EAST HARTFORD, Conn., October 13, 2022 – Pratt & Whitney and the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) today announced the winners of the first-ever Pratt & Whitney Global E-STEM Awards. Satheeshkumar Kumarasingam, Pratt & Whitney’s chief transformation and strategy officer, bestowed grants totaling $250,000 to 13 nonprofit organizations in 11 countries. Each group demonstrated a remarkable commitment to advancing environmental, science, technology, engineering, and math (E-STEM) education programs for underrepresented students ages 11–18.
“Pratt & Whitney remains steadfast in the development of sustainable propulsion technologies to transform the future of flight, reducing aviation’s carbon footprint and impact on the environment,” said Kumarasingam, the champion of the program. “We are honored to work with these inspiring global nonprofits that motivate and support the next generation of innovators and sustainability experts. This opportunity will allow each of these organizations to grow while building skills and capacity for young people to solve environmental problems through STEM.”
A panel of judges from Pratt & Whitney and NAAEE selected the recipients from a pool of nearly 175 applicants spanning 40 countries who applied between May and July 2022. The winners were announced today in Tucson, Arizona, during NAAEE2022 Annual International Conference, with the theme Educating for Change.
For more than five decades, the NAAEE has served as the professional association, champion, and backbone organization for the field of environmental education (EE), working with EE professionals across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as globally, to advance environmental literacy and civic engagement to create a more just and sustainable future.
“NAAEE is thrilled to join Pratt & Whitney in recognizing these outstanding nonprofits from around the world that are working to address environmental challenges facing their communities,” notes Judy Braus, Executive Director of NAAEE. “These innovative groups are demonstrating how education, along with creativity, hard work, and a host of STEM skills, can help create positive change. We look forward to working with the winning organizations and seeing what these young problem-solvers of the future can accomplish.”
Awards were provided in two categories, both of which fund programs that create solutions to an environmental challenge in one of the three priority areas: climate change, sustainable energy, or sustainable aviation. Six E-STEM Excellence Prizes of up to $50,000 were given to nonprofits and their partners who demonstrated excellence in established E-STEM education in three regions: Asia-Pacific (APAC); Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and the Americas. Seven regional Pratt & Whitney Global E-STEM Innovation Grants of up to $15,000 were presented to groups with promising proposals to launch new E-STEM programs. In addition, each group will have access to year-round professional development workshops and support, valued at $20,000.
The six Pratt & Whitney Global E-STEM Excellence Prize winners include:
- Envirolution ($50,000)— Based in Nevada and also serving Arizona, California, Colorado, New York, and Rhode Island, this program is a hands-on, project-based E-STEM curriculum and training program. The award will aid in bringing the program to two new states and at least 15 new schools—reaching 40 teachers and 3,500 students in the 2023/2024 school year.
- Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) ($40,000) — Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, with pilot programs in Latvia and Slovenia, this program is an E-SPACE initiative that teaches students about the circular economy, renewable energy, and waste reduction. The prize will help them expand the project to 80 schools in South America, Africa, and Asia.
- Wildlife Conservation Nepal ($30,000) — This program, serving Kathmandu and rural areas since 2002, offers an interactive and hands-on curriculum designed to teach STEM approaches to youth grades 1–8, teaching them to explore and address waste, energy, forest, and water conservation. The award will allow them to create 10 dedicated green schools for deeper engagement and will also expand teacher trainings.
- Green Growth Africa (formerly ISNAD Africa) ($10,000) — Based in Ibadan, Nigeria, with engagement in six countries across Africa, this project began in 2018 to empower secondary school students across Africa with education resources to identify environmental challenges in their communities and work in groups to propose solutions. The award will allow them to expand to 5,000 additional students across 10 countries.
- STEMIE Advantages ($10,000)— Based in Singapore, STEMIE focuses on student innovation, challenging students to develop an invention that solves environmental issues. Their first workshop reached 18 students in 2021, and with the award, they plan to expand to reach 40 students annually, running two more month-long sessions for children who typically face barriers to accessing and succeeding in E-STEM education.
- Haritadhara Research Development and Education Foundation (HRDEF) ($5,000)— Based in Uttarakhand, India, this project challenges students with projects that engage them in environmental management, water, energy, waste, climate change, and transportation issues. Currently these projects have reached 10,567 students, and with the prize money HRDEF plans to expand their work to other rural schools and use project-based learning to have students work on local issues.
The seven winners of a Pratt & Whitney Global E-STEM Innovation Grant include:
- Support Service for Grassroots Development (SAILD) ($15,000)— Based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, SALID will teach teens how to use science to farm smarter, mitigating environmental impacts. In addition, they will host fairs and awareness activities about the impact of detrimental agricultural practices. The grant money will help the program reach 200 rural youth and 30 teachers in Cameroon.
- Palestine Association for Education, Environmental Protection (PAEEP) ($15,00) — Located in the North Gaza Strip, Palestine, PAEEP will help various age-based programs to raise children’s awareness and engagement with E-STEM. For example, students will use E-STEM skills to develop sustainable business proposals, with local professionals reviewing and mentoring them. The project will reach 120 underrepresented children from the North Gaza Strip.
- Bhumi ($15,000)— Located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Bhumi coordinates school programs that, via a mix of both in-person and virtual learning, provide STEM activities and learning opportunities to low-income children in remote and rural parts of India. With the funds, they also plan to host sessions that involve interactive experiments, journaling, discussion, and debate for the students, as well as mentorship with local volunteers, and are projected to reach 1,200 students across 6 different schools.
- Semillas del Océano ($15,000)— Based in Guatemala, Semillas del Océano (Seeds of the Ocean) proposes to create a new hybrid ocean science program that engages 80 students through workshops featuring ocean scientists, studying mangrove trees at a local reserve, applying scientific research methods, and more.
- Education and Cultural Society (ECS) ($10,000) — Located in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the project proposes workshops to be hosted at underserved schools where girls work on E-STEM projects that address environmental issues facing their communities and the world today. The students will then present these projects at an E-STEM innovation summit. With the funds, this project will reach 1,500 girls from 30 schools in underserved areas of Bangladesh.
- SuperNOVA at Dalhousie University ($7,500) — Dalhousie University’s Ocean Data Project (ODP), based in Nova Scotia, Canada, was developed in partnership with the Pictou Landing First Nation (PLFN) community to make E-STEM locally relevant to students through ocean education workshops that highlight the central role of the ocean on climate change. The grant will help this project reach 30 Pictou Indigenous youth.
- Bronx Institute for Urban Systems ($7,500) — Based in Bronx, New York, this project will identify 12 students from marginalized communities in the Bronx, New York and provide them with a week-long experience at the State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
Pratt & Whitney’s corporate social responsibility program supports initiatives that emphasize a laser focus on innovation and performance, inspire the next generation, and empower employees to positively impact communities. The company is committed to ensuring that future generations of engines drive further reductions in CO2 emissions, decrease noise, and are ready to operate with 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to reduce dependence on fossil fuels while improving engine efficiency. Click here to learn more about the future of sustainable aviation.
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