NORTHBROOK, Ill. and WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Throughout history, talented scientists and innovators have helped to move humanity forward. As modern changes in our environment threaten our livelihood, communities and the natural world, education—particularly STEM (science, engineering, technology and math) education—is a shining hope. In recognition of our world's changing needs, UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.), the global safety science leader, and the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), a leader in environmental education, today announced the UL Innovative Education Award, a first-of-its-kind initiative designed to invest US$250,000 in environmental and STEM education, sustainable communities and youth empowerment.
"At UL, we take great pride in our reputation as a champion for progress, and this new program is a natural extension of that," said Barbara Guthrie, Vice President and Chief Public Safety Officer, UL. "The UL Innovative Education Award addresses the clear need to prioritize STEM and environmental education for our future leaders to innovate, address new problems and create new solutions. Together with our program partners at NAAEE, we will select and invest in those who are driving this cause forward, as well as provide mentorship opportunities with our employees."
Through the UL Innovative Education Award, UL will invest in the critical work of nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and Canada that are leading the way to inspire a passion for STEM education in young people through a focus on the environment. The program, designed in collaboration with trusted experts from NAAEE, will empower our next generation of leaders to connect with the natural world, develop science-based sustainability solutions for local communities and nurture a capacity for social responsibility.
"Our research shows that hands-on education about the environment is the ideal way to engage with kids because of its unparalleled ability to inspire interest and build skills in science, technology, and engineering with a focus on systems thinking," said Christiane Maertens, Deputy Director, NAAEE. "The UL Innovative Education Award was designed based on our latest findings and will get an enormous boost with the support of such a trusted, independent, scientifically sound and forward-thinking company as UL."
Qualifying nonprofit organizations will be judged by a panel of environmental, science, research and technical experts. Judging criteria will include:
The use of research and investigation to advance science learning;
Promotion of social responsibility
STEM applications to tackle real environmental problems
In addition to recognition grants, UL employees, including science, engineering and technical experts, will work directly with the selected organizations to provide expertise, resources and volunteer hours to help further their efforts in E-STEM education.
For more information about the UL Innovative Education Award including detailed criteria, important dates and deadlines, eligibility requirements and more, visit www.ul.com/newsroom.
About UL UL is a premier global independent safety science company that has championed progress for 120 years. Its more than 10,000 professionals are guided by the UL mission to promote safe working and living environments for all people. UL uses research and standards to continually advance and meet ever-evolving safety needs. We partner with businesses, manufacturers, trade associations and international regulatory authorities to bring solutions to a more complex global supply chain. For more information about our certification, testing, inspection, advisory and education services, visit http://www.ul.com/.
About NAAEE The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) is the largest membership organization dedicated to accelerating environmental literacy and civic engagement through education. NAAEE supports a network of more than 16,000 educators, researchers, and organizational members working in environmental education across more than 30 countries through direct membership and 54 regional affiliate organizations. Through sponsored community networks, publications, and learning opportunities, NAAEE provides resources for educators, professionals, volunteers, and researchers. NAAEE's tentpole annual conference, now in its 43rd year, convenes leaders from private and public sectors to advance the field of environmental education. For more information, visit www.naaee.net.