The students worked on vastly different projects -- cleaner-burning cooking fuel in Nigeria, the use of solar panels in the U.S. But they reached the same conclusion: STEM can help solve environmental problems.
They did their work through the organizations Green Growth Africa and Envirolution, both of which were among the 2022 winners of the inaugural Pratt & Whitney E-STEM awards – a program run in collaboration with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) to support environmental STEM education. Also known as E-STEM, this education approach is key to inspiring the next generation to tackle different climate challenges using science.
- The awards, launched in 2022, provide $250,000 in funding annually to nonprofits around the world focused on E-STEM education.
- In 2023, 15 nonprofits from 12 different countries won awards to support environmental STEM education programs.
The awards reflect Pratt & Whitney's work to design more sustainable aircraft engines, as well as its social responsibility program – part of an effort across the aviation industry to reduce its environmental impact through technology.
“Every sustainability innovation our industry sees today is thanks not only to dedicated engineers and technology experts, it’s thanks to the educators that inspired them to think about the environment and how we interact with it,” said Satheeshkumar Kumarasingam, chief transformation and strategy officer at Pratt & Whitney, an RTX business. “To continue implementing sustainable aviation technologies—or any renewable energy technologies--we need to invest in E-STEM education for students.”
“Companies are increasingly investing in technologies to address near-term challenges to climate change,” said Judy Braus, executive director at the NAAEE. “However, not all companies are investing in the people who will solve the next set of environmental challenges — today’s students. We hope more companies will join this initiative to help equip young people with E-STEM skills and build a new, green workforce.”