We are incredibly grateful and excited to have been selected as a 2017 $50,000 UL Innovative Education Award winner!

Maine’s Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership Wins $50,000 UL Innovative Education Award Prize

ULIEA is a collaboration between UL and NAAEE and champions excellence and innovation in nonprofit youth programming that uses environmental education as a pathway to STEM learning.

NORTHBROOK, IL and WASHINGTON [Aug.01, 2017] – UL and The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) awarded five 2017 UL Innovative Education Award (ULIEA) winners with a combined $250,000 (USD) in recognition grants for furthering environmental education via STEM principles (E-STEM).

Maine’s Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership (HICSL) won a second-place $50,000 recognition grant for their work developing the next generation of leaders to explore science and sustainability. Hurricane Island is a learning community that integrates science education, applied research and leadership development to provide learning opportunities to all ages. Students at the Center work hand in hand with research scientists to find solutions to challenges in our local and global communities.

From spring through fall, HICSL operates on Hurricane Island itself, an offshore, off-line, off-the-grid environment situated in midcoast Maine. HICSL also provides year-round programming within their community, using education and research to support local schools and the working waterfront. Their goal is to train and inspire others to be advocates in the next wave of scientific discovery and environmental conservation.

ULIEA honored four other organizations with recognition grants, including a $100,000 grand prize, another $50,000 prize, and two $25,000 prizes. All five winning organizations will meet at UL’s headquarters in Northbrook, Ill. on Aug. 9-11 for the third ULIEA Leadership Summit to share best practices and celebrate their collective success in pushing E-STEM forward.

“All of our 2017 winners understand what’s at stake,” says Cara Gizzi, UL’s Vice President of Public Safety Education and Outreach. “They’re not just thinking about short-term goals. They are actively educating and preparing today’s youth — tomorrow’s leaders — to solve the problems of our future world. It’s exciting to see students across North America receiving the tools to identify and address environmental problems with creative, STEM-based, and net-positive solutions. We are so inspired and hopeful for the future.”

“While the award creators expected to find leaders in E-STEM, they were thrilled to find organizations also profoundly impacting social issues,” says Christiane Maertens, NAAEE’s Deputy Director. “These organizations are going beyond E-STEM. They’re digging deep into their communities and the world-at-large to find youth needing attention, education and direction. Many of our winners, past and present, support under-served urban, religious, indigenous, people of color, elderly and women-led populations — this is a huge goal of NAAEE. They’re giving youth a broader and more complex understanding of how environmental issues, critical thinking and STEM can meet the diverse needs of their community and we couldn’t be more proud.”

“This is an amazing honor and the benefits go far beyond the money associated with the award,” according to Hurricane Island’s Director of Education, Dr. Jennifer Page. “The networking opportunities we will have with other like-minded organizations will be instrumental to increasing our reach and keeping our staff on the cutting edge of innovative science education and youth leadership development. We are looking forward to the professional development associated with the award when we join our colleagues for the ceremony in early August and then again at the NAAEE Annual Conference in Puerto Rico in October.” Dr. Page also pointed out that “the fact that this is an award for what we have already accomplished is incredibly validating and speaks to the high quality of our staff and the programming we already provide. This award will only help us grow from here.”

UL developed the ULIEA program in collaboration with the North American Association for Environmental Education in 2015. The program is open to nonprofit organizations in the U.S. and Canada who engage K-12 students in STEM and environmental education. Ultimately, UL and NAAEE aim to support organizations inspiring and preparing future engineers, conservationists, researchers, scientists and problem solvers.

Visit http://ulinnovationeducation.naaee.net for more information.

About UL

UL fosters safe living and working conditions for people everywhere through the application of science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges.  The UL Mark engenders trust enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. We test, inspect, audit, certify, validate, verify, advise and train and we support these efforts with software solutions for safety and sustainability. To learn more about us, visit http://www.ul.com.



The North American Association for Environmental Education is a pioneering membership organization dedicated to accelerating environmental literacy 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. NAAEE provides resources for educators, professionals, volunteers and researchers via sponsored community networks, publications and employment development opportunities. For more information, visit http://naaee.org.