competition mobilizing volunteers to address the greatest challenges facing local communities.

These funds will support Maui Prep’s STEAM and Sustainability project that features inquiry-oriented and place-based learning. The project will utilize highly successful citizen-science programs to engage students in authentic and regional science research experiences, helping students to develop their action research skills.

Maui Prep’s six-week STEAM and Sustainability project is innovative in linking direct exploration of current local conditions to examine long-term changes in natural environments.

Maui Prep’s STEAM and Sustainability project. Courtesy photo.

Maui Prep’s STEAM and Sustainability project. Courtesy photo.

“Hawaii is a living laboratory for evolutionary studies, native/invasive species interactions, humpback whale conservation, not to mention the constant dynamic of human impact on various ecosystems and the accompanying issues of sustainability,” said Maui Prep Principal Ryan Kirkham. “It is critical that students develop skills that enable them to make sense of human effects on Earth’s systems. This project will allow students to explore scientific questions, participate in citizen science, and draw and communicate conclusions with others.”

NobleCause funds will be used to purchase supplies, equipment, and technology to support students in citizen-science project activities.

NobleCause is made possible by a donor within the GiveWell Community Foundation and organized by, a volunteer management tool that promotes a culture of civic engagement and charts meaningful acts of goodness.

For more than a decade, NobleHour has been connecting and equipping thousands of schools, non-profit agencies, and organizations to shape well-rounded students and service leaders, build better communities, and measure their collective impact.

In total, the NobleCause competition awarded $1,000,000 in grants, recognizing 100 organizations at the $6,500 level and seven organizations at the $50,000 level. All grant recipients demonstrated a remarkable ability to raise community awareness, foster partnerships, and cultivate leaders who take action.

“We set out to encourage communities throughout the country to tell us their big, sustainable ideas to inspire quality volunteerism,” said Wesley Barnett, managing partner for TreeTop Commons and NobleHour. “By organizing volunteers to address local concerns, NobleCause award recipients are defining social responsibility right in their own communities.”

For more information regarding the STEAM and Sustainability project visit To learn more about NobleHour, visit