‘Alala Reintroduction Program Receives Innovative Education Award

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Courtesy photo: Hawai‘i DLNR.

The ‘Alala Reintroduction Community Inquiry Program is among five recipients of the annual Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) Innovative Education Award.

Spearheaded by San Diego Zoo Global, the program provides Hawai‘i-based students with an opportunity to learn about and reintroduce the critically endangered ‘Alala bird (Hawaiian Crow). The indigenous bird is currently extinct in the wild.

The UL education award will provide $25,000 to bolster the current success of the ‘Alala reintroduction program.


The award is given annually to nonprofit organizations benefiting their communities through environment education initiatives based in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The winners work with UL employees, including science, engineering, technology and marketing experts to help continue their programs’ successes.

The other four 2018 award winners include:

  • Techbridge Girls ($100,000 award recipient): An Oakland-based nonprofit serving hundreds of girls in several states with hands-on environment STEM projects for youth in low-income communities;
  • Ocean Discovery Institute ($50,000 award recipient): A San Diego-based non-profit that uses the ocean to empower students (third grade through college) from a single urban community to become scientific and conservation leaders through tuition-free science education;
  • Sweet Water Foundation ($50,000 award recipient): A Chicago-based non-profit that empowers youth to better understand the urban ecological environment and take the reins in improving their communities through gardening, urban farming, neighborhood beautification and more;
  • Groundswell Michigan ($25,000 award recipient): An initiative based at the Grand Valley State University College of Education in Michigan that supports educators who want to move beyond classroom walls to teach students about real-world problem-solving in the environment.

“These five organizations join a group of past ULIEA winners who have an opportunity to collaborate with one another to further extend E-STEM education and opportunities for today’s youth,” said Cara Gizzi, VP of Education and Outreach, Underwriters Laboratories.


UL’s annual award is open each year to non-profit organizations in the U.S. and Canada that advance STEM, sustainable communities and youth empowerment. The award distributes $250,000 to organizations that demonstrate effective educational benefits and community engagement. 2018 marks the millionth dollar donated to nonprofit education organizations since the program began four years ago.

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