SHIMA: Okinawa-Hawaii STEM Education Collaborative 

Science Workshop 

SHIMA-Hawaii STEM Education Collaborative is a joint STEM education workshop between Okinawa and Hawaii. In this workshop, Okinawa-Hawaii high school students will attend numerous seminars and hands-on activities by researchers, experts and professors inside and outside OIST involved in the seaweed aquaculture industry rooted in the community. Based on what the participants will learn in the workshops in their countries, their final goal will be to give a presentation in English in Hawaii. We hope that this workshop will help participants in both countries become more passionate about science. OIST will provide round-trip airfare, accommodation and meals for participants during the workshop.

*The acronym for STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

SHIMA-Hawaii STEM Education Collaborative is co-sponsored by the US Consulate General in Okinawa.



Okinawa and Hawaii have similar socio-political backgrounds and governance histories. Both countries have a rich heritage that has been passed down since ancient times and have cultural practices that are strongly linked to natural resource management. We will take advantage of these similarities to promote cross-cultural learning focusing on traditional methods of managing natural resources.

The program is scheduled to start in May 2021 and will include both on-site learning and collaborative virtual discussions. We will set similar programs between the two countries and work on various topics related to seaweed farming, from ecology and chemistry to environmental management.


Qualification Requirements and Application Deadline

Ten students, currently enrolled in an Okinawa Prefectural high school, will be selected by OIST and invited to participate in the SHIMA-Hawaii STEM Education Collaborative.

  • 10 High school students in Okinawa prefecture interested in STEM (science) careers
  • Japanese Nationality Holder only
  • Able to participate in the entire workshop schedule from May to August 2021
  • Application Deadline: February 28th, 2021


Event Timeline & Location  

Workshop period: May - August 2021

Workshop venue: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) Main Campus, Onna Village, University of Hawaii (scheduled to travel to the United States in late July 2021), etc. 

Note: Please note that you may not be able to travel to the United States due to COVID19 restrictions. We may have to move this portion to an online workshop.   


Workshop Program (draft)

The following is the draft program from May to July 2021.

Date Lecture Title
Saturday, May 15, 2021 Venue: OIST (AM) Online Session
Welcome lecture for Okinawa and Hawaii students
Ice Breaker Activities
Lecture ① Environmental Changes brought about by economic development
Saturday, May 15, 2021 Venue: OIST (PM) Lecture ② Learn about seaweed
Lecture ③ Properties of seaweed and uses
Saturday, June 5, 2021 Venue: OIST (AM) Lecture ④ Scientific Research contributing to the development of seaweed aquaculture
Saturday, June 5, 2021 Venue: OIST(PM) Preparation for presentation
Saturday, June 19, 2021 Venue: OIST(AM) Information exchange session between Okinawa and Hawaii
Saturday, June 19, 2021 Venue: Onna Village Fisheries Cooperative (PM) Field Work ① Sustainable Marine Culture (seaweed farming) in Okinawa Prefecture
Saturday, July 3, 2021 Venue: Onna son (AM) Field Work ② Learn about marine pollution
Saturday, July 3, 2021 Venue: OIST (PM) Preparation for presentation
Saturday, July 17, 2021 Venue: OIST (AM) Orientation for traveling to Hawaii
July 24~30, 2021 Hawaii Okinawa and Hawaii Final Presentation
Workshops in Hawaii


Expenses & Preparation

OIST will cover the travel expenses for the trip to Hawaii. 

[The following expenses will not be covered by OIST]

  1. Passport / ESTA Application Fees: While applying for ESTA, you and your guardian may need to appear at the consulate or embassy.
  2. Preparation of English medical certificate and vaccination costs. You may be required to receive various vaccinations from the host country. In Japan, the vaccine may be around 10,000 to 20,000 yen.
  3. Transportation Costs to the Hawaii Trip Orientation
  4. Round-trip transportation costs from home to Naha Airport.
  5. Overseas travel insurance premiums.
  6. Personal Expenses (pocket money, etc.)

*Please note that there may be an increase in expenses in other areas.

Documents to be Submitted

Please write an essay based on the following questions in English. Please submit your essay using the application form below.

  • Please write a self-introduction (100 words)
  • Describe why you're interested in this program, and how will it benefit you in the future? (200 words) 
  • How important is the ocean to you, and why? (200 words)


Selection Criteria

The following points are used as the evaluation criteria:

  • Interest and passion for science
  • Imagine your future self by participating in this workshop

Ten students will be selected by OIST and invited to participate in the SHIMA-Hawaii STEM Education Collaborative.


Contact Us

Email: science.outreach [at]
(OIST External Engagement Section / Science Education Outreach Team)


Application Form (Deadline: February 28, 2021)