UL is proud to announce the winners of the 2015 UL Innovative Education Award, which recognizes outstanding non-profit organizations integrating science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and the environment in their educational framework. In collaboration with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), the program was developed to inspire the next generation of scientists, researchers, inventors and engineers.
UL is proud to support five innovative, non-profit programs for excellence in the STEM field with recognition awards totaling $250,000. In addition, UL employees, including engineering and technical experts, will work directly with these organizations to provide mentoring expertise and scientific leadership opportunities to help further the winning organizations’ efforts.
“This award addresses the clear need to prioritize STEM and environmental education for our future leaders to innovate, address new problems and create new solutions,” said Barbara Guthrie, Vice President and Chief Public Safety Officer, UL.
On August 6th, after a six-month search and evaluation process, UL recognized the following organizations:
- DiscoverE’s Future City Competition— The grand prize winner of $100,000 focuses on advancing STEM learning through mentoring and city planning design competitions across the United States. Middle school teams create, plan and produce virtual models of cities and present at local, regional and national competitions. The program encourages students to analyze environmental factors including clean energy, water, waste management, storm water runoff and urban agriculture in their vision for the future.
- Cafeteria Culture— Based in New York City, this organization won $50,000. Cafeteria Culture incorporates hands-on pilot activities into the school curriculum with the objective of achieving zero waste standards in school cafeterias and climate smart communities, and in dramatically reducing levels of garbage at homes and schools. Administrators, educators and children are all engaged in this innovative waste management program and have influence many other cities to follow suit.
- The Women in Natural Sciences (WINS) — A program at Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Science won $50,000. WINS provides mentoring for Philadelphia high school girls to help prepare them for college and for science careers. One of WINS key programs is to connect high school students from the United States and Mongolia in research and communications initiatives online and through research trips.
- The Trent Aboriginal Cultural Knowledge and Science (TRACKS)— The Peterborough, Ontario program won $25,000. TRACKS works annually with more than 7,000 indigenous youth and adults on providing skills, knowledge and activities about environmental science by integrating with indigenous knowledge and culture.
- The University of Idaho McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS)— Based in Moscow, Idaho, this program won $25,000. MOSS connects students to peers, mentors, community leaders and experts in science initiatives. Students focus on the context of Idaho’s land, water and communities using problem and inquiry based approaches in small groups to solve complex problems environmental challenges.
“Working for a sustainable future means focusing our educational efforts especially on our youngest students,” Christiane Maertens, NAAEE’s deputy director says. “There is a substantial body of research which shows that hands-on environmental education is among the most effective way to engage kids because of its exceptional capacity to inspire interest and build skills in science for all students. We are proud UL, a company committed to research, science and innovative problem solving has supported such a critical STEM and environmental educational initiative.”
For more information, please visit UL Innovation Education or UL Safety Smart about our youth education programs.