Ka Hikina O Ka Lā is a specialized program at the University of Hawai’i Maui College (UHMC) funded by the National Science Foundation in response to the application to erect the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) upon the summit of Haleakala. The sacred and legendary mountaintop provides extensive educational opportunities through collaborations between the Native Hawaiian community, University of Hawaii Maui College, and the National Science Foundation. This approach provides a learning environment that integrates Native Hawaiian cultural knowledge and practices into modern scientific technology and instruction. Ka Hikina O Ka Lā is committed to increasing the participation of Native Hawaiians in higher education and guiding them to leadership roles in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The program aims to continuously build strong relationships among cultural resources, scientists, technicians, educators, STEM employers, and community leaders.

“Encouraging the practice of traditional ideas in modern study”


Our program focuses on 3 main areas:

High School Summer Bridge

These are intensive 1 & 4 week courses that offer students the opportunity to explore science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as learn about the cultural practices and historical significance of Hawaii, in a fun and engaging environment. Students will be exposed to a variety of disciplines. which include Marine Science, Biotechnology, Computer Science and Engineering, and Hawaiian Studies. During the summer course students will participate in field trips, in-class activities, and lectures designed to stimulate their interest in STEM careers and Hawaiian culture.

*Preference given to Maui County high school juniors and seniors and students of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law.

Cultural and Community Outreach

We are currently working with various cultural outreach programs on the UH Maui College campus and in the community to support student enrichment. All students who are selected to be part of our “Academic Cohort” are required to participate in these activities in order to help them develop a more well-rounded academic experience. In addition to student involvement we are also actively working with local K-12 schools to create professional development workshops and develop curriculum that incorporates modern scientific processes with the historical knowledge of native Hawaiians. Native Hawaiians understood the complex physical and biological processes that occurred throughout nature, and are recognized as being the worlds greatest mariners. Their knowledge of the oceans allowed them to transverse great distances and procure food in new and innovative ways that till today hold precedence.

For more information click here

Register for STEM Teacher Workshop 2013 click here

Post Workshop Survey click here

Workshop Resource Page click here

College Cohort

This is a merit based and highly competitive program developed to assist college students interested in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics or related fields, who also have shown an interest in native Hawaiian language, culture, and history. Students who are selected will receive individualized academic and personal support through program counselors, priority registration if applicable, student employment, semester and summer internships, networking opportunities, academic travel to conferences and events, job placement assistance upon degree completion, and financial assistance through performance-based stipends. In order to qualify students must be actively pursuing one of the following degrees, which include but not limited to Hawaiian Studies, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Nursing, Dental, Engineering, and Applied Business and Information Technology.

Undergraduates – Bachelors/Post Bachelors and below: click here

Graduates – Master/Doctorate: click here

Outreach – STEM

Outreach – Culture




Students (Click Here!)                Community/Teachers (Click Here!)


Applications for the 2015 Summer Bridge Program will open February/March 2015 – Update to follow.

Application for the 2015-2016 Academic Year will open in February/March 2015 – Update to follow.




Please feel free to contact us at hikina@hawaii.edu or 808-984-3334
You can also find us on Facebook at: facebook.com/hikinamaui  or Instagram at: #KOKL












Funded by the National Science Foundation:
Advanced Technology Solar Telescope Mitigation Initiative